Painting Gone Wrong: Top 3 Mistakes & Fixes

This article also appears on Property Guru here.

roller paint brush
Your living room is looking good with a new coat of twilight magenta paint – everything’s super good. After giving yourself a pat on the back, it’s time to relax and lepak a bit. As you’re rewarding yourself with a glass of kopi ais and a couple of pisang goreng, you suddenly noticed that you’ve got drips of paint on the floor – 30 minutes before your wife is home! To add to the problem, your paint job is starting to look a little weird with air bubbles coming out of nowhere.

Keep calm and take a deep breath! Mistakes do happen, especially if you’re doing your own house painting instead of a professional contractor. The good news is that there’s no need to cry over spilled milk, or paint – we’re revealing the top 3 painting mistakes that people commonly make (and panic over!) and how you can easily fix them:

1. Wrinkled Paint

After you’ve finished painting, you might notice that there are some areas on the wall surface which look kind of like a ‘wrinkled’ layer of thin skin. This indicates that you probably applied too much paint or you’ve painted in a room that is either too hot or too cold – these extreme temperatures can cause the top layer of paint to dry quicker than the rest, hence the appearance of a thin layer of ‘skin’ or wrinkles. Second, it could also happen if you did not let your undercoat dry completely before painting over it with your main colour.

The third reason for this could be because the wall that you painted on is not completely clean of dirt or wax.


Fix It:

  • First, leave the existing paint to dry completely.
  • Once the paint is dry, use sand paper to do some rough sanding over the area and wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
  • After that, apply a layer of undercoat on the area and LET IT DRY COMPLETELY before repainting over it (don’t repeat the same mistake!)

2. Painting Without A Primer or Undercoat

You usually wouldn’t notice what the big deal is about using primers or undercoats until it’s too late. This is one of the most common painting mistakes which people always overlooked. It’s not recommended to ever skip an undercoat – it can help to make the paint stick to the surface better and as a plain base, it helps to make the colour of your top coat stand out better.

The problem becomes more obvious when you’re trying to go from a dark colour to a lighter one. For example, if you want to switch from deep red to light green without an undercoat, the old deep red colour will shine through your new light green wall (we don’t think that’s going to look pretty at all). Should this happen, don’t worry.

Fix It:

  • Simply go over your wall again with the undercoat or primer. Then, repaint it with your top coat (your desired paint colour). Everything will be okay.

3. Paint On The Floor

A very, very common situation – almost inevitable even to the most experienced of painters! If there is paint on the floor, do your best to clean it up immediately. Read the cleaning instructions on the paint can for the best way to remove the type of paint that you are using.

Fix It:

  • If it’s a puddle of paint, try to scoop up the paint. Use a sponge to absorb the remaining paint that’s left on the floor.
  • Grab a clean dry cloth and wipe off the last bits of paint if there are still spots. Always use a paint-free part of the cloth to remove another part of the spill so you don’t end up smudging the area and making the stain worse.
  • Keep removing as much of the paint residue as possible.
  • For water-based paint – get a new rag to wipe the area with some warm water and detergent. Leave the area to dry.
  • For oil-based paint – these are harder to remove and generally would require mineral spirits to remove them.

Another alternative is to use rubbing alcohol to remove the paint stains. For small spots, dampen a cloth with the rubbing alcohol and wipe off.



If it’s too much too handle, get in contact with one of our renovation contractors, painting contractors, handyman or general contractor in your area who can give their professional advice and come over to your home to fix the damage.

For cleaning up huge messes after painting work or a house renovation, Kaodim also has a list of reliable professional cleaning services companies who are made for the job! Send us your enquiry and compare up to 5 quotes.