9 Painting Mistakes to Avoid
For a flawless interior paint job, you’ll want to avoid these nine common mistakes.
1. Skipping Prep Time
Typically the biggest difference between a DIY job and a professional one is the lack of proper preparation. While homeowners are generally anxious to get started on their project as quickly as possible, they don’t realize that professional painters spend the majority of their time on prep. Walls need to be cleaned, scraped, taped and patched before any actual painting begins.
2. Using Cheap Brushes and Paint Rollers
To put it simply, don’t cheap out on the applicators. Good brushes and rollers provide better coverage and actually save on paint in the long run. Plus, quality brushes that are well taken care of will last for years.
3. Using Masking Tape Instead of Painter’s Tape
Pros invest in high-quality tape, and so should you. When you apply it, use a putty knife or mini scraper to remove air bubbles and seal the edges of the tape (not your finger). This will prevent drips and establish sharp lines.
4. Going Without Primer
Primer covers flaws and ensures you get a smooth, long-lasting finish. While standard all-in-one paint and primer mixes are fine for previously painted, non-glossy surfaces that are in good shape, painting over a more difficult surface like plaster, wood, concrete, glossy paint, or stained/porous drywall, will require a stand-alone primer or a premium all-in-one mix designed specifically to cover unpainted surfaces.
5. Using Flat Paint in a High-Traffic Space
For utilitarian spaces that are more rough-and-tumble, such as laundry rooms and closets, washable satins or semi-glosses are a better choice than flat paint.
6. Painting Over High-Gloss Paint Without Sanding
It is important to lightly scuff any shiny surfaces with sandpaper before covering it with paint. In order for new paint to adhere effectively, it needs some texture. However, after roughing up the surface, be sure to rinse off any dust with clean water before you apply the paint.
7. Dipping Your Brush Into the Paint too Far
To avoid waste and pushing the paint deep into bristles, which is really hard to clean, dip your brush only a third of the way into the paint. You’ll get plenty of paint on your brush and avoid a lot of hassles.
8. Painting Aimlessly
For the smoothest finish, always start painting near the ceiling and work your way down. This way you’ll be able to catch drips as you work.
9. Skipping Cleanup
No matter how tired you are at the end of a paint project, protect your investment by washing out all brushes, rollers and paint pans right away. Clean your brushes thoroughly with water and dish detergent, and then wrap them in airtight plastic wrap or aluminum foil. If you store them in their original packaging, they will maintain their shape.