Painting Your Home? Make Sure You Avoid These Mistakes!

There are many benefits to painting your home yourself. First, you save the money you would otherwise have to pay a professional, and second, you get the satisfaction of looking at a job well-done, knowing that it was by your own hand!

Painting and decorating in the home is achievable by people with at least basic skills, understanding and the patience – it’s not an instant job and will take some time – so rather than tell you what to do and how to do it, we thought you might want to hear what not to do, and how to avoid it!

Here are some things you want to avoid when painting your home.

1. Unprepped Surfaces

One of the most common of all home painting mistakes is to start painting before the surface has properly prepped.

This means scraping away any old paint that may be peeling – it will simply help your new paint to peel – and, of you are painting over a glossy pain surface, give it a thorough scraping first.

It might sound like a chore, but if you don’t do this, your paint will simply fail to hold and the finish will be poor.

2. Dirty Surfaces

Once you’ve prepped the surface as above, you need to make sure it is as clean as possible before you start applying the paint.

Don’t look at the wall to be painted and think ‘it looks clean so it’s OK to start’; it might look ok, but it’s not. You need to wash the surface down to get rid of even the smallest particles or you will have clear imperfections in your finish.

3. Not Covering Fixtures

No shortcuts are acceptable when painting inside the home. It may read as if we are simply adding time to the job – and we are – but it’s for good reason.

If you want the best result, you have to ensure everything is prepared and ready, and that means covering any fixtures that you cannot remove before you start to paint.

Light fittings and door handles will become splattered with paint if you leave them exposed, so find a way of protecting them when the job is underway.

4. Not Using The Right Tools

Now that you’re getting closer to actually painting your chosen surface, it’s time to consider your tools. You may think it’s a choice between a brush – or different sizes of brush – or a roller, and it may be if that’s what you have to hand.

However, you might want to consider that the closest you will come to getting that professional-look finish is with a DIY paint sprayer and there are many available that are designed specifically for domestic use.

They make life a lot easier, cut hours off the job itself, and – with a little practice on your part – will provide you with a finish that would not be possible with a brush or roller, while cutting down on waste and splashes, too.

5. Not Painting Ceiling First

It may be tempting to leave the ceiling until last. Many people do as it can be a daunting prospect to get on with the job.

However, it’s absolutely the wrong thing to do. If you do the ceiling first, drips and runs will get onto your newly painted walls, and will spoil the finish considerably.

Do the ceiling first – this is another job where you might want to use a paint sprayer – and, once it is dry, you can start painting the walls having removed any runs or drips.

6. Forgetting To Use Tape

Even the best artists, and painters and decorators, find it difficult to get a perfectly straight edge painting freehand, so don’t try it!

You’ll end up with a line that is far from straight, unsightly and messy, and you will be disappointed as it spoils the entire job.

Use tape to define the edges where you want them to be, and make sure it is applied correctly, then you will have perfect straight edges.

7. Rotting Wood

It’s a quick fix to simply paint over the rotten areas on wood and hope that because you can’t see it, the problem has gone away. It hasn’t; the wood will continue to rot, and you will continue to have the same problems with unsightly, rotting wood!

What you need to do is get rid of the rotten parts, and replace them with new wood, freshly sanded and ready for painting, otherwise you’ll just have to do it all again very soon!

8. Avoiding Using Primer

Do use primer! Do give your surface a decent undercoat before you apply the topcoat. Once again, we know this is going to take you time, but it is the only way you will get acceptable results that look good.

Not priming the surface leaves far too much to chance, so add that extra time into the job, and make sure it’s ready for painting.

9. Not Letting the Surface Dry

Another common mistake is to start painting on a wall that has just been washed and is not yet dry, or a surface that is otherwise still wet. The paint simply will not take, and you will find the paint blisters, peels and you need to do it again.

If you live in an area with a humid climate, leave the walls to dry for longer before you start painting on them if you want to achieve a result that looks as good as it can.

10. Not Keeping Some Paint Back

Why are we saying you need to keep some paint back? Surely you want to use it all to get the best value for money? Well, consider this: you’re no expert, so there are bound to be some bits you’ve missed that need touching up, or small areas that have not come out as nicely as you wanted.

This is where the touch-up comes in – it may be just a small dab of paint that does the job, or it might be a small area you have overlooked, and that left-over paint will win the day! It will also be exactly the paint already there, so you don’t have to worry about matching.


The above are some of the most commonly made mistakes when it comes to painting your own home, and if you take them on board, you will find that you get a result to be proud of.

Of course, you are not an expert so you may not get the perfect detail finish that a professional would, yet there is no reason why you should not end up with interior decoration that is as close as it gets, while saving yourself a lot of money in the process.

We recommend that you get new brushes, rollers, trays and perhaps a paint sprayer – they really do make life a lot easier when doing a job such as this – and also talk to supplier about the right paint for the finish you want.

Then, you can start planning your painting project. Remember, set aside time for prepping and cleaning the surfaces, make sure everything is in order, and start with the ceiling first!

DIY home painting is a cost-effective way of having a fresh new look at little cost, and we hope our tips have helped you understand the best way to get the right results.


I am Vera Watson. Drawing The House is a dream that was conceived when I saw a niche in consumer guide on almost everything in our homes. My main aim is to help you save money by testing the products you need and recommending you the best of them all. I believe in the family as an institution and the first way to make a family happy is providing the best for them.

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