Painting projects are the most common DIY home improvement project, which is why painting mistakes are the most common DIY problems. Check out this list of standard painting errors so you can avoid them yourself. 

I’m finished painting, but I hate the color.

It can definitely happen. Colors will look different at home than they will in the store.  Lighting, flooring, room size, and the type of paint finish will all impact the look.  

  • Make sure you like the color before you start the job.
  • Most paint stores offer small samples or quarts of paint.  Test how colors look by painting large patches of wall with various colors.
  • If you do choose to repaint, the good news is that you have already completed the prep work. And, if you stay in the same color family, a few additional coats of paint should do the trick.

I’m done painting but the wall still has gaps and holes in it. Shouldn’t the paint cover everything up?

Paint’s not designed to cover gaps and holes, so proper preparation is important in order to avoid these imperfections.

  • Before you start painting, patch gaps and holes in the walls with spackle.
  • Be sure to sand down spackled areas to a smooth, even finish once the spackle is dry.

I keep getting dirt on my brush and roller. What am I doing wrong?

Surface prep is key to a great paint job – painting a dirty wall will lead to flaws in your finish.

  • Remove cracked or flaking paint.
  • Clean the walls with water and a mild detergent before you paint.
  • Let the wall dry completely.
  • Resume painting.

I’m having trouble removing my painting tape. What can I do?

Here are some tips to remove tape that’s stuck or won’t come off cleanly

  • For best results, remove the painter’s tape while the paint is still wet
  • If the paint has dried and bonded to the tape, use a razor blade to slowly and carefully cut the seal between the paint and the tape.  
  • Use window cleaner or a citrus-based cleaner if there is excess residue.

When used according to directions, painter’s tape should remove easily. For more tips about paint tape removal, read our article “How to Remove Painter’s Tape.”