As April Fools Day approaches, it’s a good time to caution against making foolish mistakes when painting your home. The fact is, most early paint failures occur because of a foolish error or poor decision that all but invites problems with your paint job.
Here’s where many people go wrong:
Foolish mistake #1: Purchasing low cost, low quality paint. Bargain bin paint is really fool’s gold: It can be much more difficult to apply, its applied appearance can be less than ideal, and it simply won’t last as long as top quality paint. If you’re foolish enough to go this route, keep those brushes and rollers handy – you’ll be back on the ladder in no time, especially if you’re doing exterior painting. Or, you can simply buy high quality paint, such as a top-line 100% acrylic latex coating, and get a better looking, longer lasting paint job.
Foolish mistake #2: Buying low quality brushes and rollers. Trying to save by purchasing “cheap” paint applicators is another example of false economy. Substandard sundries may cost a little less, but they make a paint job more difficult and almost always affect the finished appearance of the paint. So why cut corners? Using better quality applicators will make it easy to apply a thicker, more uniform coat of paint. . .leading to a more attractive finished paint job.
Foolish mistake #3: Doing inadequate surface preparation. Even if you’re the world’s best painter, your work can quickly go sour if you fail to properly prepare surfaces before starting to paint. Outdoors, that typically means scraping and sanding to remove loose or peeling paint, priming unpainted surfaces, and removing dirt and mildew; indoors, good surface prep involves washing walls and woodwork, correcting surface imperfections with spackle or caulk, and concealing stains with an appropriate primer. Sweat this small stuff, and your paint job will likely be a big success.
Foolish mistake #4: Painting in the wrong weather conditions. Even the highest quality exterior paint can be compromised when applied in extreme weather – when it is very cold, excessively hot, very windy. . . or, heaven forbid, just before a rainstorm. Try to paint in mild, not wild, weather, and both you and your paint job will be better for it. If you must work in very hot or very cold conditions, be sure to check the paint can label to learn your paint’s temperature tolerance, and take the guidelines seriously.
No matter what time of year you start your next home painting project, let April 1 be a reminder that foolish mistakes can wreck havoc with any paint job. Remember, too, that these mistakes are easy to avoid.
Just invest in the best quality paint and equipment, resist the temptation to take shortcuts on surface preparation, and pay attention to the weather when painting outdoors. It’s a fool-proof formula for painting success!