The 7 Most Common DIY Painting Mistakes



At Value Painting, we know there is nothing more annoying when doing a DIY remodel or decorating than trying to live with an unsatisfactory paint job. In fact, it’s not really all that rare for a Nashville resident to call us up to fix an unfortunate mistake they made themselves. Common mistakes, such as rushing to add a second coat of color, or not taking the time to select the right brush or roller for the job are small errors that will show up magnified on your walls. To avoid common painting mishaps, keep these tips in mind to achieve the perfect paint job in your home. Here are the top seven most common mistakes people make while painting, and how to prevent them.


The Big, Bad 7:


1 – Painting the Ceiling Last

Many homeowners make the mistake of painting their walls first, then painting the ceiling. If you are painting both the walls and ceiling, it is important to begin painting the ceiling first. Otherwise, paint dripping from the ceiling may drip and ruin your freshly painted walls.


2 – Applying Latex Paint over Oil-Based Paint

It may seem like a time saving shortcut, but if you apply latex paint over an oil-based formula, you will pay for in the end with cracking and peeling paint. The tough answer: prep work is important. Sand down oil-painted surfaces before attempting to apply a new coat of a latex-based paint.


3 — Over Applying Paint

This is definitely a situation where less is more. While applying one super-thick coat of paint and calling it a day is appealing, you will end up with a tacky surface filled with gloppy drips. Distribute the paint evenly by rolling off the excess. Rolling in a large “W” shape across the wall, cover a large area. Follow up by going over this initial layer with overlapping vertical strokes to cover the wall evenly.


4 — Using the Wrong Tools

One brush does not fit all. For latex-based paint applications, purchase synthetic polyester or nylon-blended brushes. Synthetic bristles do not react well to oil-based paint compounds, and will fall out – often all over your wall. There are times when a paintbrush is the best tool, and others a roller is best. Because there are many different types of rollers and paintbrushes, invest in the best painting tools for the type of paint being used and the surface you are painting.


5 — Skipping the Primer

Primer creates a solid undercoat when going from dark surfaces to light, resulting in a better finish and less premium paint being used. For absorbent surfaces like wood, primers help with coverage and adherence. In the end, taking the time to prime makes the job easier.


6 — Underestimating Paint Required

More is usually better when it comes to paint volume. Experts recommend that you purchase at least one gallon for every 400 square feet. By purchasing spare paint, you know the color will match, and you will not have to run back and forth to the store for more. If you have extra unopened cans, you can often return it – if you have a little left over, you have a handy supply of touch-up paint.


7 — Being Impatient

Painting a second coat too soon is no time-saver. When it comes to painting, not waiting until the first layer is dry before applying second coat will completely mess up your paint job. It will result in paint buckling and pulling off, as well as visible brush strokes. In Nashville, for the fastest drying times, paint when the temperature is above 60 degrees or below 90. While most paint labels state how long to wait between coats, we recommend holding off on a second coat for 24 hours.


Make a Mistake?

If you can avoid these 7 major painting mistakes, your chances of completing a successful painting job go up drastically. However, these are only a few of the hundreds of mistakes you could make and not surprisingly, some of the biggest painting mistakes are the result of minor oversights.

What is the biggest painting mistake you have ever made? Share it with us below, especially if it’s a good story! We love a good story!

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