Avoid These 3 Painting Mistakes!

Painting is an inexpensive and effective way to change a space, whether it’s for yourself or when staging a home for sale. 

To get the best results, make sure you don’t make these common mistakes!

Mistake 1: skipping proper prep

How good your project looks and how well it lasts depends on proper prep. We recommend prepping the day before you paint. That way, if problems come up you have time to fix them, or get back to the paint store if needed.

  • Make sure surfaces are dust free
  • Patch any holes (see our tip on smooth nail fills)
  • Prime patches
  • Ensure you have enough paint, of the right colour
  • Assemble your tools
  • Don’t forget drop-cloths and rags to wipe paint drips

Mistake 2: the wrong paint

Different paints do make a difference. And while we are definitely a fan of buying a high quality paint, that is not the only factor.

  • The sheen level (flat, semi-gloss, gloss) will affect durability. A flat paint in a stairwell or a bathroom is going to wear poorly. 
  • Wall paint on cabinets can peel and lift where the door and the frame touch. Cabinet paint does not.
  • Oil on latex will bubble and chip over time, just with the change of the seasons and movement of the house.
  • Special projects may require special paints or primers.
A painting error: picture shows a light blue wall with bright blue patches painted on it.
You may also want to make sure the paint you pulled out of your stash in the basement is ACTUALLY the right colour before you start….

Mistake 3: Not letting the paint cure

Paint takes about 30 days to cure, more if you’re painting in humid months (another reason why the winter months are painting months in the renovation cycle!)

Painted surfaces, including walls, should not be washed within the first month of painting. That is true no matter which sheen level you’ve used.

If you’ve painted a horizontal surface, like a set of bookshelves, make sure that you wait before putting things on them. Ideally, wait between 14 and 30 days before using the surface at all. 

If waiting isn’t possible, use shelf protectors, cut some scrap wall paper or other thick paper to fit, or use placemats. The heavier the items you’re placing on the surface, the more important it is that the surface be cured, or at least protected.

Need more help?

We’ve got a post on how to paint a wall with lots of pictures and techniques. And, of course, if you need help choosing colours, contact us about a colour consultation!

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