Painting is one of the cheapest ways to breathe new life into an old home and it’s easy to DIY too. However, ensuring your DIY paint job looks professional can be a little harder than it seems. Dulux consumer experience manager and expert in paint and painting, Ewan Sprong tells us about the eight most common mistakes DIY-ers make when painting, and how you can avoid making them yourself.
PROBLEM: Not doing a thorough surface preparation
SOLUTION: “Prior to commencement of your project the surface must be thoroughly cleaned, sanded and free of all contamination and loose flaking paint. It is always best practice to do an adhesion test first to ensure the existing paint is adhering well to the surface to avoid adhesion issues later.”
“Check the adhesion of the old paint by cutting an X through a clean area of the film with a sharp blade, press cellulose tape firmly across the cut and rip it off. If the old paint comes off with the tape it should be removed before starting on your project.”
PROBLEM: Using flat paint in high-traffic areas
SOLUTION: “The use of flat paint in high-traffic areas will mark and scuff more frequently. It is best to apply a washable low sheen acrylic or semi-gloss acrylic. They are a great choice for high-traffic areas. Flat/matt paints are generally good for areas that are not subjected to high traffic, or for areas that experience glaring light.”
PROBLEM: Choosing the wrong colour
SOLUTION: “The best thing to do when making these kinds of colour decisions is to purchase a few 3mm MDF sheets. Prime them and when dry, paint them with a few colour samples you find appealing. After the colours have dried, place them around your home to view the colours in various lighting of the day and night.”
Tip: If you’re selling your home, keep it neutral and don’t choose bright colours!
SOLUTION: “For the smoothest possible finish when painting doors, windows, or timber avoid too much brushwork. Load your brush with a good amount of paint, and quickly cover the area. Then use a stroke or two to level it off. Repeatedly brushing over the same area, particularly once the paint has started to dry, will cause streaks and an uneven finish. It is always best purchasing a good quality brush that will mirror a good finish and save you a lot of time in recoating.”
PROBLEM: Painting the ceiling last
SOLUTION: “If you’re painting your ceiling as well as your walls it is very important to paint your ceilings first with a product. Otherwise, there’s a very good chance that your new paint job on the walls could be spoiled with drips or splatter of paint from the ceiling.”
PROBLEM: Forgetting the importance of an undercoat
SOLUTION: “Depending on the integrity of the surface you will require a high-quality undercoat. Applying an undercoat has great benefits such as opacity/coverage over dark colours, filling properties as well as stain-blocking properties, and will provide much better adhesion to the surface and give you a better finish.”
PROBLEM: Disregarding the weather and re-coat timeframes
SOLUTION: “Paint doesn’t handle extreme temperatures very well, so if you’re planning on getting started on your project, be sure you’ve checked the local weather forecast first! High levels of humidity will slow down the drying time and can cause paint to bubble. The cold will prevent paint from drying evenly, causing cracking and peeling. If your paint is not applying properly, check with the manufacturer to see what the optimal temperature is for paint application to save you a lot of time, stress, and money. When painting in warm conditions it is best to add hot weather thinners when using water-based products as this will extend the workable time and allow for easier application.”
PROBLEM: Not purchasing the correct brushes and rollers
SOLUTION: “Most of our products have a specific roller or brush to be used for application, it is always best to ensure a good quality roller or brush is used to achieve the best results. Please read the instructions on the can to find the most suitable brush or roller for the product.”
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.
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