5 Painting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Jane VanOsdol on August 2, 2011

You thought that shade of paint would be the perfect color to set off your room, but after spending hours painting, you realize the color just doesn’t jive with your carpet. Or perhaps after giving your room a fresh coat of paint, it seems to you that the paint only emphasizes every imperfection on the walls. We’ve all made mistakes when painting a room. Let’s look at a few common painting blunders and what we can do to avoid them so that your next painting job is a professional one—whether you or your painter paints it.

Mistake #1 Too Much of a Good Thing

Perhaps you just fell in love with that shade of deep purple, but now that your dining room walls are drenched with it, it’s just too overwhelming.Don’t shy away from bold color, but remember that a little goes a long way. One solution would be to use the color on just one wall and then paint the rest of the walls in the room with a neutral color. Or you could also take a more muted shade of the deep purple and paint over the original purple using a decorative painting technique such as sponge painting or rag rolling. This will help to tone down the shade.

Mistake #2 Not Considering All the Room Accessories

When choosing your paint color, you need to take into account both the color of the carpet and the color of your furniture—unless you’re planning on replacing both to match the new paint color. It’s easy to get excited about the latest trend in painting and jump on board with it only to realize it matches nothing in your room! Be sure to take into account all the elements in the room.

Mistake #3 Using the Wrong Paint Sheen

When painting, you can choose from the following paint sheens:

  • Flat finish (matte finish)
  • Eggshell finish (low luster)
  • Satin finish (pearl finish)
  • Semi-gloss finish
  • High-gloss finish

Knowing which one is appropriate for your home improvement will help you to get the best results from each painting project. Flat paint is the dullest of all finishes and does not reflect light.  It’s useful for ceilings, walls with many imperfections, and low-traffic areas. Keep in mind that it is hard to clean. Eggshell has the smooth look of flat paint but with a bit of a sheen. Satin is glossier than eggshell but not as glossy as semi-gloss. It’s a good choice for a child’s room, because you can easily wipe off dirt and fingerprints. Semi-gloss has a mildly glossy appearance and is often used in rooms where sanitation is an issue, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It’s easy to clean and also can be used on trims, moldings and doors. High-gloss paints are not used on walls, but are for trim and crafts.

Mistake #4 Choosing Too Many Colors

A rainbow is beautiful in the sky, but try to avoid it when painting and decorating a room. Choose one main color and then add perhaps two other colors as accent colors. Using a color wheel can help you choose colors that will harmonize well together and won’t have your painting contractor running from the room.

Mistake #5 Not Trying Out the Color Ahead of Time

One common mistake people make is choosing a color solely from the paint chips in the store. Color looks so different in stores due to differences in lighting. It’s best to bring home several paint chips and then examine the paint chips in the room that you will be painting. Select your favorites and purchase $3 sample bottles of paint and actually try out the paint either on the wall or on a board to see how it looks in the room. You can then make a more accurate decision.

So, don’t let these blunders ruin your next painting project. Choose your color with confidence for a vibrant space that glows with style.

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