Painting a room is an easy task. Just grab some brushes, rollers and paint and get to work. Right? The truth is, if you want to avoid the mistakes often made by do-it-yourself painters, you need to know a fair bit about preparation, paint grades, quality tools, colour palettes and good painting techniques. The following are the most common mistakes to avoid when painting your home.   

  • Lack of preparation: Preparation of the surface you are painting is crucial to a great paint job. If your walls are dirty, damp or not properly primed, drying paint may form bubbles and/or blisters. Wash the surface with soapy water, rinse and let dry completely. Patch and/or sand holes and indentations, removing the dust with a clean damp rag. Apply a primer to cover stains and increase adherence.
  • Not using painter’s tape: Taping ensures clean edges and a polished finish. Use quality painter’s tape and ensure that you seal it tightly to prevent bleeding. Tape around crown moulding, ceiling medallions, adjacent walls, support beams, built-in furniture, baseboards and window frames. Remove the tape before the paint is completely dry. 
  • Not buying enough paint: As the colour of paint may differ slightly if mixed at different times, ensure that you buy sufficient paint at the initial time of purchase. Take measurements and use a paint calculator to assist you in your estimation. Double-check your calculations with the experts at the paint or hardware store. Always buy a bit extra for touch-ups.
  • Using the wrong paintbrush: If using latex paint, purchase a brush with synthetic (nylon/polyester) bristles. Oil-based paint is best applied with a natural-bristle brush. Make sure you buy a top-quality brush. Subpar tools show tracking, fuzz, streaks and brush marks.
  • Ignoring the weather: High humidity slows down drying time, resulting in bubbles or blisters. When painting indoors, consider using a dehumidifier and/or fans to circulate air. If painting outdoors, wait till humidity drops and choose a day with temperatures below 29 degrees Celsius. Also, avoid painting in direct sunlight, if possible. Never paint when frost is forecast as paint doesn’t dry properly in freezing temperatures. 
  • Using low-quality paint: Low-quality paint fades, peels or develops mildew and other flaws. High-quality paint holds colour longer and resists peeling and blistering. Know what you’re buying. Ask lots of questions. Do your research. 
  • Skipping primer: Painting directly on some surfaces can lead to cracking and peeling. Primer provides a superior surface for the paint to adhere to, creating a beautiful finish.  It also covers stains and ensures a darker base doesn’t affect the final hue.
  • Not waiting before the second coat: Painting a second coat too quickly causes peeling paint and/or visible brush strokes. Follow the instructions on your paint can in regard to drying time between coats. If unsure, wait 24 hours.
  • Not guarding against moisture: Water infiltration causes paint to blister and/or peel, shortening the lifespan of your paint job. When painting the exterior of a structure, apply a quality caulk around doors, windows, cracks and holes. This will block water from ruining the finished product. 
  • Over-brushing: When painting woodwork, doors and/or cabinets, avoid too much brushwork as this causes brush marks and ridges. Cover an area, then use only a stroke or two to level it off. 
  • Painting over a glossy finish: A surface with an existing coat of varnish or glossy paint is not a good match for a new coat of paint. Before painting, rough up the glossy veneer using sandpaper or a liquid deglosser. 
  • Using the wrong sheen: The best application technique and quality paint cannot make up for choosing the wrong sheen. If your surface is marred, a high-sheen paint will accentuate the defects. Instead, choose a semi-gloss and make sure your surface is carefully prepared and perfectly smooth. 
  • Not sampling paint colours: Testing is the only true way to see how a shade will look in your home. Once you’ve selected the colours you think you want, visit your local paint retailer to pick up paint samples. Paint a large enough area on each wall so you can see how the light reflects on the colour. Examine the patches under natural and artificial light at different times of the day. 
  • Loading the paint brush/roller with too much paint: Saturating your brush and/or roller with paint leads to paint drips and makes cleaning your tool(s) a huge pain!
  • Not using drop cloths: You may think you’re a careful, methodical painter and accidents won’t happen. You’re wrong! Drop cloths are essential as paint splatter is inevitable. Take a few minutes and put down drop cloths. It’ll save you hours of scrubbing stubborn paint splatter off your floors. 

Most common paint problems can be avoided by proper preparation of the surface and the use of high-quality paint and primer. To ensure you meet these requirements, call a professional painting company. They have the knowledge, skill and experience to make sure your paint job is done right. Save yourself time and effort! Have it done correctly the first time!

Want to avoid paint problems? Need a professional painting company? Call the Calgary residential painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 917-0579. We have experience with exterior and interior painting. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour, and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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