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The Home Depot

Top Things to Avoid in Interior Painting

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > Top Things to Avoid in Interior Painting
Top Things to Avoid in Interior Painting

The planning is over, the supplies are bought and it’s finally time to tackle that interior painting project you’ve been putting off for months. As excited as you might be to get started, you’ll want to take your time and make sure you don’t make a rookie mistake that could undo all of the hard work you’re about to put into redecorating your favorite room.


A lot of first time interior painters think that it’s just as easy as picking up the brush and putting it on the wall. But old hand painters know better. Even the smallest oversight could cost you hours of time having to clean up a mess. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has an educational guide with some basic tips on how to get through your interior painting project smoothly and safely.


With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the most common mistakes you’ll want to avoid while completing your next project.

  1. 1.Not cleaning the walls:

    Dirt and dust may not be as easy to see indoors where the buildup might not be as great as the exterior of the house, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Every wall should be thoroughly scrubbed down and dried before starting any paint job. If you skip this step, don’t be surprised to see dirt, hair and other disgusting substances causing a ripple effect across your wall once the paint dries. Gross.

  2. Some amateur painters believe the solution to fixing a mistake is to just paint over it.
  3. 2.No one likes a wet spot:

    When we say make sure the walls are dry after you’re finished cleaning, we don’t just mean the water you just used for the scrub down. Certain rooms in your house, like the kitchen or bathroom, can sometimes have moisture build up on the walls in certain spots. (Take a look at your bathroom walls the next time you spend way too much time in a hot shower.) Failing to remove all moisture from a wall before applying paint is a recipe for one big, wet mess. The paint simply won’t stick to the wall properly and it will be readily apparent which spot you failed to check.

  4. 3.Latex and oil don’t mix:

    A lot of older homes used oil based paint when they were first built. If you have an older home, and even if you don’t, you’ll want to find out what kind of paint is currently on the walls before you begin your project. The most popular paints you can buy at the home improvement store are now latex based. If you try to put latex paint over an oil painted wall without putting up a special primer first, the results will be almost comical in a week’s time when the latex paint starts to peel. Chances are though, you won’t be laughing.

  5. 4.Don’t lay it on thick:

    Some amateur painters believe the solution to fixing a mistake is to just paint over it. Unfortunately, the problem with laying a thicker coat of paint to cover up your miscues is that it just doesn’t hold as well. Most professionals suggest that three thin coats of paint, with each coat being given time to dry properly, will give you the best look when finished.


    Repainting a room in your house can really liven up the place and help make a home feel new again. But if you’re not careful, you can end up giving that room an even worse vibe than it had before. If so, hire an interior painter to do the job for you while you sit back and relax.

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