Avoid These Common Painting Faux Pas

By on August 5, 2015
avoid these painting faux pas

By Kayla Matthews –

Painting is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to freshen your space and change the look of a room. However, your painting project can go very wrong without proper planning. Avoid these common mistakes for a beautiful paint job every time: 

Improper Prep

Just because there is paint on the walls already doesn’t mean you can start painting without any prep. Take the time to clean the walls, patch holes and sand down rough spots. If you are painting over high gloss, you must gently sand the entire wall, and then wipe it clean. If you don’t, your new paint won’t stick.

If you are putting a new light color over an old dark color, don’t skip the primer. Primer will keep your new color true and help hide any defects in the surface you are painting. You can use an all-in-one paint plus primer mix if your surface is relatively smooth and has already been painted, but if you are working with a rough or bare surface, invest in a separate primer for a better finish.

Tape off trim, floors and the ceiling using blue painter’s tape. This can be time consuming, but it’s a vital part of having a crisp, professional-looking finish. In the end it will save you time because you won’t have to go back and touch up all the spots you accidently over-painted on the trim or ceiling.

Take the time to measure your room and accurately calculate the amount of paint you will need — and then buy more. Why go to this extreme? Paint mixed at separate times, even when using the same formula, can sometimes end up a different color. To ensure consistency in your paint color, have all your paint mixed at one time. You can use this online calculator to determine your paint amount requirements.

Poor Project Management

Now that you’ve got your walls clean and prepped, you must manage the actual project properly to ensure great results. This includes having the correct brushes and rollers for the job, knowing how to use the brushes and rollers effectively, using the right amount of paint and adding additional coats at the appropriate time.

Not all paint brushes are created equal, and not all brushes can be used for all paints. Brushes with natural bristles are best for oil-based paints only, while brushes with synthetic bristles can be used with water-based or oil-based paints. Don’t skimp on quality either. Paint brushes are not meant to be disposable, and with proper care, high-quality brushes will last through many projects.

There is a right way and wrong way to use a paint brush. For starters, don’t dip your brush into the paint the entire way up to the handle. You only need to dip the bristles about a third of the way into the paint.  

Don’t start painting in the middle of the wall. Start at the top and work your way down. When using a roller, make a “W” pattern on the wall to avoid obvious lines. If you are painting the trim, do this before the walls, which will give you sharper lines at the seams.

Don’t use too much paint in one coat. Instead, use several thin coats, and that will give you a smoother finish. Trying to cover the wall with too much paint at one time will leave unsightly drips on your wall.

Remove the painter’s tape one hour after you are finished painting. If you remove the tape too soon, you run the risk of smearing the paint. If you leave it on too long, it will adhere too securely, and you run the risk of pulling paint off the wall along with the tape. 

Allow proper drying time between coats. Twelve to 24 hours is recommended. If the second coat is applied too soon, it may cause streaking or uneven color application.

If you do not finish the paint job all in one day, simply wrap your brushes and rollers in plastic wrap. This will keep them moist and ready to go for a quick start the next day. Always close your paint tightly and remember to stir well after it’s settled for a while. 

Careless Clean Up

Don’t let your paint brushes become hard and brittle. Since you have invested in quality brushes, you must clean them thoroughly to ensure they will last for several projects. Paint thinner must be used for oil-based paints, but warm, soapy water is fine for water-based paints. Hang the brushes to dry to preserve the integrity and shape of the bristles.

Some kinds of paint are considered hazardous materials. Make sure you store or dispose of left-over paint properly. You may be able to keep the leftovers for future touch-ups or give them away to someone else who can use them.

If you can’t keep the leftovers or use them, find a place that recycles paint. The other option is to harden the paint by letting it dry out. You can also add cat litter or shredded paper to it. Once it is hardened, you can toss it in the regular trash.

Image by Life of Pix

Kayla Matthews is a writer and blogger with a passion for work productivity, human relations and managing the work-life balance. You can read more of her latest posts by following her on Google+ and Twitter.



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Avoid These Common Painting Faux Pas