Common Mistakes DIY Painters Make

September 12, 2022

Photo by Cal David via Pexels

Painting an area of your house is a common DIY project for many homeowners. While it’s always a better financial decision to hire professional painters for larger spaces, common areas and homes that are about to be listed in the market, there are certainly homeowners who can do a decent enough job.

That being said, there are also common, and rookie painting mistakes that DIYers often make. Keep reading to learn how to avoid making the same mistakes.

Picking the Wrong Colour

This is one of the most common painting mistakes that’s not just limited to DIYers – picking the colour to paint an entire room or hallway based on a colour that appeals to you on a colour strip. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that’s often discovered when it’s too late.

Before committing to a colour, ask the vendor to provide you with a sample of the paint and give it a test run on your wall by seeing how it looks in daylight, at night and with the lights turned on. A little extra leg work is worth the peace of mind alone, even if you stick with the same colour.

Not Sending Pets Away 

Curious cats and dogs and paint cans, brushes and wet walls do not mix. Make sure your pet(s) are locked away or totally off-site before you open a single can of paint, or your plan to paint the walls could end up as a reno to replace the floors.

Forgetting to Clean the Surface Before Painting

You should always carefully inspect any surface you are about to paint and make sure it’s free from dirt, debris, grease, mould, etc.

You can clean your walls with a little bit of soapy water for basic cleaning or a degreaser for more saturated stains if needed. Use a damp cloth when cleaning drywall.

With mould, however, Health Canada recommends that small-to-medium amounts of mould (less than 3m2, 32 sq.ft.) can be cleaned by vacuuming the area before and after you use water and dish detergent to remove the mould.

For areas of mould over 3m2, consider hiring a professional to clean it up and having another inspect the area to ensure there’s isn’t a plumbing leak, cracks in the foundation or too much humidity in that area.

Depending on how dirty the surfaces were, you may want to do a second round of cleaning and a final round with a damp cloth to get rid of any lingering residue.


DIY and non-professional painters, especially those without much experience, often paint over the same area several times because it looks to them that the coat isn’t even. Overbrushing a surface shows when brushstrokes or bristles are clearly visible after the paint dries.

When painting an area, load the brush and quickly brush the paint across the surface in long, smooth motions, then use only one or two strokes to even it out.

Removing Tape When the Paint is Completely Dry

This is also one of the more common DIY painting mistakes made. Remove the tape before the paint dries, or you may end up pulling up paint with the tape.



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