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How to Avoid Scary Paint Failures

Painting is a potentially expensive job and you don’t want to ruin it. The alternative is waiting until it dries and starting from scratch, which means paying double for a job you can’t guarantee you will get right the second time around.

Scary paint failures are the bane of every homeowner. If you get it right, you won’t have to paint again for years. Get it wrong and you are in for a whole lot of heartache and a much lighter wallet. This guide is designed for homeowners who want to take on a painting project but don’t want to suffer from the post-decorating horrors.

Preparation Is Key

Like any other skilled discipline, painting requires preparation. First of all, you must ensure that you have the right tools, such as rollers, brushes, safety equipment, and paint. Every surface is different so it is important to understand which tools and type of paint are best for the job. However, as a basic rule, you should always prepare the surface you are painting as follows:

If you are painting a newly plastered wall, you should always use a primer to seal the surface. For painting over old paint, it is essential to clean the surface of dirt and grease before applying a fresh coat. While it may not seem like the easiest option, we recommend removing any old wallpaper before painting. Never paint over mold – treat any infected areas before you begin your project and, preferably, locate and neutralize the source of the mold.

Choosing Your Paint

The Arizona sun is no friend to cheap exterior paint. Invest in high-quality acrylic latex paint if you want results that will stand the test of time. Again, it is important to ensure that the surface is properly prepared before applying your paint. Cheap paint will not have the same flexible properties as the more expensive options, which may result in your paint cracking and flaking within weeks.

For your interior paint, we recommend using a product that has low VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These compounds produce pollutants that can cause serious health issues. In hot states such as Arizona, products that contain VOCs may break down faster, spreading invisible dangers throughout your home. Paint that has low VOCs is better for your health and the environment.

Brushes & Rollers

When it comes to painting tools, quality brushes and rollers are the way to go. An effective applicator allows for a thicker coat of paint. If your tools are top quality, it will result in a uniform finish and you will likely save on wasted paint, too. The best brushes are split bristled in varying lengths. If you buy cheap brushes, the manufacturer has probably saved on production by reducing the number of bristles, which means that the brush won’t be tightly packed.

You can use a small 1/4″ brush for all your woodwork, metal surfaces and walls. For a smooth finish, we recommend a foam or synthetic roller materials. Thicker-napped rollers can result in a textured finish, which is fine if that is the effect you are looking for. In all cases, you should check the label when purchasing rollers to ensure that the product is suitable for your specific project needs.

Avoid the Sun

It is pretty difficult to avoid the sun when you live in Arizona. However, to avoid scary paint failures, it is important to paint when the weather is cool to moderate. Before beginning your project, it is a good idea to inspect the exterior of the property and identify areas of shade throughout the day. That way you can plan to paint each area when there is the least exposure to the harsh rays of the sun.

Plan to start your project in the early morning before the sun has reached full strength. Your paint needs sufficient time to dry as intended. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the can for best results. Checking the weather forecast will provide you with a good indication of which days are ideal for your project. It is better to space your project over a number of days if you have to, rather than risk your paint drying out too quickly and destroying the finish.

Safety First

At the Arizona Painting Company, we always encourage safety when painting. Wear a facemask at all times and, if you are handling any sort of chemical product, you should also wear gloves. If you are planning on using a ladder to reach higher areas, make sure that it is sturdy and on a level surface. Keep three points of contact with the ladder when painting and do not overstretch.


For more professional advice and painting services, contact the Arizona Painting Company today.

Arizona Painting Company