Painting a wall is a fairly straight forward thing to do. But there are several mistakes that can make it a nightmare task. In this post I'll talk about my top three painting mistakes, and how to avoid them.
For several years between high school and college I worked at a paint store. I worked at the same paint store part time while I set up my Lenore Brooks Design business, so all in all I have eight years of experience helping people figure out what they need. I could probably write a book about it, but today I'm sticking to the top three mistakes I saw over and over again.
1. Not doing the proper prep
Preparing the space to be painted is by far the most important and tedious task of painting. But proper prep can be the difference between a paint sticking and looking good, and having a mess on your hands.
Make sure you:
2. Not knowing what you are covering
This is a step that is more important in older houses or if the existing paint is not sticking. Oil paint was used often up till the early 2000's for trim, bathroom and kitchens, hallways and doors. In some cases the whole house would be done in oil paint. There is nothing wrong with it, but latex or acrylic paint won't stick to oil paint - it will bubble and peel. Even if it sticks immediately, the first humid heat wave you have the paint will start to lift. It can be a huge mess to scrape off and try to resurface. But don't worry! I have an easy solution.
Take a cotton ball with some nail polish remover and rub the wall or trim. Latex is removed by the polish remover, and oil is unchanged. If you have latex, charge on ahead. If it doesn't change and you have oil paint, you need to take one additional step before applying your top coat. Do all your prep as in step one, then use an oil primer first, and when that is dry use a latex paint on top. You will have no problems, and won't need to use the oil primer a second time.
3. Not painting two coats
So you think you have gotten away with one coat? Think again. In order for there to be a solid film of paint on the wall with a consistent sheen, colour and durability, you need to do two coats. Period. Unless you are refreshing a wall with the same colour and type of paint, there will be imperfections that will effect the durability and the looks until the wall is painted again.
The second coat usually takes less paint, and the edging is faster as well. It is worth doing well - after all, you did all the prep work, checked your paint, and have worked hard! Make the job look great! Even paints that have primer in them or advertise that they are a one coat paint don't really stand up to the test. I have tried them and they don't stand up to my standards nor should they to yours.