Painting your home seems simple – just choose your wall color, grab a brush and a can of paint, and get to work. Too often, we forget that there’s more to it than that. The condition of the walls, including cracks and dirt, can cause difficulties once the application of the color begins. Here are the four most common painting mistakes, and tips on how to avoid them.
1. Not thoroughly cleaning the walls
Forgetting to clean the area you want to paint before your break out the brushes can be a big misstep. Sure, it’s not fun to wipe down walls, but doing so ensures that your paint will go on nice and smooth. If the walls in the room you want to paint have grease on them, a frequent occurrence in a kitchen, you should use a super strong degreaser. Dilute one measure of the product with five measures of water and apply with a brush or spray. If the layer of grease is very thick, dilute one measure of the degreaser in only two measures of water.
Remember to ventilate the area thoroughly before degreasing. When applying a spray-on degreaser, be sure to use rubber gloves, a mask, and safety glasses.
2. Ignoring cracks
Before you apply paint, you should seal any small cracks or holes in the wall. Make sure the surface is dry and free of particles. Next, find the right spackle for the surface and type of imperfection you are repairing, and apply it.
Once dry, use sandpaper to smooth the surface and a damp cloth to remove any dust created.
Tip: If you want to make sure that the surface is completely smooth, illuminate it at all angles with a flashlight – the imperfections will be revealed by their shadows.
3. Not neutralizing the existing color
If the place you’re going to paint is a strong color and you want to apply a softer hue, you must first neutralize the previous color, so you will not waste paint trying to cover it with many unnecessary coats.
First, apply a primer. Doing so will help override the strong color. Apart from sealing the surface, the primer will serve as bonding agent. Allow the primer to dry for a couple of hours before painting the wall with the new color.
Wall primers are guarantee maximum surface sealing, maximum paint adherence, and uniformity of application with maximum brightness.
4. Painting doors incorrectly
To ensure that a door is nicely painted, you’ll likely need to dismount it and remove the hinges and the door lock, so they don’t get spotted with paint. Check the edges of the door and, if there are imperfections, cover them with a corrective paste. Once the paste is dry, smooth it down with sandpaper and remove any residue with a damp cloth. Determine whether or not you need to use a primer (if the door is a darker color and you want to paint it a lighter color, it’s bare wood, or you’re switching between types of paint like oil and latex, you’ll likely need to use primer), and then apply paint with a roller or brush.