March 4, 2021

The Most Common Painting Mistakes and Tips on How to Avoid Them

The Most Common Painting Mistakes and Tips on How to Avoid Them

DIY wall painting can be a rewarding experience…but it isn’t always so easy! Painting your home can bring rooms to life, create spaces that feel completely new, and even increase your property value, but there are several painting mistakes that you should look out for.

At Oahu Pro Painters, we have years of experience renovating Hawaii homes and businesses, and we know all the painting mistakes to avoid and how to avoid them!

#1 Unexpected Colors

Unexpected Colors Painting Mistakes

Depending on the kind of paint you use and how many layers you intend to apply to your wall, the color you choose might actually look a little different on your wall. This is easily one of the most common painting mistakes.

The amount of natural light that your room receives may also change your perception of color, and the simple fact that a whole wall of color could be more overpowering than you thought is something to consider.

To really understand what a color will look like, be sure to perform a patch test on your walls. You’ll be able to see how many layers it takes until the paint takes the color you expect, and you can get an idea of what it looks like on your wall.

#2 Skipping the Prep Work

Another one of the most frequent painting mistakes we hear about from skipping preparation. We can’t stress this enough: skipping the prep work might feel like it’s saving time, but it will cost you in the long run.

Before you get to work, make sure that you have enough paint. That’s one of the most common problems people run into, and it’s one you can easily avoid. And remember, buying too much paint is never a problem as it ensures you have enough to touch up your walls in the future.

You should also remember to clean the walls and perform repairs to plaster before you get going. Applying high-quality paint to a dirty or damaged wall means you won’t get a smooth effect and you’ll never stop noticing the lumps, bumps, and dents!

#3 Cheap Materials

Cheap Materials Painting Mistakes

There’s nothing wrong with getting a good deal on paint and supplies, but using cheap products means you’ll get a cheap finish.

The same is true for cheap painting products. Budget brushes not only make it hard to apply even layers, but the bristles and hairs can easily become detached from your brushes and end up embedded in the paint on your walls. Cheap rollers might also leave small pieces of fabric and lint on the walls.

Remember, if you want to save money, look for discounted name-brand paint rather than cheap alternatives.

#4 No Primer

There’s a reason why primer is used before painting, and it’s not a good idea to skip it.

A primer helps seal the surface and ensure the paint doesn’t simply soak into the plaster. It means you’ll get a more even finish and could mean you need to apply fewer layers of paint. It’s also important if you’re painting a porous material like wood.

Without primer, you risk paint peeling early, particularly in a humid climate. While you might get several years out of a good quality paint job, without primer, you could see paint peeling or fading within a matter of months.

#5 Wrong Paintbrush

Wrong Paintbrushes Painting Mistakes

Not only should you avoid using cheap paint brushes, but you also need to use the right paintbrushes!

  • Oil-based paints should be applied with brushes made of natural filaments.
  • For acrylic, latex, and water-based paints, a synthetic brush is best. These brushes are easy to find in most stores and typically have white tips.
  • When painting furniture and flat surfaces, use a flat brush that helps you apply the paint with fewer strokes.
  • For paneled doors and cabinets, choose angular sash brushes that make it easy to paint in corners and crevices.

#6 Not Considering the Weather

Not considering the weather or the temperature is another one of the most serious painting mistakes to avoid, particularly in warm and humid climates. The sun, the wind, and the rain can help you determine what kind of paint to use when applying it and how often to apply it.

Even when painting interior rooms, bright sunlight can stop painted surfaces from drying properly. A wall lit by the sun can be as much as 20 degrees hotter than room temperature, meaning you should consider working in the shade. If the temperature is too high in one part of the room, it results in paint drying unevenly and may even cause bubbles and wrinkles.

If you’re painting an exterior part of your property, you should never paint within 24 hours of rain. Always ensure you are painting a dry surface to avoid trapping moisture beneath the surface of the paint.

#7 Wrong Finish

Wrong Finish Painting Mistakes

Another one of the classic paint mistakes is choosing the wrong finish! Not all paints are the same, and even if you love the color, it doesn’t mean the paint is right for you.

Matte finishes, for instance, are great options for bedrooms, which semi-gloss finishes are great for the kitchen because it is easier to wipe down and clean.

#8 No Painter's Tape

You might think you have a steady hand, but all it takes is one tiny slip to undo hours of hard work. Painter’s tape helps you avoid accidents and create seamless lines, and it doesn’t cost very much.

You can apply painter’s tape to virtually any surface as it doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue, and you can even use it to create patterns. When it comes to fixing painting mistakes, this is something that could save you a huge amount of time and effort.

#9 Too Much Paint

Too Mush Paint Mistakes

When you paint, you don’t need to dunk your brush. It might feel like the obvious thing to do, but it’s actually more effective to dip only the top third of the bristles into the paint. It means you don’t waste any paint that builds upon the bottom of the brush, and you don’t risk it dripping onto the floor as you paint.

Before pulling the brush out of the paint can, tap it gently on the side to remove any excess paint.

#10 Being Impatient

And finally, don’t be impatient. Painting can take time, and the years of enjoyment you get from a high-quality paint job are well worth the effort and the patience.

Once your first coat is dry, applying a second coat can fill in any spots you missed and create an even finish that is more durable and long-lasting. It looks better, too!

And if you’re not certain whether the job is done, wait a day and see what you think when it’s dry!


There are lots of things that can go wrong with DIY painting work, and hopefully, these tips will help you avoid common painting mistakes.

If you would prefer an expert to handle it for you, then Oahu Pro Painters can absolutely help you out. We provide Hawaii businesses and homeowners with interior and exterior painting services complete with color consultations.

For unbeatable service and great prices, call your local Oahu team today at 808-468-5604!

Sign up for a free estimate online today, or call us at 808-468-5604

The Most Common Painting Mistakes and Tips on How to Avoid Them
Written By:
Karl Van Zadnt

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