Painting Mistakes: 7 Common DIY Mistakes and How to Fix Them | Architectural Summary


Mistake #3: Skimp on the primer

Yes, painting a room twice is boring, but using a primer is what achieves your chosen color with fewer coats of paint. Some paint colors, especially bright yellows, greens, reds and oranges, need a separate primer to look vibrant, notes Thompson. A paint job with “bleeding” (where the old color shows, especially when going from dark to light) is a fairly simple fix. Apply one or two more coats of paint until they are even. If you decide to spot the first, say pesky corner, make sure the end result blends in with the rest of the wall. In the end, the shortcut will make you do the same amount of painting. Next time, start with a fast-drying formula like Primer Clear. “It’s super thick, so one coat usually does the trick,” says Murphy.

Mistake #4: Painting a second coat before the first dries

No one likes to watch paint dry, but for this DIY, patience is a virtue. Rushing to apply a second coat before the first dries completely can pick up the first coat of paint and thin it. “This will result in uneven coloring, streaking, or even peeling,” says Murphy. “I recommend waiting two to four hours before applying a second coat, or even longer for an oil paint.” Think you can outsmart the science with a heavy hand hoping to completely skip a second coat? Don’t. You risk giving your surface a “wrinkled skin”. To harden a rushed paint job, wait for the paint to harden, then sand it to scrub it. Clean the area with a soapy sponge and clean water, let dry and reapply.

Mistake #5: Painting over a stain

To permanently remove a water or chemical stain, apply a stain-blocking primer or pigmented shellac, says Thompson, who suggests a water-based primer, such as ECOS Paints Stain Blocking Primer. “Sometimes it’s just not possible to treat an area without it being visible, in which case it’s necessary to repaint from corner to corner,” he says. If the stain is on a smaller surface, such as panels or kitchen cabinets, you will need to prime the entire surface.

Mistake #6: Waiting too long to remove painter’s tape

Indiscreet paint tape can be as bad as bikini wax. Pulling too hard will cause you to scream when removing a coat of paint. Use a razor to cut along the perimeter where the tape meets the trim or wall. For a clean edge, slowly remove the tape.

Mistake #7: The color is too dark

Ending up with a darker color than expected is a common painting mistake for novices. Paint usually appears darker than on a paint chip, especially in a room with minimal natural light. Adding lamps, but not ceiling lights, can make a big difference. To further offset the dark hue, add decorative accessories with reflective surfaces to bounce the light around, says Nadia Watts, of Denver. Nadia Watts Interior Designwho recommends a brass tray, a large glass bowl or a gold side table, for example.

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