My Biggest Interior Decorating Mistakes

Painting is an easy, affordable way to make a statement or just change the mood of a space. I can say that easily now that I have finally learned how to do it properly. Let me share my painting faux pas with you in hope that you will not make my same mistakes.

Like most things, preparation is the basis of a good foundation and that is where I really screwed up. If you are a beginner, I recommend reading Use What You Have Decorating : Transform Your Home in One Hour With Ten Simple Design Principles — Using the Space You Have, the Things You Like, the Budget You Choose, by Lauri Ward.

The first step after getting your supplies is to tape the area. This may seem easy enough, but all tape is not created equal. Look specifically for “painter tape.” This is the first area where I went wrong. I went with the least expensive stuff and didn’t research what I really needed. My goal was to paint three different colored stripes in a room. My family measured out the area for the stripes, taped off the sections and started painting away. When we removed the tape, we realized the tape edges weren’t securely placed and the colors bled though to the other sections, it was a mess! This required us to repaint sections … and led to my second mistake.

Ego got to me, and in a rash hurry to salvage my interior decorating self image, I didn’t think to use a primer on the areas that had bled through. Again, I just painted away. This caused the need to paint a third time. As with tape, there is a difference in primers so make sure to research which product works best for your circumstance.

My next faux pas came when I decided to wait to start the next room and didn’t adequately clean the brushes. They were stiff and I had to go buy more. The clerk told me that I should store the brushes in an airtight freezer bag between jobs for up to a week to keep them from drying out. Finally, after a plastic drop cloth didn’t do the trick, I learned that canvas cloths are best to use on a carpet.

Fortunately, there was a happy ending. But it a lot of extra work was done that could have been avoided.

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