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5 Common Painting Mistakes We All Make & How to Fix them

People, especially first-timers painters, can end up making mistakes while painting. Here are a few common mistakes you can make while painting and how to fix even the most hopeless ones.

How to fix painting mistakes

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert painter, you’re bound to make mistakes once your brush touches the canvas. With these fixes you can get rid of any boo-boo’s in your work and end up with a painting you actually love!

There’s no doubt that painting is a fun, exciting and even therapeutic activity. However, like any other form of art there is a learning curve to painting and it’s a skill that can take time to perfect.

Making mistakes while painting is quite common. If you're getting frustrated because you don’t know how to fix common painting mistakes and thinking of giving up then we’re here to help.

In this article we’ll discuss some of the problems you will face as an artist, some common painting mistakes you might make and how to fix them.

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Common Painting Mistakes

Here are some of the things that can go wrong when you’re painting:

  • Not using the right colours
  • Accidentally getting paint where you don’t want it to be

Sometimes you could be making a common painting mistake without even realizing that you are. For example:

  • Over-diluting the paint
  • Over-blending the paint
  • Waiting too long to blend the paint
  • Using your brush the wrong way or using the wrong brush altogether

If you can relate to any of the common painting mistakes listed above and have been making them, then keep reading below, as we give you tips on how to fix these painting mistakes.

Or if you like a video demo of how to fix painting mistakes watch my demo below:


How to Fix Painting Mistakes

This article is perfect for you if you are a beginner and are more prone to messing up. So next time you’re painting, you feel confident that you can fix your mistakes easily and you can actually enjoy the process without getting frustrated or feeling the urge to give up. Because truly, there’s no mistake in painting you can’t fix!

So here are a few quick and easy fixes for when you make a boo-boo while painting.

1. How to Use the Brush Properly

A common mistake that people make while painting is that they only use the tips of their brushes. As a result, the paint just gets pushed around on the canvas instead of staying where you want it. Without any solid layer of paint, you can actually see the canvas underneath.

Most of the paint is in the main part of the brush, known as the belly of the brush, instead of the tip. A quick and easy fix is that instead of holding the paintbrush perpendicular to the canvas, so the tip touches the canvas, hold it more parallel to the canvas, so the belly of the brush goes on the canvas. You’ll instantly notice that a whole lot more paint goes onto the canvas.

And it helps to use light, gentle strokes when you paint with the belly of the brush on the canvas.

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2. How to fix Over Blending

As an artist when you want some gentle blending across your painting, but end up with a flat colour it just means you’ve used too many brush strokes. It’s important not to over blend so there is some differentiation between the colours you’re blending so they can both still be seen. That will also give your painting more interest and depth.

In case you have over blended, so that instead of being muted and subtle you now have one flat colour on your canvas with very little differentiation, don’t worry! There’s an easy fix for it. Just add more colour and make sure to use lesser, lighter brushstrokes this time. Your painting will quickly have more dimension and look more interesting.

3. Painting in Layers

When we talk about fixing painting mistakes on canvas, a common mistake people make is that they try to paint over wet paint. Acrylic paints can be painted in layers to create more depth and dimension. However, it’s important to make sure a layer is dry before you put more paint on it, (otherwise you’re back to blending).

Either you can wait for the paint to dry or use a hairdryer to get the job done quicker. To make sure the paint has dried, hold it up to the light and see if there are any shiny spots; if it’s not shiny it’s dry, if it’s shiny it's still wet. Grab your hairdryer again.

 4. What to do if you get paint where you don’t want it to be

While painting you might end up wobbling and losing control of your brush so you get shapes or marks that you don’t want. Fixing this common painting mistake is very simple. All you have to do is work it into your design!

Let’s take an easy example. You’re painting a flower and you end up making one of the petals bigger than the others. No problem! Just make the other petals bigger so they can match the other one!

Or you can even change the entire shape of the flower to cover up the mistake. Try a different petal shape. If you end up making a wobbly stem on your flower. No problem again! Make the stem thicker or add leaves or a lady-bug to cover the boo-boo. All you have to do is tweak your painting and be a little creative with your fixes. Often it will actually enhance your painting. As Bob Ross would say, "There's are no mistakes, just happy little accidents"!

5. Using the wrong colour

If you’ve used a particular colour in your painting and you don’t like it .. just paint over it! Cover it like it never happened! Just make sure the paint is dry before you paint over it.

If you’re using a darker colour to paint over it, it will usually be the dominant colour and you can go straight over it with a very small amount. If you want to paint over it with a lighter colour, you may still be able to see the darker colour underneath. Just use a white-based colour as it’s opaque and will cover completely. Or add a tiny smidge of white to the colour you’re using, that will make it cover better.

Still don’t like it? Just cover up the part you don't like with a few coats of white and try that part again! If you don’t like anything about your painting, you can always cover up the whole canvas in white and start over! Nothing like a fresh start!

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to make mistakes. What’s not okay is not enjoy painting. So go ahead, make mistakes and fix them. Because every mistake is fixable. It’s never the end of the world!

So go, have fun painting and making mistakes! It’s all going to be ok.


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