So your landlord is letting you paint?

When I was 16, my friend and I were granted permission to paint my room. What started out as us being super careful of covering the floor and going overboard with blue tape… ended with paint splattered on the floor and a very angry dad.  That day I learned the only way to get paint off a wood floor is to sand it…and by sand it, I mean the entire floor. Suffice it to say, the paint is still on the floor 12 years later, and I will probably be paying to refinish it whenever my parents sell the house.

Painting faux pas don’t just happen to teenagers, they happen to all of us! When a friend of mine was in grad school, she got the OK from her landlord to paint her studio apartment. Somewhere along the lines it took a turn for the worst, and besides getting paint on the rug, she painted everything from the door to the cabinets and well, she made her landlord mad AND she had to re-paint  everything before she moved out.  I recently asked her about her painting adventure, and she said “I’m never going to paint again…”


To help you avoid disasters like ours, I put together…

The Ultimate Guide of What NOT to do:

1) Do not start a paint job on a whim (Always Always Always Plan).

2) Skimping on quality suplies.

3) Not protecting your furniture & your space (tarp on the floor and tape around windows).

4) Not asking questions at the paint store (they know their stuff- ask if you’re not sure of something).

5) Wearing clothes you care about (you are going to get paint on yourself- it just happens).

6) Not mixing the paint before you pour it. Make sure they give you mixing sticks at the paint shop.

7) Not priming before you paint (I don’t care if the paint says “paint and primer in one”, your paint job will last much longer if you prime first).

8) Trying to paint over wallpaper- bad bad BAD idea. Just don’t do it! (take the time and remove the wallpaper and glue first!) or eventually the wallpaper will peel off and you will be left with a mess.
There are 2 rules to painting over wallpaper: 1)Don’t paint over wallpaper, 2)If you really want to paint over wallpaper, see rule #1.

9) Not cleaning your paint supplies (not cleaning your supplies in a timely manner means you will have to throw them out, it’s as simple as that).

10) Not bringing the paint color chips into the room you will be painting & looking at it different times of the day, and with the lights both high and low (never buy paint the same day you pick up paint chips).
If the paint company has samples available, get your top 3 choices and paint them up on the wall.

11) Rushing to paint a second coat (you need to make sure the paint is dry before painting a second coat- my suggestion would be to start in the morning, and then take a break for lunch/running errands while the first coat dries). If it’s super humid out- give it a day to dry.

12) Leaving the lid off the paint- will almost always lead to someone accidentally kicking it over. (once you pour paint into the tray, replace the lid and tap into place with the handle of a screwdriver)

13) Using glossy paint over imperfect walls (the imperfections will always show) – I’ve made this mistake!

14) Not painting in the “V” or “W” motions (this is the best way to avoid streaks)

15) And don’t forget to TAKE YOUR TIME. Patience is key when painting!


-SK 🙂

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