When homeowners are preparing to sell a home, painting often tops the list of to-do’s. A new paint job can certainly make a world of difference when it comes to sprucing things up, but there are several things to consider before you slap a coat of paint on the walls and call it a day. Before you begin, read about these six common painting mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Failing to do prep work. A little bit of preparation will go a long way to save headaches and cleanup time. Cover the floors and furniture, remove outlet and switch covers, and tape edges of trim and door knobs. Sand any imperfections in the drywall or previous paint job. Clean walls to remove dust and stray hairs. This will make a huge difference in the quality of the paint job.
- Choosing the wrong finish. Consider each room and its usage when choosing a paint finish. It may be tempting to buy those 5-gallon buckets of one shade in one finish for the entire house, but that’s not the greatest idea. A kitchen or bathroom requires a glossier finish for durability and moisture resistance, but the same finish will look out of place and show imperfections in a living room or bedroom. While a flat finish can be easier to touch up, it also marks more easily, making touch-ups necessary more often than not. Think about a satin or eggshell finish for main living areas, and something wipeable for kids’ rooms.
- Forgetting to consider lighting and finishes. A certain shade might look just right in the store’s lighting, but it could look completely different when you get it home. Pay attention to both a room’s natural daytime lighting and how it’s lit at night. Also consider things like flooring, cabinet, and counter colors. You might have found the perfect neutral shade, but the color of your flooring might bring out otherwise subtle undertones. The perfect beige might look pinkish under the influence of different lighting and finishes.
- Skipping primer. Why add yet another step to a job? Because it makes a world of difference in the end. Applying a coat of primer creates the ideal surface for paint to stick to and brings out the color. Pro tip: spend a little extra and buy paint that already has the primer mixed in.
- Ignoring the ceiling and trim. Don’t forget to touch up the trim work! Baseboards and molding will no doubt need freshening up as well. A brand new paint job on the walls can also accent the ceiling’s dinginess, making the whole room look dull. Think about freshening up the ceiling paint while you’re painting anyway to help everything appear fresh and new.
- Adding custom colors and accent walls. Accent walls are pretty popular, but remember that if you’re putting your home on the market, you’re not painting for yourself. Buyers like a neutral palette that they can customize. While your red accent wall in the kitchen might appeal to a certain niche of buyer, it will turn others off. Yes, paint colors can be easily changed, but the last thing you want is to create more work for a buyer right off the bat.
- Not letting the first coat dry completely. Make sure the first coat is completely dry before you even think about cracking open the paint can for a second coat. Failing to do so could result in streaks and peeling paint.
What painting mistakes have you made in the past that taught you a thing or two about painting? Share in the comments section below!