The 8 Painting Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

At the foundation of a great many DIY projects and crafty makeovers is one unifying medium: paint. It's the fastest way to transform rooms, furniture, lamps, planters, and so much more. While the whole process is quite simple, it's also surprisingly simple to muck up your paint project with a few silly mistakes. Flip ahead, see how many you've committed in prior paint jobs, and steer clear of these common pitfalls for a more polished and professional outcome the next time around.

Choosing Inferior Applicators

Painting Tools

After spending big bucks on paint, you might be inclined to buy cheap brushes and rollers in effort to cut costs. However, in order to get professional results, you’ll need to start with good quality tools. Investing in applicators is well worth the extra expense.

Related:  The Only 7 Tools You Need to Paint Any Room 

Improper Preparation

Paint Preparation

When it comes to painting, you always want to start with a blank slate. Wash your walls and make sure all repair work is done prior to applying any paint. For paint to go on smoothly, your wall should be clean, dry, and free of any loose debris.

Related:  How To—Clean EVERYTHING 

Skipping the Tape

How to Use Painters Tape

Attention to detail is what separates good work from great work. For clean lines and professional-looking results, don't skip the painter’s tape. Taping ensures that you’ll have the crisp edges you want. To prevent bleeding, make sure the tape is sealed tightly around baseboards, windows, and molding.

Related:  How To Paint Stripes on a Wall

Leaving Surroundings Unprotected

Protect Your Surroundings

Paint has a habit of ending up in places we never intended. Before even opening the can, make sure your work zone is protected. If you can, move out all the furniture take off all the wall plates. Then, cover the entire floor with a drop cloth. You'll thank yourself for this 10-minute prep when you're not scrubbing paint splatter off wood flooring later. 

Painting Without Primer

Paint Primer

Never ever skip the primer. This step preps the wall surface so paint sticks more easily, plus it ensures the true color of the paint shines through. These days, you can even buy a two-in-one paint and primer—doesn’t get much easier than that. 

Dunking Your Paintbrush

Painting Techniques

When you submerge a paintbrush entirely in paint, the paint can dry in the bristles and be harder to clean later; similarly, a large dunk for a roller can mat down the roller. Instead, only dip your paintbrush about a third of the way into the can. Two bonuses? You’ll be saving paint and avoiding any unwanted drips of paint. 

Applying a Second Coat Too Soon

Second Coat of Paint

You can ruin your entire paint job by not allowing enough time for the first layer of paint to dry before adding a second coat. Check the instructions on your paint can for a suggested dry time, and if you’re still unsure, give it 24 hours.

Related:  10 Top Tips to Make Any Paint Job Go Faster 

Letting Extra Paint Dry Up

Paint Recycling

If you don't take the proper precautions, your touch-up paint can dry out so that it's virtually unusable by the time you need it. For water-based, cover the top of the can with a piece of clear plastic wrap before you seal it up to help extend the life of the leftover paint; for oil-based paints, add a half-inch of water to the surface before closing.

Related:  9 Things You Can Do with 1 Gallon of Paint 

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