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Common Interior Painting Mistakes to Avoid–And How to Fix Them

So, you’re thinking of painting your house. With all of the different kinds of paint to choose from and different companies to work with, painting can be overwhelming. We’re sure you have plenty of questions.

Or maybe you think, “It’s just paint. What could possibly go wrong? Just get a brush and slap on some paint!” Well, slow your roll my friend! (I know, very cheesy painting pun). 

The truth is, it is way too easy to mess up a paint job. Just like that one time you thought it was a good idea to bring your cat to the dog park, small lapses in judgment can turn your day into a nightmare. 

Whether you are doing the painting yourself or hiring a trusted paint company, it is good to have a general idea of what NOT to do. So, if you have an interior paint project coming up, check out below to learn about common interior painting mistakes to avoid!

These small but important tips can save you time, money and a brutal headache.

Related: Signs It’s Time to Repaint Your Home’s Interior 

Painting Mistake 1: Not Prepping Enough

How to Fix It: Be Diligent In Your Prep Work

The beginning of any successful paint project starts with prep work. We consider prep work to be the most vital step in the painting process. I assume you are painting the inside of your home to make it look nicer, right? Well, make sure you take the extra time to prep your home thoroughly and correctly, or else you’ll wish you did.

Related: How to Prep Your House for Interior Painting 

Many do-it-yourselfers often rush through this process given that it is, by far, the most boring & tedious portion of the project.

But if you aren’t diligent, you could damage some of the items in your home that are most valuable to you and end up with a paint job that won’t last.

Here are some quick prep tips:

Don’t just throw a rag down – Always use floor paper, plastic and tape 

photo of interior with floor masked and taped

Typically 12” paper is the preferred length for hard floors. Be sure to tape the paper snug along the crease where the wall & floor meet to avoid sloppy lines and prevent paint from getting on your floor. If you have carpet, you can use sticky carpet plastic to speed up the process.

Be sure to use the correct tape

This is one of the easiest mistakes to make and many people aren’t aware that if you use the wrong type of tape, you can cause damage to your home. Ideally you should use a low-tack tape, such as 3M blue tape, IPG tape, or low-tack frog tape. 

Cover your furniture properly

 If you only listen to one of these tips, please make it this one. Use your best judgment and cover anything that you think could possibly catch a stray drop of paint. I recommend moving furniture at least a few feet away from the area you are painting. When covering your furniture, be sure to use a thick, reliable plastic sheeting.

You want to aim for plastic that is at least 1.5mm thick. If you go any thinner, it becomes incredibly risky, as it is too easy to inconspicuously poke a hole or tear the plastic.

The last thing you want is to move your furniture back and find out you need new furniture because paint made its way through a tiny rip in the plastic.

We love buying new stuff as much as the next person, but spend your money on something fun instead of replacing your furniture. 

Painting Mistake 2: Not Choosing the Right Product

How to Fix It: Do your research before paint application

Congrats! You’ve prepped your home. We’re sure it looks elegant– the slick, shiny plastic adhered to the windows and doors, brown paper taped to the floor as far as the eye can see. Now, before you grab that brush and get the paint party started, make sure you’ve done your due diligence with a few other important items…

With so many paint products out there it can be difficult to know which type of paint you should use. And don’t forget about the type of sheen you want. It can be a mind-boggling process to select the correct paint & sheen. 

Related: Classic Interior Paint Colors That Never Fail 

Don’t stress though, these helpful tips below should help guide you to making this part of the process a breeze.

Choosing the right sheen 

The sheen refers to the level of shine the paint retains when dried & cured. For example, a flat sheen possesses virtually no shine.

While a satin finish will look glossier. It is important not to overlook the sheen. Be sure to do some quick research. You could absolutely love the color, but using the wrong sheen will leave you disappointed.

Here are some generally followed sheen standards:

  • Walls: Satin finish

  • Trim & baseboards: Semi-gloss finish

  • Ceilings: Flat finish

photo of library painted green

Choose the right product

One of the most frustrating mistakes you can make is purchasing the wrong paint. Be sure to double check that you are purchasing interior paint.

With certain lines of paint (Emerald by Sherwin Williams for example) the paint cans for interior & exterior look very similar and can easily be mixed up.

It sounds like common sense, but take a few seconds to double check the paint can. It will save you time & hassle. Plus, paint that has been tinted is non-refundable! 

You also want to make sure that you use a high quality paint. Cheaper paints don’t hold up for as long. It’s  best to use a  durable and cleanable paint that will retain it’s color for years to come.

Another important factor is the paint coverage. Better paint coverage means you will need to use less paint and fewer coats to get the finished product you desire. At Kind Home Solutions, we recommend Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior.

Painting Mistake 3: Not Hiring a Professional

How to Fix It: Work with a Professional Painter

If we can recommend anything else it would be to work with a professional. Painting your own interior may sound like an easy project, but it can be a frustrating and taxing project to undertake. By working with a professional like Kind Home Solutions, you know that you will walk away with the professional finish you desire. 

If you do choose to work with a professional painter make sure that they adhere to proper paint prep and application techniques. The last thing you want is to pay for a  project that needs to be re-done due to poor practices. 


Well, that ought to be enough to help get you started. The biggest takeaway is to be diligent. If you invest time & money into painting your home, do it the right way. There is no feeling like living in a freshly painted house.

Stay Kind!



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