7 Reasons Your Paint Color Looks Bad

To err is human but to make mistakes when choosing color for you home is expensive and a waste of time. I’m a Color Specialist in Charlotte and have seen and fixed just about all the color and painting mistakes one can possible make in a home.

Here are some of the most common mistakes and hopefully you’ll be reading this BEFORE you start to paint.


You have clashing undertones. If there is one think that will really throw off your color palette is mixing up your undertones. I don’t mean paint with paint undertones I’m talking about paint and decor undertones. I had a client that chose a pink gray wall color and her kitchen counter top was a soft yellow. For lack of a better term, it just looks weird.


You used a cheap paint brand. This is a no brainer. We’ve all heard the saying “you get what you pay for” well it applies to paint as well. Back in the day I worked in the Lowe’s Paint Department and there is a huge difference when I mixed Valspar paint and then Olympic paint. There’s a reason you never heard me talk or write about Olympic Paint. Having said that, it does have its place but not if you need your paint to hold up for years.


You used a cheap paint brush:  Should you spend $14 for a Wooster or $5 for a generic brand paint brush? Well after you pluck dozens of brush hairs out of your paint, you tell me. On the rare occasion I paint, I always buy a new paint brush for cutting in and my favorite is a 2″ angled Wooster. Having a good brush will make painting so much easier! I don’t even use blue tape when I use this brush. Try it.


You used the wrong sheen. This is really confusing for so many people and it’s really easy to choose the wrong sheen.  If you choose anything with a shine, wall imperfections will show up; nail pops, brush strokes, seams and wall texture. If you choose flat it’s difficult to keep clean if you have kids and pets. Talk with your Designer, Paint Contractor or an Associate in the paint department before you choose your sheen. Most of my clients go with flat.

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Your walls have tons of imperfections. I have seen some of the most horrible wall imperfections on homes that were just built. Builders rush and don’t pay attention to detail and your walls reflect that. There are things you can do to minimized wall imperfections but sometimes you just have to have your wall repaired before you paint.


You didn’t prime. This is the step that so many people just don’t consider. Why does my red paint look pink? Because the white underneath is showing through. You didn’t prime  and by they way, you’d need a gray primer when painting with red. Don’t EVER use your first coat of paint as a primer and if you paint contractor does this, fire him. It’s much cheaper to use a gallon of primer first rather than a high quality paint. And don’t fall for the “oh I put two heavy coats on”.

You just chose the wrong color. You wanted gold but by accident chose yellow. You wanted a coastal blue but chose a baby blue instead. You wanted a beige but chose pinky beige and now your house looks like a band-aid. It happens all the time … I know, I fix most of these issues.

“A stitch in time saves nine”

About Donna Frasca

I am an energy that has found a new vibration and frequency. Through many years of writing, learning, and experiencing, I've found comfort in trusting in myself and in Spirit.
This entry was posted in Color, Color Tips, Painting Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 7 Reasons Your Paint Color Looks Bad

  1. Hey, you forgot #8:

    “You didn’t hire Donna Frasca.”

  2. Pingback: Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in August | Pegasus Lighting Blog

  3. Richard J. D'Angelo says:

    Great article, Donna. As a professional painting contractor I can tell you that you’re right on the money with a lot of what you said. I might add that as far as sheen goes: the top two painting manufacturers’ top lines of paint (e.g. Benjamin Moore’s Aura) is scrubbable (cleanable) in all finishes once the paint has had enough time to cure (3 weeks for Aura) – so for a homeowner who really wants a quality painting job they should use quality paint, like you mentioned. AND: they should hire you for help with color selection.

    I really enjoyed the article!

    • Donna Frasca says:

      Thanks Richard. Many of my color & paint tips come from hands on experience and you just can’t beat that. It’s good to know that projects such as paint and materials were actually used and tested before a blog post is written. That’s why I think so many readers really like my blog, because it’s the real deal. Thank you so much!

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