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How to Avoid Common Painting Mistakes

Painting your house yourself can be a fun and rewarding DIY job. However, to achieve professional-looking results, it’s important to approach the project with proper preparation and avoid common mistakes.

1. Don’t Skip the Prep Work for Superior Results

Underestimating the importance of thorough preparation is one of the most frequent errors made by DIY painters. Failing to properly prepare the walls can lead to subpar finishes, with paint not adhering correctly and unsightly patches appearing. To avoid this, allocate enough time to thoroughly prepare the walls.

Start by washing the walls with a light detergent to remove dirt, dust, and oil. Use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges. Carefully fill in cracks and holes with spackle to create a smooth surface. Apply a final coat of primer to enhance paint adhesion and prevent stains from penetrating the surface.

2. Invest in High-Quality Materials for Optimal Results

While it may seem cost-effective to use inexpensive materials initially, it can lead to higher costs in the long run. Low-quality paint often requires multiple coats for adequate coverage, prolonging the painting process and increasing expenses. Similarly, inferior rollers and brushes can leave streaks and brush marks that detract from the overall finish.

Investing in high-grade materials ensures the best outcomes. Although they may have a higher upfront cost, they save you time and money by providing better coverage and a smoother finish.

3. Develop an Effective Painting Strategy

Before starting to paint, it’s crucial to have a well-defined strategy in place. This includes selecting the appropriate colour, calculating the required amount of paint, and determining the best order to paint different areas. Without a strategy, you risk getting stuck or running out of paint midway through the project.

To avoid such issues, choose your desired colour and purchase enough paint to cover the entire area. Then, create a comprehensive plan that outlines the sequence in which you’ll tackle each part of the room. Begin with the ceiling and walls before moving on to doors, trim, and skirting boards. This methodical approach ensures efficiency and a cohesive outcome.

4. Allow Ample Drying Time for a Flawless Finish

Patience is key when it comes to painting. Each coat of paint needs sufficient drying time before applying the next. Rushing through this step can result in smudges, streaks, or even flaking paint.

Follow the drying time recommendations provided by the manufacturer to ensure a faultless result. Avoid painting in humid environments as this can prolong drying time. If time is of the essence, consider using a quick-drying paint or employing a fan to expedite the process.

5. Thoroughly Clean Up for Future Use

While completing the painting project is undoubtedly satisfying, it’s essential not to overlook the importance of cleanup. Neglecting this step can lead to dried paint on brushes and rollers, rendering them unsuitable for future jobs.

To prevent this, start by thoroughly washing your brushes and rollers in warm, soapy water. Rinse them well and allow them to dry completely before storing. Clean your paint tray, drop cloths, and any other surfaces that came into contact with paint. By practicing meticulous cleanup, you ensure that your tools remain in good condition and are ready for future use.


Taking on a painting job by yourself can be rewarding, but avoiding common errors is crucial to achieving a professional finish. By dedicating ample time to surface preparation, investing in high-quality supplies, developing a well-organised plan, allowing for proper drying, and practicing thorough cleanup, you position yourself for success.


If you need further assistance, consider reaching out to the experts at Martyn Clegg Painters and Decorators in Burnley, who can ensure the job is done correctly the first time thanks to their knowledge and expertise.