7 Common Painting Mistakes

House Painters

7 Common Painting Mistakes

Seven Common Painting Mistakes

It can be easy to make a mistake when painting, whether you’re a do-it-yourself type or a professional painter with little experience. Below are five common painting mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

1) Choosing the Wrong Color

The first place you can go wrong is by selecting the wrong color. If you’re using a paint chip to choose a color, you’re far more likely to go wrong! The best way to select a paint color is to paint some samples on several walls of the room. Then return to check the color throughout the day as the natural light changes. Color can and will change throughout the day depending on the light.

Paint chips seem like an easy way to select a color, but more accurate methods exist. What you see on the chip will likely look different from the color once it’s on your walls. Always buy a sample size of the paint and paint it onto several walls. Be sure to check the color in both artificial and natural lights.

2) Failure to Prep the Space

One of the mistakes many D.I.Y. homeowners make is the failure to correctly prep surfaces before painting. Prep work can be anything from fixing wall damage to sanding or priming. Skipping correct preparation risks the end result. Time spent preparing a surface will save you time and money. It also helps ensure a professional-looking result!

3) Failure to Use a Primer

Too many folks skip using a primer before painting. This can be a critical mistake. If you’re painting new drywall, you must prime first because bare drywall is very porous and will absorb the paint’s first coat. Use a primer first to paint over a dark surface or vibrant color. And as we just said, if you’re painting over a high-gloss surface, you’ll want to use a primer or deglosser first.

4) Using Low-Quality Tools

Quality matters when selecting your paint brushes and rollers. The quality of your tools will make a big difference to the results. Using low-quality products will influence quality results and appearance. It’s worth your time to invest in quality paint brushes and rollers.

5) Extreme Temperatures

Be mindful of the weather and temperatures if you’re painting outdoors. Paint and extreme temperatures don’t do well together, whether you’re painting or just storing the paint. You should avoid storing paints in rooms that aren’t climate controlled.

Avoid painting when it’s freezing or very hot outdoors. Freezing temperatures can prevent paint from drying correctly, and painting in extremely hot weather can cause the paint to dry too quickly before you can do even strokes or cause the paint to bubble.

6) Glossy Finishes & Paint

If you paint over a glossy surface, you’ll need to prepare the surface first, or the new paint coat won’t stick. Be sure to sand the surface or use a deglosser or primer first.

7) Painting Accidents

Accidents happen, but some are more avoidable. An all too common mistake is not being careful where you place the paint can. Children, pets, you, and others (even you) can trip on or knock over a paint can and create a substantial mess.

Another common issue is dripping paint on walls when applying (too much) paint. You can also get paint onto the ceiling as you paint the walls. (Avoid this by taping or doing a horizontal paint stripe along where the wall and ceiling meet. Then paint vertically up to that strip.)

Be careful where you place a paint can or tray, and keep pets and children away from your workspace. Lastly, be mindful of your movements around wet paint.


We hope these tips are helpful to you, whether you’re painting yourself or hiring a paint contractor. Even if you’re hiring someone to do the work, it’s useful to understand what they’re doing and why.

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