Seven Classic Painting Mistakes

Seven Classic Painting Mistakes

Painting your house yourself does not have to be a hassle. As long as you avoid the following mistakes. Your house is probably the most valuable thing you have, besides for your life and health. All three must be considered and protected when you opt to paint your house yourself. You should therefore avoid the following painting mistakes:

Mistake 1: Painting on surfaces that are dirty or in poor condition 

It’s important to remove loose old paint with a scraper and brush. The clean spots must be primed before applying the topcoat. 

“If you don’t remove loose paint, there is a risk that the new coat of paint will peel and fall off after a short period of time,” says Frode Jørgensen, painting expert at Biltema. 

Next, you should wash the house exterior thoroughly to make sure the surface is clean. First rinse down the wall with water, apply an exterior cleaning agent using a high-pressure cleaner, and then use a cleaning brush to clean the wall. Finish by rinsing again with water. 

“Exterior cleaning agents are strong products, so use gloves and safety glasses and make sure windows and plants are protected,” says Jørgensen. 

Mistake 2: Using the wrong paint 

Wood stains and paints can protect your house for many years. But there is a huge difference in quality and durability between different products. By choosing the right product, you may not have to paint your house again for another 15 years. 

“It’s also important that the paint meets requirements concerning function, the environment, and health. The most expensive are not necessarily the best, and there are some really good water-based solutions,” says Jørgensen. 

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Mistake 3: Painting on wet surfaces 

Allow the exterior to dry for at least 24 hours after being cleaned. Shaded areas take longer to dry than those that get direct sunlight. If you are in too much of a rush, you risk trapping the moisture in the wall. This can result in damage and flaking. 

“It’s best if you check using a moisture meter. The moisture level of the wood must be under 18 percent before you begin painting,” says Jørgensen. 

And you should never paint in rainy weather. 

Mistake 4: Messing paint everywhere 

Lay out protective plastic on your patio. Use masking tape to protect windows and other areas that you don’t want to get paint on. You should also have some smaller paintbrushes to paint with finesse around windows. 

“If you’re unlucky and the water-based paint splashes, you can rinse it off with water. But do so quickly before the paint has time to dry,” says Jørgensen. 


Mistake 5: Falling off a ladder 

Every summer, people end up at the emergency room after falling off ladders. If you will be working at height, you must make very sure that the ladder is stable and cannot slip. If in doubt, get someone to stand below and hold the ladder from the moment you climb up until you are back on the ground. 

“Another option is to attach the brush or roller to a telescopic shaft. This enables you to reach several metres up on the wall. And you avoid having to climb up and down ladders.” 

Mistake 6: Painting in direct sunlight 

Painting in direct sunlight can result in the paint drying too quickly, which risks blemishing the wall. The best weather for painting is in temperatures over 7-8 degrees. 

“If you must paint in the blazing sun, you should shield the area with a canvas, cloth, awning, or something else that can provide shade.”  

Mistake 7: Using too much paint 

It’s tempting to apply a lot of paint to be on the safe side. But this can have the opposite effect. 

“Rather apply the paint in several thin coats. Start at the very top and work your way down. If painting with a roller, it’s a good idea to go over the area with a paintbrush afterwards. This prevents the paint from running and it will create a smooth, natural look,” says Frode Jørgensen from Biltema. 

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