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common pitfalls of interior painting | Universal Painting Contractors, Inc. Fairfield, CA

How to Avoid Pitfalls of Interior Painting

by Birgit

Interior painting is an important aspect of your home’s look and feel. Starting with choosing the right colors to the application. Almost everyone seems to think that interior painting can easily be done as a DIY project. And while the consequences of the job done poorly may not be a safety hazard like the improper installation of a ceiling, or drywall, for instance, there is a standard that should be met. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has guidelines for proper interior painting, and any painting contractor worth his salt will follow them. Read on to learn more on how to avoid the common pitfalls of interior painting.

What Are the Most Common Interior Painting Pitfalls?

  • Lack of Proper Coverage:

One of the most common interior painting pitfalls is when painting isn’t done at a professional level is that the interior paint does not cover the underlying surface. Performance guidelines state that the surface being painted shouldn’t be visible through new paint when viewed from a standing position facing the surface 6 feet away, with normal lighting conditions. A professional painting contractor will know how to properly prep the wall with primer to prevent this from happening. Primer covers flaws in the surface and gives you a smooth, long-lasting finish. It’s fine to use paint-and-primer-in-one mixes if the old surface was previously painted, is in good shape, and has a flat (non-glossy) finish. But if you’re painting over a more difficult surface such as plaster, wood, concrete, glossy paint, or stained/porous drywall, use a stand-alone primer or a premium all-in-one mix specifically designed to cover unpainted surfaces.

  • Marks from Brush and Roller:

Marks shouldn’t be visible from a standing position 6 feet away from the surface under normal lighting conditions. The same performance guideline should be met when it comes to lap marks. Lap marks are the difference in color and sheen which happen as a result of wet and dry layers clashing when the painting is done.

  • Bleeds:

painters tapeThis occurs because do-it-yourselvers often skimp out on the purchase of proper painter tape and use masking tape instead. Pros spend the money for high-quality tape, and you should, too. Use a putty knife or mini scraper — not your finger — to remove air bubbles and seal the edges to prevent drips and ensure sharp lines.

Sometimes resin may bleed through the paint on interior trim. This is quite a common condition that usually happens with natural materials like wood.

  • Not Painting From the Top Down

This another common interior painting pitfall. Always start near the ceiling and work your way down for the smoothest finish; that way you can catch drips as you work.
  • Using Flat Paint in High-Traffic Areas

Kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry rooms that are subject to grease and humidity do much better with washable satins or semi-glosses. These types of paint can be washed. However, you can also choose a durable premium matte finish such as Benjamin Moore’s Regal Classic Premium Interior Paint or Behr Marquee Interior Paint & Primer for these areas.

  • Painting Over Wallpaper with Water-Based Paint

You can paint over wallpaper, but be sure to use oil-based primer first. Water-based paints and primers can reactivate the wallpaper glue and cause unsightly peeling.
  • Painting Over High-Gloss Paint Without Sanding

New paint needs some texture to adhere to. Make sure to lightly scuff any shiny surfaces with sandpaper, followed by a rinse with clean water.

  • Overloading the Brush and Roller With Too Much Paint

You should only dip your brush or roller a third of the way in. This will ensure that you have enough paint to work with without wasting paint. It will also avoid pushing the paint deep into the bristles, which is tough to clean. This is how professionals manage to get the most out of their good-quality brushes and rollers. You should NEVER skip cleaning your brushes and rollers at the end of the day, no matter how tired you are. Protect your investment by washing those brushes thoroughly with water and dish detergent, wrapping them in airtight plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and storing them in their original packaging so that they hold their shape.

  • Touch-up Painting Mishaps

It is possible and very likely for the interior painting, staining, or refinishing of repair work not matching the existing paint. Performance guidelines state that a perfect match between old and new paint is nearly impossible to achieve. In this scenario, it is best to repaint an entire wall with the best match possible.  Ideally one should repaint the whole room.

  • Underestimating Paint and Material Requirements

Rarely have we encountered a person that hasn’t had several trips to the paint store while working on their project.  This usually is the result of failing to properly estimate how much paint and masking tape is needed or the lack of adequate protection cloths.  A professional has a good handle on this from experience and already has a good supply of all necessary implements as well as a team that cohesively works together like a well-oiled machinery.

No doubt, painting the interior walls and achieving a satisfactory result requires preparation, time, and expertise. As a rule of thumb, painting one room by one person will take 1-2 days if all goes well.  A professional painting contractor such as Universal Painting Contractor on the other hand can repaint an entire house in 2-3 days. So, if you are a person that rather spends his free time doing what he/she loves rather than painting give us a call (707) 427-0445 if you live in the Fairfield, CA area.

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