Top Painting Mistakes

Jul 26 2022 0 Comments

People love to spend time waiting their home. After all, a little elbow grease and a little money can lead to huge results that make your home look amazing and increase its value. One of the most common aspects of home DIY projects is painting. 

Whether you are just freshening an existing coat of paint or painting a new addition to your home, this can really make your DIY project pop. However, there are some common mistakes that people make when it comes to renovating their home. Here are the top five painting DIY mistakes that you’ll want to avoid on your next project.

top painting mistakes


This is probably the most common DIY mistake that I observe. The disappointing thing is that it is a really easy one to avoid. Some people do not realize that they need to prep the surface they are about to paint. Others may be excited to get to work or just think prepping the surface doesn’t add much to the project.

Failing to prepare your surface can lead to a finished project that doesn’t look that great. The steps that you take to prepare a surface will vary depending on what you are painting. If you are working with wood, you’ll want to fill cracks and nail holes and sand the surface until it is smooth.

For surfaces that have been previously painted, you will want to wash the surface, patch any holes, and apply primer to the entire area. If you are looking to paint a room that has wallpaper, you’ll first want to remove the wallpaper and clean all the adhesive underneath. You never want to paint over it. By prepping surface correctly, you are well on your way to a great final project.


Another thing that confuses a lot of DIY’ers when it comes to painting is knowing what type of sheen to use. Many people may not even fully understand the differences between types of paint sheens. Let’s take a look at the different types of sheens and where you will want to use each.

Flat. This gives a smooth finish but also is quite difficult to clean. You’ll opt for flat sheens on ceilings and in adult bedrooms. It can also work well in formal dining rooms.

Gloss/Semi-Gloss. These are durable and very resilient sheens that can resist scrubbing, making it great for frequently trafficked areas. They are great to use on trim, molding, doors, and cabinets.

Eggshell. Eggshell sheen gives a very subtle finish and is best used in areas that are less frequently used. Bedrooms, living rooms, and a dining room are good choices for eggshell.

Satin. This is probably the most versatile of all sheens. It can also be cleaned fairly easily. It can be used in many places including kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.


Obviously, many people are quite budget conscious, which is an excellent way to cut down on the cost of some DIY projects. However, when it comes to DIY, there are areas where costs can easily be cut and others where you want to make sure you have quality products. Unfortunately, if people want to save a few dollars by buying lower quality paint, there are probably not going to be happy with the final look.

The reality is that the quality of the paint you use and the tools used to apply it makes a big difference. This is one way where the saying, “you get what you pay for” is true. You want to purchase paint from reliable paint lines that are known for their quality. This will ensure that you get the finish you expect and that your paint will last for a long time. It will also prevent you from having to do constant touchups over the life of your project.

Another area where you definitely want to use quality products is with your brushes and rollers. You don’t need to break the bank for the most expensive ones in a shop but also don’t want to get the cheapest available. Quality brushes and rollers ensure that paint is applied smoothly and consistently. Finally, real painter’s tape allows for the crisp, straight lines that you want.


Patience is key for many things in life, and that is definitely that case when it comes to the painting portion of a DIY project. Quality painting simply takes time. I realize that painting can be a frustrating endeavor for many people, particularly when working on a large room. After a while, you just want to get finished.

However, rushing to finish painting can create a number of problems for you. Perhaps the most evident is simply not covering areas thoroughly. This will leave very evident spots that need to be touched up later. Often, you will discover spots in need of touch up weeks after you thought you were done.

Additionally, it is important to be patient when it comes to letting paint dry between coats. If you fail to do this, your second coat is going to end up clumping, streaking, or peeling because it won’t be able to adhere properly. Waiting a bit of time is definitely worth it.


Another mistake often seen involves using too little (or too much) paint. Too little is probably the more common of the two and is more of an intentional error. Many people convince themselves that only one coat will work. While this may be ok with new drywall that has a coat of primer, it isn’t suitable for any other situation. Go with at least two coats of paint for even coverage.

Using too much paint is often an unintentional mistake that occurs when someone simply oversaturates their brush or roller with paint. This can lead to running paint and drips. If you use too much paint on your brush, you’ll end up with a much more frustrating cleaning process as well.

Make sure to submerge your brush roughly one-third of the way in the paint and not any further. For rollers, you want to make sure the paint is not dripping off of the roller. If it is, you have far too much paint.


DIY projects are a fun way to spruce up your home. However, there are many common mistakes that people make. Painting is perhaps the most common element of DIY projects and avoiding these five common painting mistakes will help ensure you get the results you want.


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