The 8 Most Common Interior Painting Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them

eight most common interior painting mistakes & how to avoid them. CCC logo. cartoon image of tidy living room

The 8 Most Common Interior Painting Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them

Are you looking to spruce up your home, and worried you might makes some classic interior painting mistakes? Then you’ve come to the right place! Painting your home’s interior is a quick and easy way to bring new life to old spaces.  Plus, you can get the whole family involved! Before you get started however, you’re going to want to take a look at these 8 common painting mistakes.  This way you can end up with a professional looking result that you love.

Table of Contents

Interior Painting Mistakes #1

Not protecting your furniture & floors

It can be enticing to run down to your local hardware store, grab a gallon, and get straight to painting, but to make sure that the rest of your room is protected from the fallout you’re going to want to do some prep. It doesn’t have to be complex, but the more time you spend on preparation the easier cleanup will be.

not protecting your furniture and floors. Move your furniture out of the room being painted, and cover your floors with a high-quality drop cloth.

Consider covering any furniture or moving it out of the space completely to give yourself more room to work. You can buy plastic covers from your local hardware store to place on your floors to avoid any stains. If you want to go the extra mile, remove your doorknobs and light switch covers. This will save you the hassle of painting around them.

You’re also going to want to pick up a roll or ten of painters tape to protect your baseboards, windows, and ceilings. It’s a bit of a time consuming task but we promise it’s worth the trouble.

Interior Painting Mistakes #2

Not preparing your walls

A lesser known interior painting mistakes is failing to give their walls a good wash. Even a little time scrubbing away with some vinegar diluted in water will give your interior paint job a smooth and even finish.

You’re also going to want to apply a layer of primer to allow the paint to better stick and make the color more vibrant. This is especially important when you’re painting your interior walls a lighter color than they currently are. Just a little effort spent on preparation is all that it takes to give you a perfect painted wall.

not preparing your walls properly. Make sure your walls are clean and smooth before painting. Dirt & grease will prevent the paint from adhering properly.

Interior Painting Mistakes #3

Buying the wrong paint

Yup – you can buy the wrong interior paint for your walls. There are tons of different options for paint nowadays and, though this is nice to optimize your project, it can leave a lot of home owners confused on what’s the right move.

The best thing to do is to go to a paint store that has experts that will help you understand the difference between all the paint types, brands, and color tones out there. They can even help you understand lighting and help you pick the color that will look best. For some, this will require a custom mix while others you can get an off the shelf can just fine.

buying the wrong kind of paint.All paint is not created equally. Make sure you talk to the pros at the paint shop to get the right kind.

Interior Painting Mistakes #4

Getting the wrong finish

Paints come with a few different finishes. Flat being the more matte of the bunch, eggshell having slightly more sheen, and satin having the most of the three. If you’re painting trim, semi-gloss and gloss are the most popular choices to give that classic shiny look. It mostly depends on personal preference, but it’s a small stylistic choice that can really help elevate your space.

getting the wrong paint finish. Different rooms require different kinds of finish. Make sure you know what kind of finish works best in your space.

Interior Painting Mistakes #5

Buying too little paint

Another common interior painting mistake that often gets overlooked: not buying enough paint for your project is going to cause some serious bumps; the most obvious of course being that you won’t be able to finish it in one go. This interior painting mistake isn’t the end of the world, but having to go back and get more paint mixed means that you may not receive the exact same color as your first batch. It’s always a good idea to get a little more interior paint than you think you need. Even if you don’t use it all, it’ll be there in case you have any scrapes or scuffs that need to be touched up in the future.

interior painting mistakes -buying too little paint. Get more than you think you need. If you have to go back, the store may not be able to do an exact color match.

Interior Painting Mistakes #6

Using the wrong paint brush

Just like you can use the wrong kind of paint, using the wrong paintbrush will throw a serious wrench in your project and require you to put in way more effort than is necessary. It’s always a good idea to check in with your local hardware store on what brushes they recommend for your specific paint. As a rule of thumb you’ll want to use synthetic brushes with latex based paints and natural ones with oil based.

interior painting mistakes -using the wrong paint brush. Different kinds of paint require different kinds of brushes. Make sure you get the right ones for the job.

Interior Painting Mistakes #7

Painting in the wrong conditions

Have you ever been inside when it was too cold or too hot to paint, but went ahead with it anyway and ended up with bubbles in your paint once you finally got around to getting it done? Yep, that’s a classic interior painting mistake. Painting in extreme temperatures can be problematic because the paint could be too thick or too runny. It’s best to paint when the temperature is between 55 and 75 degrees as you’ll want to keep your windows open to avoid any accumulation of fumes.

interior painting mistakes - painting in the wrong conditions. Always be sure to follow manufacturer's guidelines when it comes to temperature and humidity.

Interior Painting Mistakes #8

Not letting your first coat dry

We know it can be annoying having to wait for your first coat of interior paint to dry before adding the next, but its crucial to getting a smooth and even finish. Seriously, this is one of the most common interior painting mistakes we see. You’ll want to wait at least 24 hours for oil based paint or 4-6 hours for other kinds. It draws out the process but it’s worth the wait.

Interior painting mistakes - not letting your first coat dry. All good things come to those who wait. Be patient when painting, and allow the first coat to fully dry.

As we have seen, interior painting isn’t quite as simple as it seems! That’s why there are interior painting professionals like the good people at Clear Choice Contractors.  Want to know more about how to choose a painter? Check out our article on how to choose a painting company, and then give us a call! 

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