It’s obvious that it’s spring when your neighbours are out in the yard, and you can hear the hum of spring-cleaning vacuums when you walk down the street. You’re cleaning out the garage, buying spring bulbs for the garden, and doing a few fix-me-ups inside, like giving the living room a fresh coat of paint. 
I wanted to share 10 rookie DIY painting mistakes  you DON’T want to make it your home. Have a great weekend, and bring on spring!

 1. Don’t skimp on the prep work.

Like middle school, prep work is awful drudgery that must be completed before you can move on to better things. Indoors, the most important stuff is cleaning all surfaces, repairing damaged areas, patching where necessary, and prepping the area (see item 10, below). Outdoors, the critical prep work is removing peeling and otherwise loose paint, repairing damaged or rotted wood, and cleaning all surfaces.
2. Don’t mess with old paint unless you’re sure it’s lead-free.
Apart from curious kids eating paint chips, all of the warnings about lead paint can be realized with paint prep work: sanding or scraping lead paint makes it friable (airborne), the perfect state for getting into your body. To play it safe, if there’s any chance a surface may have been painted with lead paint, have a sample tested first.
3. Don’t paint over moisture or active mould.
Stain-blocking (and specifically mould-blocking) primers are good for preventing colour bleed-through from dark mould stains, but they’re not intended to correct a live mould problem. And they’ll only mask a moisture problem for a very short time. Since mould and moisture go together, first stop the moisture (wherever it’s coming from), then kill the mould (with detergent or diluted bleach) and let it all dry completely before priming and painting.
4. Don’t paint bare surfaces without priming first.
As much as you might resent it, primer is your friend. It sticks really well, it fills pores in raw materials and it’s less than half the price of paint. Using an extra coat of paint instead of primer is a waste of money and likely will result in a poorer finished product.
5. Don’t paint masonry on a whim.
Poured concrete, brick, stone and concrete block are among the very few building materials that can fairly be called “maintenance-free.” Painting them once changes that forever.
6. Don’t use tape (in most cases).
Pros don’t use tape for the same reasons you shouldn’t: it’s time-consuming and painstaking to apply, it usually lets paint bleed underneath its edge, and it can peel the new paint off when it’s removed. Instead of using tape in the usual places, remove anything that’s removable (like outlet covers and cabinet hardware), and take the time to “cut in” a clean line of paint along the edges of trimwork and the like.
7. Don’t use cheap paint.
Quality paint goes on better, lasts longer and has much nicer colour than lousy paint. And when you consider that you’ll be looking at the results for the next decade or so, an extra $10 or $15 is a worthwhile upgrade.
8. Don’t use cheap paintbrushes.
This goes right along with the last item. A $3 brush will never work well and should be discarded after the first job, right about the time it starts shedding bristles. A $10 brush knows how to handle paint and will become a treasured tool for years down the road.
9. Don’t paint window tracks.
Errant baseballs aside, painting the tracks where the sashes slide is perhaps the best (and dumbest) way to ruin a window. This is akin to lubricating ball bearings with caulk. For the same reason, never let paint overlap from the stop to the sash and vice versa.
10. Don’t paint over outlet and switch covers.
Being too lazy to remove electrical cover plates before painting, and merely taping off the covers, leaves a ridge along the edge that usually peels away in a large, unsightly chunk if the cover is removed later. Take the two minutes to remove the switch plate.
(story originally from, by Philip Schmidt)

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