Let Me Show You How to Fix Common Painting Problems

If your paint job didn’t go as well as planned, we’ve got ways you can fix common painting mistakes such as drips, brush marks and stains.

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STEP 1 Removing Drips

Drips are caused by poor technique — usually overloading the brush during application.

Drips may look unsightly but can be easily removed .

Use a scraper to scrape back the paint drips .

Sand the area to a smooth finish . Repaint the sanded area.

STEP 2 Hiding Stains

Stains are caused by smoke damage or not properly priming before painting. The wall should always be cleaned then primed. You can also treat stains caused by mildew this way, provided the cause of the problem has been fixed.

Clean the area thoroughly with TSP, then allow the surface to dry completely .

Apply stain blocker or oil-based undercoat over the stain .

Allow the stain blocker or undercoat to dry, then recoat with spare topcoat .

STEP 3 Smoothing a Gritty Finish

Rough or gritty finishes are a result of poor preparation or impurities introduced into the paint during application. Always decant paint into a kettle when using a brush, and stir and sieve old paint before you use it again.

A gritty paint finish spoils the appearance of a painted surface , but it is easily remedied.

Use sandpaper to sand the area back . Clean down with a cloth to remove dust.

Repaint the area with topcoat .

STEP 4 Removing Wrinkled Paint

This effect is created by painting coats too quickly, and not allowing adequate drying time. It can also be caused by extremes of temperature while the paint is drying.

This problem requires stripping, sanding and repainting in order to get the desired finish.

Strip paint completely using chemical stripper or a hot air gun .

Sand down the area and repaint .
STEP 5 Eliminating Brush Marks
Prominent brush marks are caused by poor application technique . The problem is also common with natural wood finishes.

Obvious brush marks in different directions can make wood finishes look uneven.


Machine sand the area . Wipe the area clean of dust with a damp cloth.

Repaint the area . If using a natural wood finish, take care to apply stain with the grain, keeping a wet edge at all times.

STEP 6 Improving Poor Coverage

Poor coverage is caused by applying the wrong number of coats of paint. Sometimes this problem combines with prominent streaks in the paint caused by paint buildup on roller edges during application.

Poor coverage results in a patchy appearance and needs repainting.

Sand the area to remove any paint ridges created by roller edge trails .

Recoat the area using as many coats of paint necessary to match the surface .
STEP 7 Hiding Filler That Shows Through
This problem sometimes occurs when filled areas are not primed before painting. It is always best to prime filler and/or apply an extra patch of paint to filled areas. This is especially the case for water-based paints.

This problem can occur with some types of filler .

Recoat the patch of filler with a suitable primer, or if you are painting with latex paint, prime with the full-strength paint .

Recoat the entire wall .

STEP 8 Dealing With a Bleeding Knot

Where wood has not been knotted and primed, knots can continue to secrete resin that will show through coats of paint.

Scrape back the paint from the knot and sand the area smooth .

Apply some sealer .

Apply primer, followed by the required paint finish .

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