Skip to main content

Remedy your painting mistakes with these 4 quick and easy fixes

How to fix painting mistakes on walls: A complete guide

If you’re updating your home with periodic remodeling projects, whether you’re updating your kitchen, renovating your bathroom, or giving your bedroom a facelift, mistakes tend to happen. Painting a room is a great start to giving it a fresh look, but there are frequently errors made when painting, particularly if you’re a newbie. We’re going to discuss 10 common painting mistakes and how to fix them in a snap.




2 hours

What You Need

  • Paint scraper

  • Sandpaper

  • Dish soap

  • Utility knife or razor blade

  • Paint brush

  • Paint

man and woman painting a room
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Painting mistake #1: Uneven paint coverage

When a hint of the wall’s original color is peeking through your paint job in some areas, this means the coat you put up wasn’t enough to cover it. This makes the wall look splotchy and unevenly painted.

Painting mistake #2: Blistering paint

Often due to temperatures and humidity levels that aren’t ideal for paint to dry in, paint blisters, or bubbling areas, aren’t just unsightly, they’ll also lead to peeling eventually.

Painting mistake #3: Wrinkling paint

Another woe of temperature and humidity issues, thick paint that doesn’t have the opportunity to dry as quickly as needed will often result in wrinkling. The surface of the paint dries while the layer underneath is still wet, causing movement that results in a wrinkled appearance.

Painting mistake #4: Dripping paint

It’s a liquid substance, so when applied too thickly, paint will inevitably drip. This leads to lines of running paint that are visible and create an imperfect appearance.

Painting mistake #5: Splatters on carpet

Spills happen when you’re painting, which is why it’s recommended to cover floors and furniture while the project is underway. If paint gets on the carpet and dries, it can be difficult to remove.

Painting mistake #6: Drips on trim or floorboards

Whether it’s from a spill or from running paint that was applied too thickly, paint can get on the floorboards and wall trim. This makes the end result look sloppy and unprofessional.

Painting mistake #7: Ceiling spots

When you get a little too careless while painting a wall, you could mistakenly push your paint roller right up to the ceiling and leave a roller mark on it. Unless your ceiling will eventually be the same color as the wall you’re painting, this is a big problem.

Painting mistake #8: Stuck painter’s tape

Using painter’s tape is essential to protecting the areas of the wall or trim that will not be painted. However, if painter’s tape is left on too long after the paint dries, it could adhere too strongly. When you go to remove it, the tape could pull off chunks of the new paint.

Painting mistake #9: Brush or roller marks

One of the most common imperfections seen after a wall is painted is brush marks. These could be the result of a few different issues, including using too much or too little paint per stroke, using a low-quality paintbrush or roller, or not stirring paint properly before slapping it onto the wall.

Painting mistake #10: Lint, dust, or hair

It’s important to clean walls and trim before painting and also keep brushes and rollers clean and free of dust and other large particles. If debris gets into the paint or on the brush and rollers, it will get painted onto the wall and be visible once the job is finished.

16592 the best painting tapes tape
kurhan / Shutterstock

How to fix painting mistakes on walls

Now that we’ve covered the most common painting mistakes, let’s address how to fix them. While these remedies require a bit of extra work, they’re much easier than starting again from scratch.

Scrape, sand, and touch up problem spots

Some problem spots can be addressed with a paint scraper or sandpaper and a quick touch-up. This method is great for issues like:

  • Blistering paint
  • Wrinkling paint
  • Dripping paint
  • Spots on floorboards and trim
  • Brush or roller marks
  • Lint, dust, and hair

Step 1: Wait until the paint is completely dry.

Step 2: Use a paint scraper or sandpaper to scrape or rub away the imperfection.

Step 3: Wipe away any dust that the action produces.

Step 4: Be sure your paint is adequately stirred and touch up the area with a paintbrush. Take care to blend the paint properly when touching it up.

An easy cleaning method for carpet spots

If paint spills on your carpet and dries, you can probably get it out without calling a professional carpet cleaner.

Step 1: Mix hot water with dish soap in a medium sized bowl.

Step 2: Pour the mixture on the stained carpet to saturate the spot and let it sit for a few minutes. As it sits in the moisture, the dried paint will soften a bit.

Step 3: Scrape the paint off the carpet fibers with a knife or blade.

Remove stuck painter’s tape the right way

When you notice that your painter’s tape is stuck, don’t try to force it off. Instead, use a utility knife to carefully cut through the paint at the edge of the tape where it meets the wall. This will free up the tape and prevent it from pulling pieces of dried paint off with it.

If you’ve already yanked off the stuck tape and taken a chunk of dried paint with it, don’t worry. You can use the sanding method outlined previously and touch up the damaged area.

Add an additional layer of paint

For some issues, like uneven coverage or patchy areas, simply adding an additional layer of paint will solve the problem. That additional coat will make the paint more opaque and give a flawless-looking result.

Painting is a big job, but it’s one that is incredibly rewarding. While beginners in the DIY world can accomplish the task pretty easily, painting mistakes are common and can be disappointing. Instead of throwing in the towel and living with an imperfect paint job, try these remedies and get the flawless result you deserve.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
Mold is a huge problem when painting basement walls – how to avoid it
Spruce up your dark and dreary basement with a fresh paint job, but beware of mold and mildew
Standard basement with gray cement walls

Is your basement dark and dreary? Basement walls aren’t always the most welcoming, and can easily contribute to an uninviting aesthetic (especially if the rest of your basement design is similarly lackluster). Depending on the existing conditions of your space, you could face a drab and boring background that interrupts the flow of your personal style. And when it comes to sprucing up this area of the home, many homeowners struggle to know how to paint a basement wall while also keeping the sub-level mold-free.

Perhaps you’ve considered basement paint ideas to spruce up your space. However, painting your basement walls is not the same as traditionally painting your interiors. With the potential for mold and mildew, there are more risks involved in painting walls in the basement when it comes to the health and well-being of your home. Additionally, the process can be much more arduous.

Read more
Thinking about installing sliding barn doors? 5 essential questions to ask yourself
Considerations before installing sliding barn doors in your home
Barn door

Sliding barn doors are a trendy, do-it-yourself design upgrade that can really transform your home's aesthetic. In fact, the increased popularity of farmhouse-style homes has made sliding barn doors even more common than ever.

Basically, a sliding barn door is one that you can install anywhere in the home, and it's usually a wood or metal material hung on a sliding track. Instead of opening and closing like a traditional door, it slides to the side and hangs neatly against the wall. People love them because they're space savers, they can easily revamp a space, and they add lots of character to the room. Plus, installing sliding barn doors is pretty simple if you love to do DIY. But before you delve into the trend made famous by Magnolia's Chip and Joanna Gaines, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

Read more
7 popular paint colors for basements that will brighten your home’s dungeon
Say goodbye to your dark basement and add one of these hues to brighten your space
Finished basement seating area with white walls and carpet

Whether you have a finished basement or one that's barely livable, your basement probably doesn't have a whole lot of natural light. While there are other ways to brighten this space (proper lighting, for one), the paint color you choose for your basement will make or break the space.  The right shade can enhance the basement, making it appear larger, and can also contribute to an overall happy, comfortable atmosphere your friends and family will love. But what hues are best for these often dark and dingy spaces? Today, we're sharing some popular paint colors for basements that will help brighten up the space.

With a fresh coat of paint and a few well-chosen pieces of decor, your basement will no longer be just a drab laundry room or overflow storage space. These are the popular paint colors for basements we love, and we think you will too.

Read more