11 Painting Mistakes to Avoid

Painting is the most cost-effective upgrade that people can do to their homes or businesses. Painting your spaces is a great way to give your property a new look and feel. However, because some believe painting is simpler than it is, so it is often done incorrectly by DIYers who find out they’re in over their heads. 

Getting good painting results is more difficult than it may seem. Whether you are applying a pattern on your wall or just repainting with the same paint color, there are some common mistakes you need to avoid to achieve a quality finish. 

How to Get a Quality Paint Finish

painting mistakes

There are many things to address before painting any room in your home. Many people are so happy to finally re-decorate a room that they don’t take the time to properly prepare. Some important steps must be considered to make your paint job a success. 

If you want to make the paint on your walls last and get the best results, avoid these common painting mistakes. 

1. Using the Wrong Paint

There are different sheens of paint to accentuate the walls of certain spaces. If your walls are not in the best condition, you don’t want to choose glossy paint. This will bring unwanted attention to the surface problems. No matter how good the tools or application you use, choosing the wrong paint finish will not give you the best finish. 

To paint with a semi-gloss or gloss sheen, the surface must be thoroughly prepared and smooth.  If you’re painting with two paint sheens of the same color, be sure to label the cans to avoid mixing them up. If you do mistakenly use the wrong finish, you won’t notice the difference until the paint dries. Here is some guidance on how to choose the correct paint sheen for each room.

  • Flat: Living rooms, bedrooms, and ceilings
  • Matte: Family rooms, dining rooms, and hallways
  • Eggshell: Foyers and kitchen
  • Satin: Playrooms, children’s bedrooms, and laundry rooms
  • Semi-Gloss: Doors, trim, molding, bathrooms, and cabinets
  • Gloss: Trim, woodwork, and doors

2. Choosing the Wrong Paint Color

When starting a paint project most homeowners pick the color first. The paint colors you choose for the interior of your home may not always go well with the decor. It’s best to choose your signature pieces such as a rug, window treatments, or a sofa, and then base your paint choices on colors that will complement them. Get paint samples and test them out. 

Don’t be afraid of bold colors. Tip: The bigger the wall, the darker the paint will look. Bold and bright colors do have neutral relatives. These muted variations will make your home pleasant and will look vibrant on your walls. 

Do not pick out a paint color at your local hardware store in fluorescent lighting and then order a gallon of it. If you don’t take a sample home first and test it in the actual room’s light, it could be disappointing.  

To get the best idea of how a paint color will look in your space, select a few colors that you like, and bring samples home to see what works best. Have the light on in the room that you use the most, then swatch the color on the wall to ensure it’s the color you want.

3. Ignoring the Prep Work

Renovating a home is an exciting time. Don’t rush the process of painting by forgetting to prep the surface. Proper prep work is crucial to getting a satisfying paint finish. Prep work involves a thorough cleaning of the surface. Some scraping or sanding may be involved as well to make sure the surface is smooth. The paint results will suffer if this step is skipped. 

You also want to protect your furniture and floors. Plastic sheeting and drop cloths should be used to avoid splatters and damage. Ensure that you’ve taken the time to put plastic sheeting or drop cloths over your furniture. It’s also important to cover the floor to avoid splatters. Be sure to remove outlet and switch covers. 

4. Skipping Primer

One of the most common painting mistakes for DIY painters is skipping the primer application. When you use primer on your walls before painting, it works to give the paint a good surface to adhere to. When you have a decent surface for the paint to stick to, it creates a smoother finish and better coverage.

Primer also helps to bring out the paint color more. When covering a light-colored wall with dark paint, start with a tinted primer. You can choose to paint with a built-in primer too. Gray primer is a great choice under dark paint colors. 

5. Using Cheap Brushes and Rollers

If you decide to go cheap with your brushes and rollers, it will show up in the paintwork. Quality brushes provide smooth coverage and will last for a while if you take care of them. You will not waste any money buying high-quality paintbrushes.  Quality paint supplies are made to absorb less of the paint and apply the paint evenly. 

Cheap paintbrushes can shed bristles during use, while cheap rollers can make painting more difficult. The same goes for cheap paint sprayers, which can spray unevenly and quit working before your paint project is finished. 

It is important that once you are done painting you remember to clean up your tools immediately. Getting all the paint out of your rollers and brushes as soon as possible will help keep the tools in good condition for the next paint project. 

6. Painting Haphazardly

The motion of the painting leads you to swing your brush around a bit. This is okay on a canvas but for a smooth finish on a wall, paint application is important.  The best way to paint is from the top to the bottom because it gives you the smoothest finish. It also allows you to catch any drips as you go down the wall. 

7. Applying too Much Paint at Once

Don’t completely cover the paintbrush and soak the roller to get as much paint as possible onto the walls. You will waste more paint and cause more dripping. With brushes, less paint is always more. Do not dip your brush more than two-thirds of the way into your paint. Only a light coat is needed on your roller. It will go a long way.

Make sure you are not dipping directly out of a paint can so that you are only using a limited amount of paint at a time. Instead, use a pan for a roller or a smaller container for a paintbrush. This will give you more control over how much paint gets on the applicators.

8. Rushing the Edges

When you’re ready to paint, cut in the edges first with a brush. Drag your brush across the ceiling line or down the edges and seams of the wall. When the brush fades as you run out of paint, it makes the transition smoother when you use the roller to blend. 

9. Being Impatient

Make sure you wait long enough to apply a second coat. If you begin the second coat too soon, it can cause the paint to peel. You might see some brushstrokes as well.

It’s always advisable to wait 24 hours between coats.

10. Using the Wrong Tape

If you want clean lines, you should use painter’s tape. It is not guaranteed to prevent all bleeding but it will certainly turn out better than using any other kind of tape. Tape the borders of your room securely with painter’s tape. This will give you clean lines all around the room and make sure no paint gets on your molding. Painter’s tape also peels off much more easily than other types and doesn’t pull the drywall with it. 

11. Overbrushing 

For the smoothest possible finish when you’re painting woodwork, doors, or cabinets, avoid too much brushwork. Load the brush and quickly cover an area with paint. Brushing over the same area, especially after the paint has started to dry, will cause unsightly brush marks. 

Not Feeling Confident in Your DIY Painting Ability?

Want the quality finish your home or business deserves? If you don’t have the time or experience to paint, your best choice is to hire a pro to get the job done. Choose a professional painter with experience and can back it up with satisfied customer reviews.  Don’t risk botching your walls or cabinets with a DIY project when you can hire a professional painter that can give you peace of mind. 

To get a high-quality finish and the job done on time, a professional painter is the best choice.  There are many benefits to hiring a professional painter. 

  • Color consultation
  • Proper surface preparation
  • Superior painting tools and skills
  • A good process from start to finish
  • Warranty
  • Time and attention to details
  • Licensed and insured
  • Customer referrals and pictures of previous work
  • Quality workmanship

Hire a Pro

Want to avoid all of these common painting mistakes?  Let The Painting Pros tackle all of your painting projects. We have years of experience in commercial and residential exterior and interior painting.  Call us to get a free consultation and estimate for your painting project.