How to avoid paint defects is all about surface preparation

How to avoid paint defects is all about surface preparation

Anyone can slap some paint on, but keeping it on and looking great for years to come requires the proper preparation for the surface you intend to work on. Here are our tips and tricks to get you started on the right path to doing a great paint job, no matter the surface or location in your home, garden, workplace or otherwise. There are plenty of things you will need to consider before you jump into your next DIY paint job.

Research your surface

The end result of a painting job is directly related to the time you take to do it and whether or not you know what you’re doing. That includes taking time for perfecting the process of proper surface preparation. A fast job almost always gives a result somewhere between average and disappointing and that is not where you want to end up. Taking a moment to research and understand the scope of the job will help you to ultimately get it done right the first time. Do you know which paint suits the surface best? How to make sure you’ve prepped it properly? Is there enough ventilation for the products you need to use? How do you protect yourself? Write yourself a list of questions that you can ask a fellow DIYer or one of our paint specialists in store at Mitre 10.

Managing different surfaces to avoid painting defects

Even if your house is brick veneer or possibly even rendered, there are still trim and detail areas that require painting, and if your house is weatherboard you have large areas of painted surfaces to manage. When looking at houses generally, it’s the details such as fences, gates, fascias and fronts and even front doors that are most noticeable and create the strongest impression. It’s the contrast between these external areas and the interior colour scheme that people really take notice of.

Of all painting defects it’s cracking, peeling, flaking and blistering that are the most common. And the reason for these is almost always the same – poor surface preparation, or no surface preparation at all, although sometimes it’s an issue of moisture penetrating the timber or other material from the inside, or getting behind the paint film.

Benefits of proper surface preparation

Of all the possible solutions there is really only one that will ensure a professional result and that’s surface preparation. Don’t waste your time cutting corners with surface preparation, you will thank yourself down the track when your paint job still looks really great. The benefits of proper surface preparation include:

  • Increased durability of paint
  • Easy and even application
  • Paint job looks professional
  • Less peeling, cracking or flaking
  • Moisture won’t penetrate the surface
  • Colour and vibrancy is bright
  • Better adhesion of paint
  • Eliminates costly reworking

Weather conditions make all the difference

If you can, make sure you prepare and paint your surface when the weather isn’t going to make things difficult. Painting during extreme heat or cold is a big no no as the paint consistency and drying times could be altered and you will have to repeat or fix your DIY paint job. Similarly wind, humidity and rain are going to throw a spanner in the works too.

Now, that’s not to say that paint preparation, weather conditions or the way the paint is applied won’t contribute to the finish, of course they will, but surface preparation is the key to success.

Take your time

Slow down! When you begin your surface preparation you may quickly feel there is little benefit in this stage, and be itching to get painting. Fight this urge, and take your time! Think of your painting job as a series of stages, and surface preparation is building the foundations. Also, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturers of your preparation products and paints. These guidelines are there for the sole purpose of helping you achieve a great finish the first time around with no hiccups.

Before you go, here are our final tips for surface prep

For any DIY project, it’s always great to keep a few quick DOs and DON’Ts front of mind, especially if it is your first time. When in doubt, make sure you ask questions at your local Mitre 10 - our professional paint specialists can help you with any queries.

To finish, here are some do's and dont's


  • Invest in quality paint fromMitre 10
  • Do more research on your surface
  • Apply two top coats
  • Find which type of paint is best for your surface
  • Ask yourMitre 10 paint specialist for advice
  • Stir the paint completely before use
  • Patch test your paints
  • Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions
  • Take time with your surface preparation
  • Calculate how much paint you will need


  • Paint when it's extremely hot, cold, wet or windy
  • Paint when rain or high humidity is forecast
  • Thin the paint too much to make it go further
  • Guess how much paint you need
  • Forget your personal protective gear
  • Apply paint too thinly or too thickly
  • Try and get by on one coat
  • Paint without appropriate ventilation
  • Waste your money on cheap paint

For more information on how to prep various different surfaces for painting and which paints are the best quality, contact us or head in store today to talk to one of our friendly paint experts today.

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