5 Common Painting Mistakes — and When to DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your house or yard, but if you’re new to this type of job, it’s easy to make mistakes. But don’t worry, in today’s article, we’ll guide you through the Dos and Don’ts of painting, and we’ll talk about when it’s best to hire a professional vs. to do it yourself.

Common Painting Job Mistakes

When it comes to painting jobs, a few common mistakes can lead to less-than-perfect results. So if you’re planning a DIY paint project, be aware of these mishaps so that you can avoid them and achieve a stunning finish.

1. Insufficient preparation 

When the surfaces that are about to be painted aren’t clean enough surfaces properly, or when you don’t patch cracks or holes prior to the painting job, the result can be uneven and have an unattractive finish. To get a smooth, professional look take the time to prep your surface(s) correctly and give the area a light sanding to even it out.

2. Low-quality materials and tools

When you settle for low-cost paint or cheap brushes, you don’t save money in the long term. Higher-grade products tend to provide better coverage and a more durable finish.

3. Not using enough paint

When you apply an extremely thin coat, it leads to an inconsistent finish that requires numerous additional layers. So make sure to use enough paint for effective coverage without being excessive.

4. Poor technique 

Inadequate brushwork or roller strokes may cause streaks and other imperfections in the final result. Focus on maintaining smooth strokes in one direction and gently blending when transitioning between areas.

5. Underestimating drying times

This can create problems such as smudging or peeling paintwork. Always follow manufacturer guidelines regarding drying times between coats for best results.

How to Fix a Botched Painting Job

A bad painting job is easy to observe, especially if it’s in an exposed area where everyone can see. Plus, if you leave it be, it can turn into a bigger problem later since the paint won’t be able to fully protect the surface. 

So the only option is to find the best and most cost-effective way to fix the mistake. But should you do it yourself or hire a professional?

When to Hire a Professional

If the affected area is large or your paint is flaking, it’s time to call a professional painter. The same is true for when you want to fix patchy colors or uneven finishes on high-end surfaces. 

Overall, if you want a high-quality finish and durable paint job, you should hire a professional from the start. Professionals have the experience, skillset, and tools needed to produce top-notch finishes. Plus, their knowledge of surface preparation, material selection, and expert techniques will ensure your paint job looks beautiful and lasts longer.

It’s also a great way to save time and effort since an experienced painter will finish the job in a shorter timeframe than the average DIY-er. Not to mention that they’ll have extensive knowledge of the best paints, primers, brushes, rollers, and other materials for each specific project type. 

What to Expect from Your Painter’s Invoice

Of course, you want to make sure you’ll be charged fairly, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with a few paint job invoicing methods. However, regardless of the method of invoicing your painter uses, you should easily find the information that matters to you.

Therefore, to check if you’ve been charged correctly, look for the hours worked (you can also require a log to check if everything is in order), types of services (some services are not provided on an hourly basis), and tax. Also, check the total amount due and payment information, like methods of payment and due date.

When to DIY

Unless you are a skilled painter, you shouldn’t attempt to fix any major mistakes. However, most homeowners can deal with paint drips or runs once the paint is completely dried. Use a piece of sandpaper to gently remove the uneven surface, and then paint over the sanded area using smooth strokes.

You can use the same method to repair inconsistencies in coverage or visible roller or brush marks. However, if the affected surface is big (a wall or the paint on your concrete flooring), you may want to call a professional.

Key Takeaway

Understanding the most common painting mistakes and their solutions can turn your project into a success. But if you were to keep one thing in mind after reading this article is that proper preparation and execution are key to stunning results.