July 11

Avoid These 10 Common House Painting Mistakes


While most people understand how a fresh coat of paint can revitalize a home, there are many common misconceptions about painting. If you spend time on the internet or social media, it may look pretty easy to grab a few cans of paint and start painting, but there’s more to a successful painting project than just dabbing on a new paint color.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 common myths or misconceptions homeowners should avoid when painting their homes.

1. All White Paints Are the Same

Almost all white paints contain some mixture of colored pigments, which give them tone and shading. Finding the right hue can be challenging when confronted with hundreds of shades of white. The best white paint for walls depends on how much natural light a room receives, the tone of the natural light, and the other colors in the room. Warm whites make a space feel cozier than cooler whites, which look more formal. Test several paint samples against changing light levels in your home to judge how they will look before committing to a particular shade of white. 

2. Dark Walls Make a Room Look Smaller

A dark wall color combined with the proper lighting and furnishings can make a small room appear larger. Stir Magazine has an interesting article citing research on dark versus light-colored walls. If you like dark colors, test large samples on several walls and check the color at different times throughout the day. Color perception varies according to natural and artificial lighting conditions.

3. A White Ceiling Makes a Room Look Larger

Not necessarily. Although white remains the most popular choice for ceilings, painting a ceiling with a complementary color can add interest and draw the eye up, creating the illusion of more space. In a small bathroom, painting the walls and ceilings the same color draws the eyes up, creating the same effect. When choosing a ceiling color, consider your home’s architecture, wall colors, trim work, and furnishings. 

4. Glossy Paint is the Most Durable Choice

The paint finish you chose doesn’t dictate durability. Finish refers to the appearance of the paint; the higher the sheen, the higher the shine. Although some paint finishes are more scrubbable, the paint’s quality makes it more durable in the long run. It’s still important to choose the right paint finish for the project. For example, selecting a moisture-resistant finish is necessary when painting high-humidity areas such as bathrooms or kitchens.

5. Using Multiple Coats Eliminates the Need for Primer

You may not need a primer when painting over a similar type of existing finish and color, but you should use a primer to promote paint adhesion, block stains, or when going from a dark color to a lighter one. Using a good quality primer ensures your new paint job will chip less and last longer. 

6. Primer is the Only Prep You Need

Primer is an important step since it helps the paint adhere better, but it is not a substitute for repairing flaws, sanding, and cleaning your walls before applying new paint. Most people want to skip the preparation phase, but it’s essential for a smooth finish. Follow these steps to prep a space before applying paint.

7. You Can’t Paint During Cold Weather

Painting during cold weather is fine as long as the indoor room temperature is over 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you choose a no-VOC or odorless paint formula, odors will not be an issue if it is too cold to open the windows. There are advantages to painting during the winter. Because there is less humidity, the paint will dry faster and better in cooler months. 

8. Adding Essential Oil to Paint Will Make It Smell Better

Adding scents is unnecessary, and a waste of resources since most modern paint formulations have less odor and fumes. Low- or no-VOC paint products are virtually odor-free. If the smell still bothers you, opening a window to ensure plenty of fresh air is usually enough to remove any lingering odors quickly. 

9. If You’re Selling Your House, You Don’t Need to Paint

Buyers are more likely to purchase a home at a higher price point if it is move-in ready. Unless your paint is in excellent condition, applying a fresh coat of paint before putting your home on the market will likely result in a quicker sale at a higher price. 

10. DIY Is Cheaper Than Hiring a Professional Painter

Painting and all of the preparation beforehand take time and expertise. You’ll likely make some mistakes if you’re not an experienced painter. Mistakes may lead to purchasing additional supplies and tools, which can quickly add to the cost of your project. A professional paint job will last for years, so working with a professional painting company is always a good investment in your home. 

Trust the Professionals at The Painting Pros 

The Painting Pros, Inc. is a high-quality, award-winning painting contractor. Since 1978, we’ve served homeowners, business owners, and property managers across the San Jose area. We  have been recognized as one of the most reliable and professional contractors by customers on Angie’s List, Google, Yelp, and HomeAdvisor. Call (408) 418-9912 or contact us online to schedule a free estimate.


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