How to Fix Paint Disasters

Photo credit: Best Home Interior Ideas

We’ve all been in those situations—the unpredictable, the unplanned and if you’re lucky and know what to do, the totally fixable of life’s little disasters. Hey, it happens to us all—you slam the couch into your wall and a huge chunk of paint chips off, your sweet baby uses crayons on your walls or a party guest accidentally lets a wine glass fly. In today’s post, we wanted to share some of our pro secrets on handling some of your home’s unpredictable moments and our tips on how to fix paint disasters.

1- What Should You Do If…Your Kid Draws on Your Walls with Crayons

What Should I Do If…

Photo credit: My 10 Online


Well, first thing’s first. Handle parenting this situation however you see fit within your family (some parenting blogs suggest handing your child a bucket of soapy water and a sponge so after a few minutes of scrubbing, they understand the permanency of what they did). However, for the actual cleaning part of it, we can help you there. First, head to the kitchen. Mayonnaise is commonly known to be the best cleaner in this situation. Dab some on your walls (ick, we know) and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe off with a damp cloth. If this doesn’t work, other home remedies from Reader’s Digest include baking soda, WD40, toothpaste, pencil erasers or steel wool.

2- What Should You Do If…You Chip the Paint Clear Off the Wall

What Should I Do If…

Photo credit: Houselogic

So, you chipped your paint job in your living room (insert bathroom/kitchen/bedroom/dining room). Good news, it is totally fixable! Remove the paint chip and sand the area down so you have a fairly flat surface to work with (this depends on the severity of the chip so use your best judgement here on whether to keep sanding or just move onto the next step). If the chip or chips aren’t coming off, try loosening them with a putty knife. Next, repair the hole with spackle. Using a putty knife, spread a thin layer of spackle onto your damaged area so it is flush with the wall, but doesn’t stick out. Allow your spackle to fully dry, then sand it again so if looks uniform with your wall. Last step, paint! If you kept touch up paint on hand, this is the perfect time to pull it out. Depending on the size of the chip, you can choose to prime/not prime the area (if it’s a smaller area, you may not need to).

3- What Should You Do If…You Totally Botched Your DIY Paint Job

So you didn’t tape…and now it looks like your 5-year old painted your bathroom. Or maybe you tried a specialty finish and accidentally inverted the steps…it’s ok, we all mess things up. The first thing you need to do in this situation is calm down (and probably sit down). Painting is exhausting and for a new DIYer, a multi-step, long and confusing process…likely also with multiple trips to your home improvement store. A couple hours likely aren’t going to change your situation. So walk away from the paint job and come back to it. You’ll be better off facing it with a clear mind and better off by not trying to fix it in an exasperated moment. When you go back, survey the damage. Is this a time when you can see an easy fix with additional paint, tape and a steady hand? Then do it. Or is it time to call in the professionals? Put your shame aside, we’ve seen it all and can help consult mid-paint job if things go awry. Give us a call and we’ll set up a time to come out and help. It happens!

4- What Should You Do If…Wine Somehow Gets Thrown on Your White Walls

The great news is this probably means you had a fun party (potentially with some hand gesturing guests) and if someone gets wine on your white walls, it’s not the end of the world. The best thing to do is to get moving quickly on the problem and don’t let the stain set. Ask your party guests to relocate and get moving. Grab some dry, white paper towels and start blotting (being careful, don’t scrub) the stain off the wall to keep it from flowing down the length of your wall.

If that doesn’t get all of it, try a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and clear dish soap. Apply the mixture to the wall and let it sit for a few minutes, then blot off the wall with a damp white paper towel. If that doesn’t work, you may need to try an oxi-bleach (similar to an Oxy-Clean) or a speciality wine remover (you can find at your local wine store). If the stain has set and really won’t budge, you may need to repaint. And perhaps on the next round, a stain-blocking paint may be a good choice for this room of the house.

5- What Should You Do If…You Knock a Can of Paint all Over Your Hardwood Floors or Carpet

What Should I Do If…

Photo credit: Ebay

Oopsies…so that just happened. You just knocked or dripped paint all over your carpet or hardwood floors. The best time to get paint up off hardwood floors or carpet is when the paint is still wet, so stop what you’re doing and set your focus on your floors.

For carpet, start by blotting (don’t scrub, it’ll make the paint set in your carpet) the area with a paint cloth or kitchen cloth. Hopefully this will get most of it up. If there’s some left, try attacking the last of it when the paint is dry by mixing a cup of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and apply it to the stain. Let the solution sit. For water-based paints, you may need a putty knife to chip the paint off your carpet, then follow up with a steamer. For latex-based paints, blot the solution from the outside in, then follow up by vacuuming the affected area up.

For hardwood floors, it becomes considerably more difficult to get the paint up after it has dried (you’re going to have to either scrape it off or dissolve it with a solvent). For paint that hasn’t totally set yet, you may be able to scrape it off by taping a putty knife with a hammer to remove the spot. For some paints, you may need to apply some heat with a hairdryer. Hold the hair dryer about 3 inches from the spot for 10 – 15 seconds, then try scraping off with a putty knife. The last option is to rub the affected area with a solvent. However, before you try this, head to your hardware store to make sure you have the correct one (based on the kind of paint) and to get specific instructions on applying that particular solvent. Lesson learned, the next time you’re touching up or painting, don’t forget to put put plastic down.

Have you had any paint disasters you learned a valuable lesson from? When do you think it’s time to say uncle and call in the pros? If you’re not a pro, we’ve likely all been there, share your story with us!

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