8 Painting Mistakes Everyone Makes – And How to Avoid Them

8 Painting Mistakes Everyone Makes - And How to Avoid ThemPainting the walls of an interior space is a quick and easy way to have a major impact with a little amount of trouble or expense. Before you decide on a paint color for the room you’re decorating, take a step back and make sure to avoid these 8 common painting mistakes!

1. Using the Wrong Paint

If you’ve chosen the wrong paint for the job, no matter how good your application technique is, the project isn’t going to turn out well. When painting surfaces that aren’t perfect, don’t choose paint with a high sheen. The glossiness will only accentuate the problems on the surface. If you want to paint with a semi-gloss or gloss sheen, make sure the surface you’re painting is carefully prepared and perfectly smooth. Personally I prefer a lower sheen anyway. Ask your paint store about some scrub-able low sheen options. When covering a light-colored wall with dark paint, start with a tinted primer. Ask at the paint store for specific recommendations but I always prefer a paint with a built in primer too. Gray primer is a great choice under most dark colors. This little bit of expense upfront will save you house or redcoats later! If you’re painting with two sheens of the same color, be sure to label the cans. It’s really easy to get the two mixed up, and you won’t realize your mistake until the paint dries. You’ll be sorry if you accidentally touch up flat walls with semigloss paint!

2. Painting Without Primer

Using primer is a long step in the painting process, but a necessary one to get a long-lasting finish. This step preps the wall surface so the paint sticks more easily and ensures that the true color of the paint shines through. When you are changing your wall color from dark to light, primer is especially important to make sure the old color doesn’t bleed through. Wood naturally contains tannins, which can migrate to the surface when wet, causing staining and discoloration. You can fix this problem by sealing the wood with a tannin-blocking primer before painting. If you are working with new drywall or wood, concrete, or plaster, it is best to use traditional primer first and then paint over it.

3. Leaving Painter’s Tape Up Too Long

For clean lines and crisp edges, painter’s tape is a must. Taping ensures professional-looking results, but when left on for an extended amount of time, can cause peeling paint upon removal. Ideally, tape should be removed about an hour after you’ve finished painting. But if you’ve let it sit for too long, the paint will start coming up. Use a razor blade to gently score along the edge of the tape as you peel it back. You can also try using a blow dryer to heat up and loosen the adhesive, using your fingers to roll it away from the wall.

4. Lack of Preparation

Skipping the prep work is a common paint mistake, but if you take the time to prepare, it will save you a lot of hassle later. Before you start painting, make sure that the surface is clean, so the paint goes on smoothly. After you wash your walls, make sure they are dry and free of debris before getting started. You also want to make sure to cover everything in sight with drop cloths, remove outlets and switch covers and tape up doorknobs. I know it’s tedious but well worth it in the end.

5. Overbrushing

For the smoothest possible finish when you’re painting woodwork, doors or cabinets, avoid too much brushwork. Load the brush and quickly cover an area with paint. Then use a stroke or two to level it off. Brushing over the same area, especially after the paint has started to dry, will cause unsightly brush marks and ridges. Sometimes in striving for protection we make it worse! Don’t be afraid to walk away and do a second coat later. Better two light coats than a thick overbrushed coat.

6. Forgetting the Ceiling

To maximize your ceiling’s impact on a room, you might choose a pale shade that complements the walls, a high-gloss white, or a bold hue that acts as a room’s main source of color. I once painted a bathroom for my mom pink. It helped correct the odd lighting in the room giving it a warmer happier feel. (No one even noticed the pink, but they looked better in the mirror!)

7. Using the Wrong Brushes

Investing in quality tools can help you avoid disaster. Cheap brushes can shed bristles during use, and cheap foam rollers can make painting more difficult than it needs to be. Quality bristles and rollers that are dense will apply paint evenly and quickly. The same thing goes for cheap paint sprayers, which can spray unevenly and quit working before your paint project is finished. It may seem like you are saving money, but in the long run, it can cost you.

8. Comparing Samples in the Wrong Light

People often make the mistake of picking out a color at the store in fluorescent lighting and then ordering a gallon of it immediately. But, if you don’t take a sample home first and test it in the actual room’s light, it could be a disastrous move. To get the best idea of how that paint color will look in the room you are renovating, select a few colors that you like, and bring samples home to see what works best. Make sure to have the light on in the room that you use the most, then swatch the color on the wall to make sure the color works how you want it to.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients all over the San Francisco East Bay since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! (Here’s a convenient map to our Brentwood interior design showroom.)

We take designing a beautiful kitchen for our clients very seriously, focusing on creating a kitchen space that is both functional & beautiful. We love to provide insight and education to our clients while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel?  Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.


  1. https://www.familyhandyman.com/painting/tips/house-painting-mistakes-almost-everyone-makes-and-how-to-avoid-them/view-all/
  2. https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/painting-tips
  3. https://www.oola.com/life-at-home/2456491/painting-mistakes-everyone-makes/
  4. https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/10-color-mistakes-everyone-makes-48868#navy-blue-dining-room
  5. https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/the-8-painting-mistakes-almost-everyone-makes-48420


How to Choose Your Kitchen Color Scheme; Will My Color Scheme Be The Avocado Refrigerator Of The 2010s?

How to Choose Your Kitchen Color SchemeSelecting the right color scheme for your kitchen can be difficult when you’re not sure what specific feel, theme or design you have in mind. The range of styles and colors may leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. The good news is that certain colors work best in specific rooms – especially for the kitchen. Here are some ideas on how to choose the best kitchen color palettes to suit your taste.

Choose Great Kitchen Color Combinations

You can make your kitchen an expression of your own personal style by immersing it in colors you love. For a no-regrets approach, choose neutral tones for the expensive foundation elements such as cabinets, floors, countertops, and appliances. Introduce color on the walls, backsplash, window treatments, lighting, and other accents. With this strategy, you can easily and affordably swap out the color scheme. Use a color chart to determine which colors complement one another and pick two dominant colors and one accent color. It is best to keep both dominant colors simple, yet complementary, and using the third color, you are able to accent and bring an attitude to tie the three together. The following combinations are bright and beautiful together – blue and orange, red and yellow, gray and purple, black and white, blue and brown, gray and yellow, black and red, brown and green, and pink and white.

“It is best to keep both dominant colors simple, yet complementary, and using the third color, you are able to accent and bring an attitude to tie the three together.“


For more contemporary or modern designs, bright colors and contrasting tones are much more common; vibrant reds, gentle greens and yellow give a retro-feel for the kitchen. Whether your kitchen style is modern, traditional or in between, some classic paint colors will work great. Black can be a great choice if you’re looking to create a contrast with a primarily light-colored design. Grays and dark browns for cabinets can help create a visual contrast with light-colored kitchen designs.

Most Recommended Colors

Choosing paint colors can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. If you’re looking to create a warm and welcoming space, red, yellow, and green are a great option. Warmer colors such as red are believed to stimulate appetite and are an excellent option for the kitchen. Red is very versatile and can really make a kitchen pop. Yellow can instantly brighten up a room – it has a soothing quality that makes people feel calm and happy in the kitchen. For smaller spaces, yellow can make rooms feel bigger and brighter, and it pairs well with white and gray accents. Green is also a smart shade to use in the kitchen; different shades of green can leave your kitchen feeling calm and soothing or adventurous and striking.

“Have more fun with your countertops and backsplash in an all-white kitchen and choose brighter colors or designs for those.”

Wanting more of a crisp clean space? Look to a white, gray or blue paint colors for this look and feel. White can really energize a room and give a fresh, and clean feel the moment you step in it. You can also have more fun with your countertops and backsplash in an all-white kitchen and choose brighter colors or designs for those. Gray is a neutral color that can work wonders; it pairs beautifully with a wide array of other colors and is the perfect base to build upon in a kitchen. Blue can create a crisp, clean look and is recommended for walls, cabinets, or even the ceiling. It’s an invigorating color and can sometimes overpower a room so use sparingly.

Finding paint colors overwhelming? Tried a color you thought would be perfect only to realize it was scary? Call us to schedule a consultation. We can help get you back on track and rocking the colors that speak to you.

Standing the Test of Time

Kitchens can range from flashy to classic, but how do you know if their colors will outlast trends? A great way to beat the trends is choosing a color you love and go back to again and again. Many people find that her the last 10-20 years they LOVE the same shade of teal, blue, green, yellow, etc. These are safe choices because no matter what the trends do, you will love your space. Wait long enough, everything comes back again. Choosing colors that will stand the test of time doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Neutrals and rich colors can create interest in a timeless design. Try taking color inspiration from a rug or fabric and using intense colors in small, replaceable amounts. For countertops, look for classic color trios or lean toward white, neutral or black for lasting colors. These classic colors in solid surface materials like the quartz based materials, will stand the test of time. Most times, it is recommended to start with the countertops first, since they are the most expensive, and depending on the style you can create a theme surrounding it. You can coordinate the countertop color with the floor color and keep the secondary dominant color of the cabinets separating the two.

“Choosing colors that will stand the test of time doesn’t mean sacrificing style.”


Materials such as granite, quartz, ceramic tile and butcher-block-style wood come in naturally enduring colors. When considering the look for your backsplash, you can try one that gives an intense splash of color in the room or white subway tiles as a go-to classic backsplash. Custom-made mosaic reflecting other colors in the room, and organic, natural choices such as the muted, neutral colors in marble or limestone. Bold colors work great for walls, small decorative accessories, and smaller kitchen appliances. Metallic colors can be used to highlight and brighten your space. You can get this look with satin nickel/stainless finishes on fixtures and appliances, brass knobs and accessories or picking a countertop or floor that already has gold or silver accents.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen or Bath?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! Designing a beautiful kitchen using the right colors for you can be difficult, but our specialty is designing a kitchen that is functional & beautiful. Our clients love the help we give them in creating the space of their dreams – within their budget.  Kitchens Unlimited provides insight and education while empowering our clients to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel?  Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.


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  2. https://blog.kitchenmagic.com/blog/how-to-match-your-countertops-cabinets-floor
  3. https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/kitchen-remodel/paint-colors-for-kitchen-cabinets
  4. https://www.hgtv.com/design/rooms/kitchens/best-colors-to-paint-a-kitchen
  5. https://www.bhg.com/kitchen/color-schemes/inspiration/no-fail-kitchen-color-combinations/
  6. https://www.bhg.com/kitchen/color-schemes/

If It Makes You Happy

A couple of years ago, I was discussing a potential vacation with a good friend, and occasional travel companion. We had kicked around the idea of this trip for a while, and I was reluctant to commit to further planning. This was to be an international trip lasting a few weeks. “It’s just going to be expensive”, I said, “and I really want to get my house painted.” She couldn’t understand my hesitation. Being a true lover of travel, she didn’t see how I would even consider putting off a trip for something as mundane as painting a house. I tried to explain that, while I loved the idea of going to a new place and exploring different parts of the world, the experience would be pretty short lived compared to the satisfaction I would feel having a freshly painted house, in a color I love. Yes, I do enjoy traveling as well, and the memories that come with a fun trip will last a long time, but I knew that I would also feel joy when coming around the corner and looking at my newly painted house. I don’t know if this makes me materialistic, or too attached to worldly goods – please don’t judge!


Anyway, I did go ahead and have my house painted that year. I was thrilled with the result! And, even though it’s been a couple of years now, I still feel joy when I come around the corner to my street and look at my house, especially on a beautiful sunny day.JenniferHouse

The following year, we took that trip. We had a great time, I have my souvenirs and happy memories, and pulling into my driveway when coming home after three weeks, I experienced the satisfaction of a beautifully painted house all over again.


So, if there’s something about your home that is bugging you, (an outdated kitchen or bath, perhaps?) and you wonder if it will be worth the trouble and expense to fix or change it, you have to decide if it will bring you joy or satisfaction. Because, for some of us, that happy feeling that you can get from making your home more beautiful is priceless!



Contact us today for your first free consultation.



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