Do It Yourself » Rookie Mistakes That Can Ruin Your First Paint Job

Rookie Mistakes That Can Ruin Your First Paint Job

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Is it time to give a room in your house a fresh new look? One way you could accomplish this goal is by adding a lively new color of paint to the walls.

While hiring a professional painter is certainly an option, it may be more affordable to do the job yourself, provided you know what you’re doing, of course.

There are a number of ways to use paint to increase your home’s appeal. However, If you’ve never tackled an indoor painting project before, here are three common mistakes to try and avoid that rookie painters often make.


Rookie Mistakes That Can Ruin Your First Paint Job

1Forgetting to Scrub Down the Walls

When you apply a coat of paint to a wall inside your home, the adhesive properties in the paint allow it to stick to the wall as it dries. But if there is a coating of dust and grime on the wall, it will be difficult for the paint to stick properly.

Make sure you give any wall you intend to paint a robust scrubbing, even if it doesn’t appear to be dirty to the naked eye. Keep in mind that it is also important for the walls to completely dry before you start applying paint.

2Using the Wrong Kind of Paint

Did you know that not all paints are created equal? The two most common kinds of paint are latex-based and oil-based. While more durable in the long run, oil-based paint takes substantially longer to dry, smells terrible, ample ventilation is highly recommended, and requires mineral spirits such as paint thinner or turpentine to clean up.

Latex paint is less durable but is considerably easier to clean-up and various scents can be added to the paint. It is critically important to know which type of paint is currently on your walls before starting a new paint job. Adding a layer of latex-paint onto a wall that already has an oil-based coating is a recipe for disaster.

Mixing multiple paint types together will cause the fresh coast to not dry properly, and then you’ll not only have to start all over, but you’ll have a runny, gloppy, textured mess to contend with.

If you are unsure about what kind of paint is currently on your walls, take extra care in preparing the surface first. Lightly sand or scuff the surface with a piece of sandpaper or sanding sponge, then wash down the surface with trisodium phosphate (TSP).

Invest in a good coating of primer to help the new coat stick to the walls, we generally prefer Kilz brand as it provides excellent coverage and hides stains well.

If you’re unsure of which type of paint was previously used simply pour a small amount of nail polish remover (or acetone) on a cloth and gently rub a small area of the surface you wish to test. If the paint comes off onto the cloth, it’s latex paint. If nothing comes off, it’s oil-based.

3Never Paint After a Rainstorm (or a Shower)

Is your next painting project in the bathroom, the kitchen, or another area of the house where humidity can sometimes build up? Take extra precaution to make sure that any and all moisture on the walls is completely gone before starting a new paint job.

Run the fan in the bathroom and keep the door open after you get out of the shower or turn on the fan above the oven in the kitchen to make sure that any humidity and moisture dissipates.

It also may be a good idea to avoid painting during or after a rainstorm outside the house. Any amount of moisture at all on the walls can throw a wrench into your painting project because the paint will not dry as it should.

If you’re unsure of how much paint you’ll need for your particular project here is a helpful interior paint calculator.

Doing your own painting inside the house can be a great way to save money when compared to hiring a professional, but make sure you are not wasting time and resources by making one of these rookie mistakes.

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