For major home renovation projects, there’s no doubt that you need to call in the experts. Unless you are a contractor yourself, or have a lot of experience in dealing with these sorts of jobs, there’s a large element of risk if you try and take them on yourself.
One job which can fall outside of this scope is decorating. Granted, the professionals will probably always do a better job, and also save you some precious time and possibly a few aches and pains! However, it’s perfectly possible to do DIY decorating and achieve a great result – and doing your own decorating will certainly reduce the cost of the project.
Common DIY decorating mistakes
If you’re having a go at decorating, there are some classic mistakes that can really impact the finished result. Here are four of the most common mistakes to avoid when attempting your own decorating.
Mistake #1 – you don’t protect or move your furniture
Some of the biggest problems that crop up with DIY decorating are about a lack of preparation.
One of the very first things that you should be doing, before even preparing the walls, is moving any furniture out of harm’s way, or covering it thoroughly with dust sheets. If you really can’t find a temporary home for some furniture items, an easier alternative is to look through personal storage options. This will mean that your furniture is completely protected while you get on with the decorating, and it will also avoid disruption to the rest of your home.
Mistake #2 – you forget about prepping walls
Prepping the walls is a crucial stage of any DIY decorating project. If you think that all you need to do is place masking tape around your skirting boards, you’re setting yourself up for a problem! The prep work that comes with painting is quite often more time consuming than the painting itself. You need to deal with any wall imperfections, sand the surface, clean it, and in some cases prime it. This will take time, so be realistic about how long you’re going to be spending on this stage.
Mistake #3 – you try and paint around power sockets
This is one of those decorating shortcuts that easily ends up taking more time than doing the job properly. If you try to paint around power sockets or tape around the perimeter of them, the result is usually that paint still splatters onto the socket, or there are obvious mistakes around the outline of it. All of this takes time to remedy.
Instead, unscrew the power socket and paint every small part of the wall that sits behind it. It really doesn’t take much time to do this, and the finished result will look so much better.
Mistake #4 – you buy cheap paint
Finally, if there is one way to extend a DIY decorating job, it’s by using cheap (or unsuitable) paint. If you use a good quality paint, you’ll quickly find that it takes less coats to achieve full coverage. When you start to use cheaper alternatives, the number of coats needed can increase substantially. This means that you could easily go through several coats of paint, and perhaps multiple cans, before you start to see the results that you were hoping for. As well as taking more time, this approach will probably end up costing you more than you expected.
Have you made any big mistakes with DIY decorating? What’s your top tip for how to avoid a decorating disaster?