7 Common Commercial Painting Mistakes

August 3, 2020


If your office or commercial property is looking tired, it can be easier to replace furniture and fittings than go through a large DIY project. However, nothing brightens up a room more than fresh paint. This can take time and time is money. To speed up the process and help you along we have listed 7 common commercial painting mistakes and how to avoid them. 

1. Failing to Protect an Area

This is especially important if your premises will still be operational during painting. Cordon off areas, cover carpets and flooring with sheets and clothes. Furniture should be moved out of the area or covered correctly if it is too large. 

Tape off any trims, sills or door handles in the area making sure the tape is flush with any straight edges, especially when using a dark or vibrant paint. Be very careful if you choose to remove electrical plates from the wall rather than tape over them. Finally, wear appropriate clothing and overalls so you do not splash your favorite jeans or shirt!

2. Avoiding the Use of Primer

If painting outer walls or any porous surface (wood, concrete, or a dry wall) then you will need to primer to improve adhesion, fill pores, and even out the surface. Primer smooths out the surface and provides a base for which the paint can adhere too, making your job easier and giving an all-round better finish. 

Paint and primer in one is only recommended for walls that are in good shape and have been painted before. 

3. Skipping Proper Preparation

The key to an even coat and hassle-free paint job is in proper preparation. Firstly, make sure you have scraped off any excess paint from the wall. Then fill any cracks or holes in the wall using filler, making sure you even out the surfaces. next, give it a light sand.

Dust can have a really bad impact on paint, so wipe the wall with a dry cloth then vacuum any boards and joins. Following this, clean the surface using a sponge and warm water. Wait until it has dried before you add primer or begin to paint. 

If the building was built before 1978 then some paint may contain lead, which is toxic. Test kits are available to check this or skip the fuss by hiring a professional who will already have the equipment to deal with the problem.

4. Commercial Painting Mistakes—Cost Cutting

Cheaper paint can bleed and streak. It can also be thinner so require more coats and thus, more paint. You must also check if you have indoor or outdoor paint, as an indoor paint on an outdoor surface will likely last less than a season. 

You should also check what the paint is made from and what surface it will be applied to. Adding latex paint to a surface that has had oil-based paint on previously will result in peeling and bubbling. Surfaces such as this will need a total, thorough sanding before you can progress.

Also, try to avoid low-cost brushes and rollers. Cheaper brushes do not hold the paint as well and can deteriorate quickly. Wash all tools after use and store them in airtight trash liners to improve longevity. 

Make sure you have a roller for large surfaces and brushes for corners and smaller areas. When choosing brushes, synthetic bristles on a brush tend to work best with latex-based paints, whereas natural animal hair brushes work best with oil-based paints. Keep this in mind when selecting the correct tools for the job. 

5. Adding a Coat Too Soon

Between each layer of paint, you must give the coat time to dry before reapplying another. Temperature and the humidity level in the room can impact this but it is recommended you leave 24 hours before each application, although this may not always be possible. 

When painting, always work from the ceiling down. This means that drips will eventually be brushed in and absorbed into the work reducing waste. Don't put your brush too far into the paint can, as at the handle end it holds less paint and will also contribute to waste. 

6. Selecting the Wrong Colour

The color in the paint can and the color when applied to your wall can look very different. Even sample color cards do not give the full picture, so make sure that you try a tester on the surface you wish to paint. Glossy paints tend to be easier to clean, so if you are running a premise that is active or has children in it this may be the way to go. 

Testing paint on a surface can give you a much better idea of how it will look due to natural light in the room, artificial light in the room, and the placement of furniture. If in doubt, check with the opinion of a professional. 

7. Not Hiring a Professional

What seems like a simple task on the surface is actually an extremely complex job. Finding the correct tools, selecting the correct paint, and applying sound preparation techniques can all bump up costs and time. In many cases, it is easier to hire a professional who has experience and equipment than make these commercial painting mistakes.

Go With the Best 

Make sure the company you hire is fully insured, has a sound reputation, and good reviews with references. Check online to see if others have used them and if they would hire them again. For peace of mind and highly professional service, contact us today for a quote or browse our exceptional painting services on our website.

The Author | Melissa Petrusse
Melissa Petrusse, President, Petrusse-Norris Painting - Licensed Painting/Decorating Contractor and Color-Expert. Please feel free to reach out to Melissa with any painting project questions, as she is happy to be of service. Simply fill out the Contact Form found on our Contact Page, as Melissa personally receives each request. View More Post from Melissa Petrusse