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7 Common House Painting Mistakes And Their Solutions

Key Takeaways:

Watch out for the following amateur painting mistakes:

  • Painting woodwork without conditioner
  • Using too many brush strokes
  • Using a high sheen on uneven surfaces
  • Spray painting without covering furniture

Painting your house can be a formidable task. There are so many colors to choose from, and you want to ensure that the finished product looks great. However, your house painting project can spell doom for your house if you’re not careful.

Not to worry! This blog post will uncover some of the most common painting mistakes people make and provide solutions to help you avoid them.

Error 1: The Color Conundrum

Before you even begin splashing paint on your walls, you must decide on a color. This can be harder than it sounds. Do you want a light or deep color? A cool or warm tone? The options are endless!

When house painting, many homeowners make the mistake of choosing a color they like at a store and then coming home to find that it doesn’t look quite the same on their walls. The light in your house can change how a color looks, so it’s essential to test out paint colors in your own space before making a final decision.

To counter this problem, ask for a sample amount of paint from the store and dab a small patch on your wall. Inspect your desired color in natural and artificial light to see how it will look in different parts of the room.

Error 2: Beginner Brushwork

Over-brushing is a genuine concern when you’re a beginner at painting rooms, especially in the case of woodwork and doors. Too many brush swipes will leave visible brushstrokes in the paint job, with uneven ridges and peaks. If you can see your brushstrokes, your paint job will likely look amateurish and uncomfortable.

Load your brush with paint to avoid over-brushing and cover the area as quickly as possible without overworking the paint. Before the coat dries, use one or two strokes to level out the paint and smooth any visible brushstrokes.

Error 3: Serious Spray Paint

Spray paint is a fast and fun method for painting your house. The ease of painting with a can of spray paint can often result in over-spraying, which is when paint unintentionally gets on surfaces you didn’t intend to paint.

Over-spraying can be avoided by using a drop cloth or paint shield to protect areas around the painting surface. Another method is to tape off areas you don’t want to paint with painter’s tape.

If you spray paint the exterior of your house, don’t take your chances on a windy day. Unless your neighbor won’t mind the impromptu graffiti on their house, painting on a windy day is a surefire way to get paint where you don’t want it. The best time to spray paint is when the air is still, either early in the morning or later at night.

Error 4: The Sheen Sham

Paints don’t only feature different colors but also different levels of sheen. You can get anywhere from glossy to flat sheens, with a few in between.

When painting rooms, many neglect the sheen aspect and opt for the paint with the color they want. But the right sheen can make a big difference in painting rooms!

For example, if you’re painting a rough surface, don’t be fooled into smoothing out imperfections using a high sheen. If anything, this will make them more pronounced. Paint with a low or semi-gloss sheen is best for rough surfaces as it won’t highlight imperfections.

On the other hand, painting the areas with plenty of natural light might benefit from a high sheen. This will help reflect light and brighten up the space.

When purchasing glossy and flat sheens, label them so you don’t get them confused. If you don’t, you won’t realize your mistake until the paint is already on the wall!

Error 5: The Finishing Factor

We’ve looked at glossy sheens in paint, but what about surfaces with glossy finishes? You might be surprised that painting over a glossy surface can be more complicated than a rougher one.

You’ll need to sand it down if you’re brushing over a glossy surface. This will allow the paint better adhesion and give you a satisfying finish. One pro tip would be to wipe the area with a liquid de-glosser before painting.

Neglecting to remove a glossy finish such as varnish or paint will cause the new paint to peel. In extreme cases, it can even lead to bubbling. If you’re painting over a glossy surface, prep the area correctly!

Error 6: Keep with the Conditioner

When painting walls, a little conditioner will go a long way when applying it to woodwork like cabinets and doors.

Splashing on thick, gloppy paint is a painting mistake we see all too often. More isn’t better in this case! It’ll just make the job harder. Adding conditioner to latex paint will give you the consistency you need for a smooth finish on woodwork.

Like to know how to get the best results in your home painting project? Family Handyman has pro tips for you to see.

Error 7: Popcorn Problem

Have you ever heard of a popcorn-textured ceiling? Many homeowners make the mistake of slathering just any paint on their ceilings when painting rooms.

With popcorn-textured ceilings, however, a little more delicacy is necessary. Applying the wrong paint to a popcorn ceiling can cause it to sag, become brittle, and even peel.

Patch-testing is crucial when painting a popcorn ceiling. Use a sample of the paint you plan to use on a small, inconspicuous ceiling area first.

If all goes well, then you can proceed with painting the rest of the ceiling. But if not, it’s better to find out before you’ve painted the entire surface!


Planning your first painting project can be challenging. But with some research and preparation, you can avoid making some of the most common painting mistakes. If you’d like more pro tips for your house painting in Montgomery, OH, check out our blog for a flawless exterior paint job.

By following the tips in this article, you’ll be well on your way to painting like a pro in no time!

And if you need help, contact the professional team at DeltaPro Painters for high-quality residential interior painting, residential exterior painting, and more.

Get a free estimate today!