Troubleshoot Common Painting Problems

Painting is an easy way to change the look of your home or furniture, but it isn't without its problems. Here's a look at some of the most common problems people experience when taking on a painting project and how to fix these problems.

Paint on Skin

When you're painting, it's common to get paint on your arms, hands or face. Sometimes even the washable paint is difficult to remove often requiring scrubbing off a layer of skin before the paint comes off. To make paint come right off without scrubbing, spray a thin layer of cooking spray on exposed skin. You can also rub a thin layer of canola oil or olive oil on your skin which may feel more pleasant than cooking spray. Olive oil is the better choice for your face since it's a natural moisturizer and will make your skin glow. These techniques work with both latex and oil paints.

To get paint off of skin or hands that hasn't been oiled, use solid vegetable shortening. An inexpensive no name brand will work fine. This method will make it easier to wash off oil-based or latex paints.

Stinky Paint

Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint is the ideal choice. It doesn't smell as strongly because it has lower amounts of toxic vapors that are dangerous to human health and the environment. But if you haven't chosen a paint with low VOCs or simply still don't like the smell of paint, even the green choice, there is something you can do to neutralize the odor. Add one tablespoon of pure vanilla extract, not the artificial extract, per gallon of paint. It won't affect the color and vanilla is a natural deodorizer.

Paint on Carpet

It happens to almost everyone. The drop cloth has moved on your bedroom floor and the fresh new color you've applied to your walls is now in splotches on your carpet. It's important to act immediately if you want to successfully remove it. First use several white clean clothes or paper towel to remove as much paint as possible. Don't rub it into the carpet. Blot the fibers until all or most of the paint has been removed. Cover the spill with plenty of white flour to absorb any remaining paint. Vacuum as soon as you've seen the flour has finished absorbing the paint.

Make Paint Stick to Non-traditional Surfaces

It's possible to paint non-traditional surfaces like metal or plastic, but a little extra preparation needs to be done to make the paint stick. Metal surfaces should be free of other paint specks and rust. If the metal is clean, rub the surface with a vinegar-dampened sponge. Allow to dry and immediately paint. The vinegar residue will remove any other contaminants you've missed and help the paint stick. Rub plastic surfaces with an unscented fabric softener sheet to help paint stick.