Ready to start in on your next painting project? For a professional look every time, keep in mind these mistakes that most homeowners make when attacking the job themselves.
1. Starting the project too early
You have a paint brush and a can of paint. Why not start on your room immediately? If you don’t prep the project first, your new paint won’t stick properly and you’ll be left with a poor paint job that won’t last. Dirty walls or walls with a high gloss finish means the paint won’t stick. Prepping means cleaning, sanding, priming, fixing holes and marks – anything needed to make your walls in prime condition and ready for the paint application.
2. Not prepping the room
Removing paint from furniture, lamps and accessories is a lot of work. Before you start in on the project, move small pieces out of the room, move larger pieces to the center and fully cover them with a drop cloth.
3. Failing to protect your floors
Paint has a funny way of going down and ending up in places you don’t want it to be. Paint is difficult to get out of carpets and rugs, and can ruin the finish on woods, cork and laminates. Before you pop open a can or work with a brush or roller, make sure your flooring is protected.
Yes, you’ll try to be careful around light switches, electrical plates and wall lighting fixtures. But even best intentions can go wrong. Remove everything you can first to give yourself the easiest time painting.
5. Buying the cheapest brushes
In every industry, there are a wide variety of products available to make your job easier. Painting is no exception. Brushes are made in a variety of ways with a variety of materials, and not all of them are the best tool for your particular job. For example, the best brush for latex based paint is a nylon/polyester blend.
6. Painting in the wrong conditions
Yes, you schedule the weekend to paint your house. But in some cases the weather may not cooperate. Paint used in high humidity will take longer to dry, putting your finish in jeopardy. Paint used in extreme temperatures – 70 in the day, 20 at night – can also lead to paint failures.
7. Underestimating the amount of paint
Ask a pro and they will tell you you’ll need one gallon of paint for every 400 square feet of wall space. Never skimp to try and make the paint do more, or roll it on thick to avoid second coats.
8. Skip the taping
Some people try and tape as they go. Or assume they’ll use a small enough brush they can paint around the details without making a mess. Nope. The pros know the only way to a clean finish with clean edges is to tape everything first.
You have a weekend to finish a project. Why not just skip the priming, avoid fixing the wall (you can always hand a picture over the mark anyway), and move everything back in as fast as possible? Impatience will put your newly painted walls at risk. Which means you may be repainting those very same walls again in the very near future.
10. Brush? Roller? Who cares
You have a brush in your garage, that’ll be the tool for the job, right? Not so fast. For large interior walls, a roller will do a better job in less time. Make sure you select the right nap roller for your paint and texture, and avoid pushing the roller into the wall when you paint.
11. Sloppy painting
Does it make a difference if the paint is dripping down the brush handle, or the edge of the pad is covered in paint? The more sloppy your tools, the more problems you’ll have to fix when the painting is through.
Your done. Why not clean up as fast as possible? If your paint isn’t dry, you risk scuffing up the walls as you move things, or removing tape too early and taking the paint with you. Never be in hurry to finish; the more you let it dry, the better finish you’ll have to enjoy in the coming years.