When it comes to interior and exterior painting, many people like to take a DIY approach. It saves on the cost of having to hire a professional up front, but could end up costing more in the long run. You might believe that all you need is a can of paint and some brushes, but really there are crucial elements to keep in mind, to ensure your project comes out looking perfect. Painting should be left to a trusted professional, but if you decide to do-it-yourself, learn from these top mistakes before starting!
Low Paint Quality
When choosing the paint for your home, it is always best to go with a higher quality product. Cheap paints are not as flexible and resistant to temperature changes, causing the paint to crack, chip, blister, etc.
Dirty Exterior Surface
When painting the exterior of your home, it is crucial that you wash all surfaces to be painted. Dirt & grime make it difficult for the paint to stick the surface. After washing allow plenty of time for drying.
Many people choose to forego adding primer to their walls before painting. This is OK to do if you are just painting over a previously painted surface. If the wall has never been painted before, it is highly recommended to apply primer to help achieve a more consistent finish. Primer is also cheaper than paint. By using primer, you won’t have to use as many coats of paint to make the color pop!
Misapplication of paint is a common occurrence, especially when a person has never painted their home before. This means overspreading paint or applying too thin a coat. If you apply paint incorrectly it will not last as long than if you took the time to spread a nice even coat.
Choosing the right paint for your home is no easy task, even for experienced painters. There are just so many colors, finishes, & coatings to choose from. Luckily, you’ll have an experienced painter to help you or a do-it-yourself guide like this one to go by. Before choosing just any paint, ask yourself these questions to help you select the right paint for your home.
How much time do you have for this project?
If you need the job done quickly, consider using a “paint and primer” product which acts as two coats in one. This will help speed things up because you won’t have to apply individual coats of primer and paint.
How often do you paint your home?
If you answered infrequently or never, then you will want to use a very durable paint that will last, and look good over time. For durability, the best option to use is a high quality, 100% acrylic latex interior paint.
Are you sensitive to paint smell?
If you or members of your family are sensitive to that paint smell, or just don’t like it, go with water-based latex paints. These types of paints have little to no odor compared to oil based paints, clean up easily, and stick well to interior surfaces.
Will there be a lot of activity in the room?
Your walls can easily become stained, especially if the room is used often. Kitchens walls are prone to stains from all the cooking and cleaning. In this case use a high gloss or semi-gloss paint, which resists staining and makes cleaning easier than other types of paints.
Consider the Atmosphere
If you want a room with a comfy feeling choose warmer paint colors such as red, orange, and yellow. For a calming feeling, great for bedrooms, choose cool colors such as blue, green, & lavender. To promote cleanliness, such as in a bathroom or laundry room, go with whites, blues, & turquoises. If you are painting your home office, green is known to increase concentration.
If you’re like many parents, your children will bring out their inner Picasso all over your beautiful walls at some point or another. The important thing here is to not panic and grab a harsh cleaner and start scrubbing away! You’ll probably end up doing more damage than good. There are many ways to get rid of that abstract piece of childhood art easily and quickly!
Before using a cleaner that may harm your walls, try these solutions first:
- Clean Magic Eraser – this little wonder is great for removing ink, crayon, marker, and more!
- Baby Wipes – cleans easily and gently
- Rubbing alcohol – Use a very small amount on a cotton ball or swab and rub gently
- Toothpaste – Try leaving a little white non-gel toothpaste on a mark for 5-10 minutes, then wipe clean.
If those don’t work, try this:
For latex paint, mix 2-3 drops of dish detergent in a bucket filled halfway with water. If you don’t have dish detergent, you can substitute 2-3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Soak a sponge in the mixture, then ring it out. You don’t want to create drip lines all over your walls. Just leave it damp enough to clean with.
For oil-based paint, you can try using the method above, but because oil-based paints are a little more enduring than latex, you can use a mild degreaser. This is especially helpful in the kitchen, on walls near the stovetop.
For any method, never use a coarse scrubber. Always use a normal sponge or soft cloth!