How to Avoid lap marks and drips

How To Avoid Lap Marks & Drip Lines

September 4, 2023

Drips and lap marks, and spills, oh my! 

In the world of home painting, there are lots of ways to make huge mistakes. This is especially true if the painter is inexperienced or uninformed about what can cause paint mishaps such as lap marks and drip lines. 

Let’s take a closer look at what causes the two most common gaffs in painting – lap marks, and drip lines – and how you can avoid them. 

dripping roller

Lap Marks 

Lap marks are the unsightly lines that show up on the main part of walls or ceilings from a paint roller. These lines often occur when a wet edge was not maintained during the rolling process. 

The experts at Benjamin Moore Paints describe lap marks as “the appearance of a deeper color or an increased gloss where wet and dry layers overlap during paint application.”

The way to avoid these marks includes working fast enough across a wall or ceiling that the edge of your work remains wet as you continue on to the next section. 

Should you discover that you have lap marks on your walls or ceiling, there are some steps you can take to remedy this mistake. To restore a smooth finish to the wall, sand down all the uneven areas until they are smooth. This may mean allowing the initial coat to dry prior to this step. Then wipe the walls down completely to remove all dust. Prime and follow up with an even coat of paint using an interior paint roller. Make sure to work fast and keep that wet edge to avoid this issue going forward. 

paint drips

Paint Drips 

Dripping paint is a common problem for new painters or those in a rush to get the job done. Often, this eyesore is a result of too much paint on a brush and the hazards of gravity. 

Dripping paint is almost an inevitable event when painting, but experienced painters know to look for these runny messes as they work thus allowing them to fix the error before it dries. Paint drips happen when too much paint has been put on a brush or a roller and the person operating the tool fails to look back at their work. During the process of painting, excess paint can run down a wall and eventually dry making the surface look unprofessional and messy. 

To avoid drips, only put on the amount of paint needed without loading the brush or roller with excess paint that will follow the weight of gravity. If you see a drip, immediately brush it out and try to smooth the surface. 

If the drip has time to dry, there are still methods that can be used to improve the appearance of the surface. Part of that process includes scraping the surface, sanding the area, priming it, and then applying a final coat that will help the area blend in with the rest of the wall. 

If you find that you have made painting mistakes and need a surefire method to fix them, try exploring our blog or contact us to create the look you desire. 


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