There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to energize and upgrade the look of your home’s interior. But while most people understand the transformative power of a new paint job, there are a lot of misconceptions about how to do it right.
It may seem as straightforward as picking up a paintbrush and a can of paint from the nearest hardware store. In reality, there’s a lot more to painting your house than you might have thought.
Our painting experts put together a list of the most common house painting myths they hear from clients, friends, and family. We hope this helps clear some things up and improves the success of your project!
Myth #1: Paint is paint — it doesn’t matter which brand or type you choose
Don’t believe it!
Not every paint brand produces lasting results. More importantly, different types of paint are needed for different types of surfaces.
Always do your research to ensure you choose a top-performing paint brand. Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore are two tested-and-true, high-quality brands and a great place to start your search.
There are also a few details to consider when choosing a type of paint. Research to learn what paint will be the best fit for:
- Your space
- The item being painted (wall, cabinet, door, built-in, etc.)
- The surface type
This doesn’t even take into account choosing the right paint color!
We could write a whole article about choosing the right paint for your specific project. Don’t leave it up to chance — always partner with a professional to make sure you use the right paint for your specific project. And remember, cheap paint produces the cheapest results.
Myth #2: High gloss paint is the most durable finish
It’s commonly assumed that glossy paint is more durable than a satin or matte finish. Need to paint a kid’s bedroom? Repainting your kitchen? Always reach for glossy paint because it’s easier to clean, resistant to peeling, and the most durable of all finishes…right?
Not so. The paint finish you chose does not dictate durability. Instead, it refers to the appearance of your paint. The higher the sheen, the higher the shine.
All said, it remains true that you need the right paint for the right project. For example, if you’re painting a high-humidity area, you’ll want to choose a moisture-resistant paint that meets your needs in type, color, and sheen.
Myth #3: A color paint swatch will look the same on your wall
A color swatch is a great place to start your search for the perfect paint color. Just be careful to not make your entire decision based only on this small swatch — you may be disappointed with the result.
A swatch is just the color presented on a piece of cardstock. The paint color will look slightly different based on the surface it’s painted onto.
The same goes for looking at a color swatches on your computer, phone, or other digital device. Every device has a slightly different resolution and color characteristic. It will be nearly impossible to gain an accurate picture of what the color will actually look like on your wall or other surface.
Talking to an industry expert is the best way to find a color that matches exactly what you’re looking for. Additionally, always get a sample of the paint and test it on your wall.
Myth #4: Primer is optional
Sometimes people think that if the surface they want to paint is smooth, with no chipped, peeling, or cracked paint, then there’s no need for primer. This thought process could get you in a lot of trouble.
If you want high-quality, long lasting, and professional results, then you need to use primer— there’s no getting around it. Primer will help your paint adhere to the wall and make the finished product look smooth and polished.
Myth #5: If I’m using primer, I don’t need to clean or sand
Okay, so if you use primer then do you still need to do all the prep work like sanding, cleaning, and caulking? Yes! We’re not sure where this rumor started, but we hope you don’t believe it!
It’s very important to thoroughly prep your walls before painting. Dirty, greasy, chipping, or peeling walls will make it impossible for paint to adhere to the surface — even (and especially) primer.
Myth #6: It doesn’t matter what brushes you use
In reality, picking the right paint brush for your project is a bit of a science — doing it correctly is very important.
Here are a few things to know:
- A high-quality brush is necessary for a good paint application
- Different types of paint require different brushes
- Your project will likely require a variety of brush sizes and styles. This is not a “one-and-done” situation
Keep in mind that even with the right brushes, good technique is also necessary. For example, be aware of:
- Overloading your brush with paint
- Going over the same spot too many times, leading to a streaky-looking finish
Getting help from an expert always increases your chances of great results.
Myth # 7: Doing it yourself is cheaper than hiring a painter
Working with a professional painter is an investment, but it doesn’t always mean it’s more expensive than doing the painting yourself. Especially if this is your first time doing a painting project, you probably don’t have all the necessary supplies.
- Drop cloth
- Painter’s tape
- Prep tools (Sandpaper, scrapers, cleaning supplies)
- Ladder (potentially)
- You should also consider the cost of your time — it’s important!
On top of all this, if you’re not an experienced painter, you’ll probably have a few mistakes along the way. This may lead to purchasing additional supplies and tools — it all starts to add up! And also consider the long-term quality and durability of you.
If you want it done right, and you want it to last, it’s always a good investment to work with a professional painting company.
Questions about painting your house?
Bluenote Painting is a locally-owned and operated company offering full-service painting services throughout Portland. We’d love to make your painting project a success, helping you avoid common painting mistakes and answering any questions you may have.