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8 Painting Shortcuts You Shouldn’t Take


1. The single coat

Think one layer will do the job? Wrong. One coat of paint does not cover well. “Well, what if I do a thick single coat?” A thick coat of paint will take forever to dry, and eventually start to run. Two, thin and even coats will give you better results.

2. Skipping the wash

“I sanded, patched, caulked and used the best primer and most expensive paint I could find. But within a year, the paint was falling off in sheets!” Don’t forget this important step – wash the siding first to get the most out of your new color.

3. Who needs to sand?

You do! If you want a lump-free finish, sand your walls prior to rolling on the paint. It’s best to use a drywall sanding pole and 80- or 100-grit drywall sanding paper.

4. It’s dry enough, time for a second coat

If you’re in a hurry to get the job done, or just impatient (guilty!), painting over paint that is not completely dry is not the right answer to speeding up the process. Painting over paint that’s not dry can cause adhesion problems or slow drying time – and a big mess.

5. Not masking 

Confident about your super-neat painting skills? You should still mask off the baseboards. A single paint splatter will ruin your masterpiece. Completely covering the baseboards in masking tape is unnecessary. A strip of 1-1/2 inch tape left sticking out is all you need.

6. Painting straight from the can

Although, this eliminates some clean-up time, it’s not worth it. Loading a paintbrush correctly from a full gallon of paint is very difficult. Try transferring a small amount of paint to another container, and paint from that. It’s also a good idea to strain the paint to remove lumps and impurities.

7. Using paint to fill gaps

A homeowner figured he would save time by just letting the thick paint fill the baseboard gaps. But when the paint dried, the gaps reappeared and he had to caulk anyway. The lesson: Caulk first!

8. Not mixing properly 

Most painting disasters are related to paint that wasn’t well mixed. Using the remaining paint at the bottom of the can to touch up seems great until you discover a slightly different colored wall.

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