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Interior wall painting mistakes to avoid

Painting walls may seem like an easy DIY task, but there are common mistakes that even seasoned painters make. These mistakes can affect the quality of the finished product and lead to a less than desirable outcome. In this article, we will discuss these common mistakes and how to avoid them to ensure a successful painting project.

Mistake #1: Not Prepping the Walls

One of the most common mistakes made when painting walls is failing to prep them properly. Painting over cracks, bumps, and other imperfections on the wall will only make them more visible. It is crucial to spend time preparing the walls before starting to paint. Below are steps to take when prepping walls:

  • Clean walls with soap and water or a mixture of water and vinegar to remove dirt and grime.
  • Repair any damages with spackle or putty and sand the area once dry.
  • Scrape off any loose and peeling paint.
  • Apply painter’s tape to windows, baseboards, and edges of the wall to protect them from paint.

Mistake #2: Not Using Primer

Primer is an essential step in a painting project. Not using primer before painting will lead to a uneven finish and can also affect the durability of the paint. Using a primer will:

  • Ensure that the paint adheres to the wall correctly
  • Create a smoother surface for the topcoat
  • Block stains and prevent them from bleeding through the paint

Mistake #3: Poor Color Choices

Choosing the right color for your walls can be challenging. Many people make the mistake of choosing a color based on a small swatch and not considering how it will look in a larger area. Other mistakes include:

  • Choosing a color that is too bright or dark, making the room look smaller or uninviting.
  • Opting for trendy colors that may not stand the test of time.
  • Choosing a color that does not complement the room’s existing décor.

Be sure to choose a color that complements the room’s style, lighting, furniture, and fixtures. When in doubt, test the color on a small section of the wall or purchase a sample to get an idea of how it will look.

Mistake #4: Overloading the Brush or Roller

Using too much paint on the brush or roller can lead to drips on the wall or an uneven finish. Overloading the brush can also make it difficult to control the strokes and can cause splatters. Below are tips for using a brush or roller:

  • Only load approximately one-third of the brush or roller with paint.
  • Apply paint in a crisscross motion, working from top to bottom.
  • Always start by painting the edges of the wall first.

Mistake #5: Ignoring the Environment

The environment you are painting in will play a role in the quality of your finished product. Ignoring these factors can result in issues like:

  • The paint has a longer dry time or does not dry correctly.
  • The paint becomes too thick or too thin to apply.
  • The paint does not adhere to the wall correctly or peels away over time.

Make sure the room you are painting is properly ventilated and that the temperature and humidity levels are regulated. If the walls are exposed to direct sunlight, consider painting them in the morning or evening to avoid the heat of the day.


1. What happens if I don’t sand the walls before painting?

Sanding the walls helps to create a smooth surface, which is essential to ensure the paint adheres correctly. If you don’t sand the walls, the paint may not stick as well, and any rough patches or imperfections may show through in the finished product.

2. Can I paint over wallpaper?

It is not recommended to paint over wallpaper, as the paint may not adhere correctly and can peel away over time. It is best to remove the wallpaper before painting.

3. How many coats of paint should I apply?

It is recommended to apply two coats of paint for optimal coverage. Applying additional coats should only be necessary if the color is too light, or the surface is not completely covered.


Painting walls can be a fun and rewarding DIY project, but it is important to take the time to properly prep the walls, use the right tools and techniques, and choose the right colors. Avoiding these common mistakes will help to create a finished product that will last for years to come. Remember, practice makes perfect, and with each new painting project, you will become more skilled and confident in your abilities.

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