Painting the walls of an interior space is often a major part of any room makeover. Changing the wall color can cause a major transformation, but no matter if you are a painting expert or a rookie, everyone makes mistakes. Painting a wall might seem like an easy DIY project, but if you want the outcome to look professional, knowing how to fix common errors is essential.
Chances are you have made at least one of these mistakes during a past paint project. So, knowing how to avoid or fix them the next time around will help make your paint job flawless.
1. Using Cheap Brushes And Rollers
Home makeover projects can be expensive, especially if you are doing a complete interior renovation, so it makes sense that you might want to cut costs by buying the cheapest brushes, rollers, and tape you can find. But, if you want professional results, it is best to avoid the dollar store when buying your paint tools.
Investing in quality tools can help you avoid disaster. Cheap brushes can shed bristles during use, and cheap foam rollers can make painting more difficult than it needs to be. Quality bristles and rollers that are dense will apply paint evenly and quickly. The investment is well worth it, and if you wash the tools immediately after your project and take care of them, you can use them over and over.
The same thing goes for cheap paint sprayers, which can spray unevenly and quit working before your paint project is finished. And, if you think masking tape will work instead of painter’s tape, think again. Masking tape does not block out paint, so if you try to use it, you are wasting your time.
Buying quality paint and then going cheap on the applicators is a common mistake, and it can keep your project from looking the best it possibly can. It may seem like you are saving money, but in the long run, it can cost you.
2. Not Buying Enough Paint
Have you ever gotten near the end of painting a room and realized your paint can is empty? Not taking proper room measurements and messing up your estimates can be a costly error. Heading out to the store in the middle of a project is frustrating, and if you don’t get all of your paint on the first trip, the color from your second trip could be a bit different than the first since they mixed the paint at different times.
So, to avoid this common mistake, be sure to measure all of the surfaces you plan on painting, or you can use a paint calculator online. Typically, a gallon of paint covers 400 square feet, and be sure to factor in a little extra for later touchups.
3. Lack Of Preparation
Before you start painting, make sure that the surface is clean, so the paint goes on smoothly. After you wash your walls (a good mixture to use is warm water and vinegar), make sure they are dry and free of debris before getting started. A good way to do this is to vacuum the wall after wiping it down.
You also want to make sure to cover everything in sight with drop cloths, remove outlet and switch covers, and tape up doorknobs. Speaking of tape, using painter’s tape will keep your project looking professional because it will give you clean edges. Using it will help you to avoid accidentally painting crown molding, baseboards, and windows, just be sure to remove it before the paint dries completely, so you don’t peel any paint off.
Skipping the prep work is a common painting mistake, but if you take the time to prepare, it will save you a lot of hassle later in the project and help make your paint job look its best.
4. Skipping The Primer
Using primer is a long step in the painting process, but a necessary one to get a long-lasting finish. Skipping the primer is a common painting mistake, but when you are changing your wall color from dark to light, primer is especially important to make sure the old color doesn’t bleed through.
There is really no reason to skip the primer since you can buy paint and primer all in one. However, this only works when the wall has been previously painted and is in good shape. If you are working with new drywall or wood, concrete, or plaster, it is best to use traditional primer first and then paint over it.
5. Comparing Samples In The Wrong Light
Painting novices often make the mistake of picking out a color at the store (in the fluorescent lighting) and then ordering a gallon of it immediately. But, if you don’t take a sample home first and test it in the actual room’s light, it could be a disastrous move. Instead, to get the best idea of how that paint color will look in the room you are renovating, select a few colors that you like, and bring samples home to see what works best.
Make sure to have the light on in the room that you use the most, like an overhead fixture or lamps, and this will give you the best idea of how that color will look in that specific lighting environment. Then, swatch the color on the wall to make sure the color works how you want it to.
6. Using The Wrong Paint
With so many varieties of interior paint, plus different mixes and finishes, it can be easy to choose the wrong combination for your painting project, which makes choosing the wrong paint a common mistake. Glossy or satin finishes are best for high traffic areas, and in low traffic areas, flat or matte finishes are the best option.
Don’t be afraid to talk with someone in the store’s paint department because a professional can give you the best advice for what to use in your space.
7. Painting Over Wallpaper Or Super Glossy Paint
It may not seem like a bad idea to just paint over wallpaper when renovating, but it could actually cause a lot of harm. The paint’s moisture could seep into the wallpaper and reactivate the glue, causing it to peel and resulting in air pockets that will show through the paint. Or worse, the wallpaper’s weight will eventually push through the paint, and the wallpaper will start to fall off.
As for going over super glossy paint, new paint will not stick well to it, and there is a big risk of chipping, cracking, or discoloration. To avoid this mistake, gently sand the wall first, then wipe the dust away and clean it. Now the wall will have the grit for you to paint properly.
8. Getting Paint on the Ceiling
It is easy to bump the ceiling while painting, giving yourself extra work by having to do multiple touch-ups. To avoid this common error, roll your paint horizontally in a strip that is parallel to the ceiling and create a buffer zone. Then roll vertically up to the horizontal strip.