Paint Application Issues to Avoid

Many DIY painting jobs fail prematurely due to several application mistakes. This article discusses some of those application mistakes and how they can be avoided in order to have lasting results.

Sagging Paint Fragments

Paint can flow and sag on some sections of the painted surface if the person painting the surface didn't mix the paint well. For example, paint can sag in case you applied too much thinner during the mixing process. Paint can also sag in case you aren't careful when painting boards with gaps in them. Excessive paint can be trapped and later flow from those gaps. Take care and watch how much paint you allow to get into areas with gaps.

Wet Edge Problems

Lack of uniformity can occur in case you delay to apply an additional layer of paint before the previous one dries. Paint layers blend well when applied within a short interval. You should avoid taking long breaks, such as when taking a phone call, while you are painting. Similarly, avoid painting when the ambient temperature is high because the paint will dry quickly before you can apply the second layer. The edges that dry slowly will blend better than the other areas and the difference will be visible.

Paint Inconsistency

Another common application problem results when the person painting misses some sections of the substrate while applying the paint. The missed areas may be small but they will mar the appearance of the surface once all the paint has cured. Such problems can be avoided by being systematic and working on small sections of the surface at a time. Working on a small section at a time allows you to view the area quickly in order to confirm where the last brush or roller stroke landed as you resume after dipping the brush or roller into the container of fresh paint.


Air bubbles can be trapped within the paint as you use a roller during the project. Selecting the roller carefully can reduce this problem. For example, water-based paints require a roller whose bristles are nearly twice as dense as those that can suffice for oil-based paint. Additionally, you can combat foaming by passing a nearly dry roller or brush over each section of the painted surface. That brush or roller will get rid of any trapped air. However, caution must be taken when doing this to avoid removing most of the applied paint in that area. Use light strokes to reduce how deeply the brush or roller touches the painted surface.

Ask a trade-qualified painter to inspect your surfaces in case previous painting jobs have failed prematurely. That professional will pinpoint the cause of the problem and fix it before you repaint the surface.