You’re this close to repainting your walls, but you may not be ready. Be prepared, and don’t make a mistake.
We’ve already seen five painting mistakes to avoid, here are five more.
1. Ignoring the undercoat
If you’re not adding an undercoat, your paint may adhere poorly to your surface. A porous wall may even absorb the paint, forcing you to multiply the number of paint coats required.
There are specific undercoats, also called “primers”, adapted to every type of painted surface:
- Walls: You can use a cheap paint, but the ideal solution is to go for a primary solvent that doesn’t retain stains. Be careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on drying time.
- Metal: Use an undercoat that protects against corrosion, and facilitates the attachment of the main paint. If the metal is rusted, you’ll also find undercoats that allow you to paint on such a surface.
- Radiator: There are special heat-resistant primers. Be sure to apply them on the radiators when off.
- PVC/Tile/Melamine: You’ll find primers dedicated for smooth surfaces, allowing the paint to hang on to these special surfaces. Without this preliminary step, the main paint may not stick properly.
2. Confusing oil-based and water-based paints
You may have heard that “oil paints are more complicated, but more beautiful than water-based paint”. This may not be especially true.
Oil & alkyd paints
In the professional lingo, oil-based paints are referred to as “alkyds”. Solvent-based, to facilitate the application, it is particularly popular with painters for its strength and durability. It’s also the most washable paint.
It is however heavily subjected to new regulations, as it is polluting. Its smell is strong, tough, and solvent fumes can be harmful. In addition, it is likely to yellow with age, and its drying time is fairly long between coats.
Water & acrylic paints
Acrylic and latex paints are (almost) odorless, and contain almost no solvents harmful to the environment. It’s especially popular nowadays with DIYers because of its easy cleanup (soap and water).
More importantly, there are currently a lot more high-quality paints, in terms of rendering and texture. The paint is easy to apply, it spreads easily, dries quickly, and holds to any medium. It’s washable and, as noted above, tools can be cleaned with water. The only downside: it is weaker compared to its “rival” (alkyd).
3. Picking the wrong finish
Between matte, eggshell, satin, or glossy, there are quite a variety of choices when it comes to your finish. Here’s how to choose between the three basic ones:
- Matte: The finish hides minor imperfections on the surface. It has become very popular thanks to its powdery texture and deep result. They are oftentimes non-washable, and therefore unsuitable for busy rooms, children’s rooms, or wet rooms (kitchen/bathroom).
- Gloss: Gloss finish has the power to enlarge a space, as it reflects the light. It is particularly easy to clean. Beware, however, that it isn’t forgiving when it comes to imperfections on your medium. It also requires at least three to four layers for a perfect finish. This kind of finish is reserved for perfectionists.
- Satin: The most universal choice for paint finish remains a satin one. It is suitable for all areas, and all mediums thanks to its velvety and smooth texture.
4. Putting too much paint, or too little
It’s not easy guessing the right amount of paint, when repainting a wall, piece of furniture, or a door.
Here are the golden rules when choosing the right amount of paint:
- Mix the paint before use. There’s always thicker deposits still forming at the bottom, and they may make lumps. To do this, use a piece of wood, a clean stick, or a “mixer” tool that fits over electric drills.
- Only soak half the roller with paint. Remove the excess with the grid.
- Don’t forget to put some scotch tape on the areas you don’t want to paint over (to prevent overflow).
- Ensure that the paint does not accumulate at both ends of the roller.
- If the paint drips from the wall, and is still wet, then use the roller to spread it evenly. If it has become dry, you’ll need to sand it and apply a new coat of paint.
5. Painting during bad weather
Too hot, too cold, too wet. Yes, as strange as it may seem, weather can affect the performance of paints.
Be careful if you decide to repaint your new apartment in the winter, when heating is still not in service.
In cold weather and high humidity, the paint will be difficult to enforce. It will be sticky. Drying time will be longer. During a windy weather, dust will be able to settle easily on the wet paint. And if you paint during a hot summer? It’s not great either. Above 85ºF/30ºC, the time for the paint to dry is too fast. It can have a negative impact on the durability.
Finally, ventilation should not be overlooked. Especially if you use an oil-based paint. The vapors from solvent paints are not recommended for pregnant women or children. Open the windows wide, and don’t hesitate to wear a protective mask.