Starting a new DIY project can be really exciting as you think about the outcome you hope to achieve.
Sometimes this excitement is short-lived - you start the project and then you start running into challenges.
Suddenly, what started out as something exciting is now a pain in the butt and you just want to pack it in.
You can ensure that your projects run smoothly by avoiding these common DIY mistakes.
1. Using the wrong materials or tools Have you ever tried using a fork to butter bread or used car oil for cooking (I mean it’s oil right)? We all know the benefits of using the right tool for the right application, and the same goes for your painting projects. Before you start a DIY job, be sure you know exactly what tools you need, and which materials are best for the job. When taking on a painting project the most important factors are the following:
- The surface texture of what you’re painting (rough/medium/smooth)
- The size and the type of substrate (brick/concrete/wood/metal)
This information will guide you to the correct paint and the correct applicator for the job.
2. Not using paint swatches or samples Remember that Tinder date you went on? The one with the super-hot profile pic and promises of exciting adventures, but when they arrived, the picture was 20 years old and exciting adventures meant Netflix and chill? Well, that’s basically the same as buying paint without using swatches or samples. Take your time when choosing a paint colour. Make that trip to your local paint store. Ask them about current trends, styles, and what would work best for your space. Take a selection of swatches and, if possible, even ask for a few samples to take home with you. Then finally, spend time comparing the swatches to the rest of your house, your furniture, and your current décor pieces. Use the paint samples to paint your different color options on the wall, and see which tones work the best together. You will now also have proof that Neon Green your partner wanted will not work for the Kitchen. Don’t think it will work, KNOW it will work!
3. Taking shortcuts in the preparation phase In DIY, as in cooking, preparation is key. When you cook from a recipe, you need to ensure you have all the correct ingredients and equipment. There is nothing worse than halfway through realising your key ingredient is still frozen solid in the freezer! (Trust me). You also need to preheat the oven and grease the pans. And finally, you need to combine all your ingredients in the correct quantities and at the correct time…You get the picture? Every step is important when it comes to preparation. Painting a wall? This is the preparation required:
- Check that you have all the necessary materials and tools:
- Cover the floors and furniture with a drop sheet (unless you want to use this as a great excuse to get rid of that couch you got from your in-laws?)
- Fill any holes or cracks with a crack filler. Allow it fully dry, sand it smooth, and wipe away all the dust
- Wash the wall with sugar soap (to remove any excess dust and oils), rinse thoroughly, and dry completely.
- Use masking tape around light switches, plug points and skirting boards
- And don’t forget to stir the paint properly with a paint paddle or a flat (clean) piece of wood Prep done! Now you can paint with confidence!
4. Measuring incorrectly We’ve all been there… we measure the skirting, we do the math in our heads, we go for the cut aaaaaand... it’s wrong. If we’re lucky, our piece is longer than what we need and we can try again, but Murphy will probably pitch up and ensure it’s too short and there goes that piece in the bin and back to the store we go!
We hate those trips, and the same goes for paint quantities. No one wants to make multiple trips to the paint store because we didn’t buy enough.
Paint coverage is measured in m2. Multiply the height of your wall by the width to get your surface area. (I.e. 3mx5m = 15m2). As every paint has a different coverage rate and consistency, you will need to ask your local supplier how much you’ll need to cover that square meterage.
When I was helping my Pops with DIY around the house, he would always say to me, “Measure twice and cut once”... he would also say, “I told you to bring me a bobbejaan spanner, that’s not a #*&@ bobbejaan spanner!” I do miss him.
5. Buying the cheap stuff “You get what you pay for”, oh that old chestnut. Remember that item you bought on Wish? I bet you wish you hadn’t.
Price differences between similar products are hardly ever arbitrary – cheap stuff is made cheaply, using cheap materials and generally speaking, will not work as well as something that is a bit more expensive but well-made. Listen, when you DIY your major saving is on labour – if you want a good result you will still have to invest in quality materials and tools. What’s the point of spending R1000,00 on paint and then ruining the paint job with a cheap and nasty brush? There is no point.
Also, good quality tools last longer. If you take care of your investment, clean it and care for it properly, you will get multiple uses from a single good quality paint brush. If the job requires power tools you may consider hiring what you need, especially if it’s a once-off project. But then again…can you ever have too many power tools?
We hope you enjoyed these useful tips. If you have any questions, please drop us a line – we are happy to help where we can.