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A surprisingly diverse number of problems can happen between loading up a paint brush or roller and painting a room. And when a problem comes up, it's time for DIY Diagnosis.

painting-a-roomEvan Wilder, Flickr

The arrival of a new season always triggers a need to change up the wall colors in my home. And when I want a change, I want one now. But when it comes to painting a room, it's easy to get swept up in getting the job done instead of getting the job done right. Here's a handy list of common problems that can come up, why they did and how you can stop 'em.

- A dark hue looks faded. This happens when you paint over a light color with darker one. To prevent this from happening, apply a gray-tinted primer coat in between. This will stop the lighter hue from bleeding through the bolder one, and will create a neutral base that'll let bold hues look their best.
- A random shiny spot appears a week after painting. When a flat paint is applied to a high-traffic area, a glossy spot can appear where hands (or a sponge) frequently comes in contact with the painted surface, rubbing off the matte finish. So, when it comes to high-traffic areas where you know you'll have to do some cleaning, go for a semi-gloss.
- Bubbles, everywhere. Or worse, foaming. Those tell-tale air bubbles that come up on the wall often start in the paint bucket. How do they get there? By mixing the paint a little too vigorously or shaking the bucket. Gently stirring the paint instead ensures that the pigments are evenly distributed without leading to bubbling.
- Cracks, almost like the ones you see when mud dries. A deep crack can happen when paint is applied with a heavy hand. It's often not your fault, really: A roller with a long nap used on a flat surface can end up applying thick layers of paint. If your wall is uniformly flat, stick to a roller with a 1/4"-3/8" nap.
- Brush marks all over the place. If brush marks appear as soon as you sweep over an area, chances are good that you're painting in a particularly warm spot (due to high temperature or direct sunlight). So, take a break and pick up your brush later.

Ready to get started? Boost your confidence with these refreshers...
Calculate How Much Paint You Need for a Room
No-Fail Tips for Selecting Paint
Top Tips for Interior Painting Projects
Painting Tips for Home Staging
Interior Paint Colors That Help Sell Your Home

And if you're thinking about cutting costs by choosing a cheaper formula, think again. Here's an argument for choosing quality over cost.


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