Preparing Your Room for a Great Paint Job

by Carmen Corbin on December 6, 2011

Choosing a new paint color for a room is a lot of fun.  You’re ready to do away with the old, and bring in the new.  You can’t wait to see the beautiful results, and are anxious to get started.  But before you pick up that paint brush, a little preparation is in order.

Room and Wall Prep in Nine Easy Steps

  1.  Get your tools ready.  Gather everything you’ll need, including paint, brushes, rollers, roller trays, paper towels, masking tape, wall spackle, stepstool or ladder, screwdriver, hammer or rubber mallet (for closing the paint can afterwards).
  2. Remove all furniture from the room (if possible), or take out as much as you can and move the rest to the middle of the room.  Cover with plastic.
  3. Remove curtains and blinds.  If you choose to leave the hardware and braces attached, you can always tape around them for protection.
  4. Remove pictures and other wall hangings.
  5. Cover floor with plastic drop cloth to catch even the smallest of drips – you’ll be glad you did!
  6. Remove electrical outlet and light switch cover plates.  Tip:  Put everything in a large ziplock bag to keep those tiny screws from getting lost or misplaced.
  7. Clean the walls.  Wipe down the surface with a damp sponge and remove all cobwebs from the corners and ceiling areas.
  8. Smooth out the wall surface.  This is one of the most important steps for any painting project.  Scrape off any loose paint with a putty knife or sanding sponge, and then fill in any dents or wall imperfections with a putty knife and lightweight wall spackle.  Drywall joint compound can also be used, but the spackle dries much faster (so you can get started!).  If you plan to hang your pictures back in the same spots, don’t fill in those nail holes.
  9. Tape around door trim, window trim, baseboards, crown moulding and other edges to prevent paint from making contact with them.  Blue painter’s tape (looks like masking tape) is very easy to remove afterwards.  Experienced painters are often so skilled with an angle brush that they don’t need to tape (we’ll cover a few painting tricks in another segment).

For challenging wall surfaces that contain holes, cracked plaster, wallpaper, textured paint or a large amount of popped nail heads, call in a home improvement professional to assist.

For more information on properly prepping your walls before painting, call or visit your local painter or home improvement contractor.

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