How To Get Your Walls Ready for Painting

A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to prime and prepare a surface for painting; according to, “if you don’t put the time to scrape, patch, sand and prime the walls, your finished project will show it”. Preparing your walls for painting can be a lengthy and difficult process, but the end result will be worth it! Here is a list of tools and directions you’ll need to help you achieve perfect, smooth, and beautiful looking walls.

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  1. Dust and vacuum all surfaces; wash walls down with soap and water; use a solution of up to a quart of bleach to 3 quarts ammonia-free detergent to get rid of mold spots.

Tools Needed:

  • Vacuum
  • Soap and water
  • Bleach
  • Non-ammonia detergent
  1. Cover floors and furniture with newspaper or drop cloths to prevent paint from dripping onto surfaces; use painter’s tape to tape off baseboards and trim

Tools Needed:

  • Drop cloths or newspaper
  • Painter’s tape
  1. Use a flashlight, directed back and forth across the walls, to check for problem spots; for cracks or flaking areas, use a paint scraper to reach a solid coat of paint beneath; for torn drywall, trim the torn piece with a knife, then apply joint compound over the damaged area; for any large, bare patches, use a wide blade to apply several thin layers of joint compound; smooth dry joint compound with a palm sander or sanding block

Tools Needed:

  • Flashlight
  • Paint scraper
  • Joint compound
  • Knife and wide blade
  • Power palm sander or sanding block
  1. Surface stains on walls will need to be treated with a solvent or spot remover; discolored walls will need to be sealed with a stain-removing primer such as white shellac

Tools Needed:

  • Solvent or spot remover
  • White shellac or stain removing primer
  1. Prime areas of the wall that have been repaired (i.e. areas that you repaired with joint compound and any areas that were treated for stains) to guarantee that the paint will adhere and to prevent future peeling; tinted primer can serve as a first coat of paint, and then only needs to be covered with one coat of the actual paint

Tools Needed:

  • Primer or tinted primer
  • Paint

For more helpful tips on preparing your walls for paint, check out Inman News.


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