Five mistakes people make when painting their homes – or risk having to repaint

DIY hack: Woman shares genius painting trick for wall edges

Most homeowners will have painted a wall, fence, door or skirting board at some point.

Giving a wall or a piece of furniture a lick of paint can easily brighten up a home and while the task itself is not necessarily difficult, there are lots of ways property owners can make the job easier and make the paint last longer.

Sarah Lloyd, a paint and interiors expert from, has shared with five common mistakes people make when painting and how to avoid them.

1. Preparation is key

Preparation is just as important as painting and is a task that should never be skipped but often is.

Some preparation jobs include protecting floors with dust sheets, using masking tape to keep the paint neat and ensuring the room is well-ventilated.

READ MORE: Paint your kitchen cabinets in six easy steps for a ‘smooth finish’

Sarah added: “Always protect your floor with dust sheets, and use masking tape to keep everything neat – you don’t want to have to repaint the ceiling or skirting board again if you can help it, so masking off is essential.”

2. Colour schemes

Sarah said, “the worst mistake of all is choosing the wrong colour”. Those who are unsure what colour scheme they should use can look at colour theory rules to help them settle on a colour scheme.

Homeowners first need to choose a core colour and should consider what lighting, accessories, and furniture are in the room. Colour trends don’t need to be followed too strictly.

Once the core colours have been chosen, homeowners can choose one of four options.

Sarah said: “Either go for a monochromatic scheme (singular colour scheme with light and dark shades), analogue (use colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel), contrasting (three colours that are evenly spaced around a colour wheel) or a complementary colour scheme (two opposing colours on the colour wheel). Follow this method and your colours are sure to stay chic for a long time.”

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3. Painting radiators

Painting radiators is a new trend that can make a room look sleek, modern and even bigger. Before painting a radiator, make sure it’s completely turned off and cold to the touch. Then, clean the surface and use a high-quality primer.

When painting radiators, make sure to paint in the same direction as any grooves in the metal and be careful not to overload paint brushes as this could lead to permanent drip marks on the surface.

Wait at least 24 hours before switching the radiator back on otherwise the paint could become tacky when warmed up.

4. Incorrect equipment

The easiest way to paint a property is to use a roller but homeowners need to make sure they use the right roller.

Sarah explained: “Short pile (a thickness of 6-8 mm) provides great cover for smooth walls (including drywall) and flat surfaces. Medium pile (10-12 mm) is handy for lightly textured walls and ceilings but it can still be used on walls.

“It picks up more paint than short pile rollers so if you’re faced with a large room to decorate, a medium pile might be your best option. A long pile (20-32 mm) is best suited to heavily textured walls like concrete and outdoor walls.

“Foam rollers are most effective with gloss or varnish. Radiator rollers are for just that, radiators and fiddly areas that require a little bit of bending to get to.”

5. Improper portions

Often, homeowners don’t know how much paint is needed and there’s nothing worse than running out of paint halfway through the job.

DIYers need to calculate how much paint they need beforehand to save them both time and money. To do this, measure the space, making sure to minus any square metres for windows and doors.

Most of the time, walls will require two coats so the figure needs to be multiplied by two. Take the total number and divide it by the metre squared per litre on the tin.

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