An Essential Guide to Prepping Your Walls for House Painting

Before you start painting, it’s essential that you properly prep your walls. This will ensure a smooth and professional paint job.

You should thoroughly inspect your walls for dents, cracks, nail holes and any other blemishes that you need to repair before painting.

Remove All Hardware

Before painting your wall, it’s important to remove all hardware from the area. This will ensure that you have a clean, uncluttered area and prevent paint splatters from staining nearby furniture or floors.

Start by removing window and door trim, pulls and hinges for cabinet doors, electrical outlet covers and light fixtures. You’ll need to use a screwdriver to remove these items, and you may need to tape them up as they come off.

Depending on the type of hardware you’re removing, you may also need to de-grease it. This process is necessary if the hardware was in contact with grease or was used frequently before it was painted, according to Dulux paint expert Marianne Shillingford.

If you’re using a heat gun to remove the old paint, make sure you have protective gear on hand, including gloves and a mask. The high heat will melt the old paint and soften it enough for you to work on.

Another option to remove paint without using chemicals is to soak the hardware in water. This method is especially effective on more stubborn paints.

To prepare the area for this method, lay down drop cloths or newspapers so that any messes won’t stain nearby flooring and furniture. Clear away any clutter from around the hardware so there’s plenty of room to work and minimal hazards during the removal process.

Then, label the hardware pieces so they won’t get mixed up and you can easily find them when you need them during the painting process. For example, you’ll want to separate your window and door hardware from your switches and outlets, so put them in individual bags labeled accordingly.

You can also put switchplates and light covers in covered plastic containers or resealable bags to keep them safe from drips and spills while you work. Leaving them in front of the outlets will cause you to trip on them while you’re working and could lead to a serious accident.

To remove paint from your cabinet hardware, you can either use a chemical stripper or sand it off manually. It’s a good idea to do some research before you begin this process as some of these products are toxic and will damage your hardware in the long run.

Remove All Debris

Before you can begin painting, it’s crucial that your walls are free from all dirt and debris. Dust and dirt are the number one stumbling block for paint to adhere properly, and they can also lead to peeling and cracking.

Luckily, cleaning your walls before painting isn’t that difficult or time-consuming. All you need is a little bit of prep work and a good wall cleaner that’s gentle enough to remove scuff marks, discoloration, fingerprints, and stains without damaging the paint underneath.

To start, use a long-reaching dusting wand or dry wipe with a soft brush to get rid of all the small particles that may be hiding in corners. This will prevent larger messes from developing.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to vacuum the walls using a handheld vacuum or a vacuum with a hose attachment. This will remove most of the dirt, and you should make sure to get the edges of your walls as well.

Next, you’ll want to wash your walls with a damp sponge or cloth. You’ll need to start in a corner and work your way around the room.

The best part is that you can do this with a small amount of water. Just remember to never let your sponge or cloth soak up too much water.

When you’re done, rinse your sponge and cloth thoroughly to ensure they’re as dry as possible. Then, you’re ready to apply your paint.

If you have any stubborn stains, you can use a mild dish soap and water solution to scrub them away. However, if you have oil-based stains, you’ll need a more robust cleaning agent.

You can also try a diluted bleach solution on any mold or mildew that you see. This can be a great option for getting mold off of your walls, but it’s important to follow the directions on the bottle.

If you’re not comfortable tackling this task yourself, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to do it for you. The last thing you want is to have to clean up a bunch of spores that can cause respiratory congestion and itchy eyes, as well as skin irritation!

Wash the Wall

Whether you’re painting the inside or outside of your home, it’s important to do a little bit of prep work to ensure you get a good, smooth, even coat of paint. This will make your finished project look much better and be a lot easier for you to manage.

To start, you’ll need to clean the walls thoroughly. You can use a combination of warm water and mild soap, such as dish soap, to remove dirt and grease that has built up over time. If you don’t have this kind of cleaner on hand, simply add a bit of detergent to the water and scrub your wall with a sponge until it is spotless.

Next, you’ll want to scrape off old flaking or cracked paint from the walls. You can use a putty knife to do this, but it is more effective to use a scraper for this step. Once you’ve scraped it off, sand the area with fine-grit sandpaper to make it smooth.

Then, you’ll need to patch up any cracks or holes in your drywall or plaster walls. You can use spackling compound to fill in cracks or holes, but it is more effective to sand the area before applying it. Sanding will help the new spackling compound blend in with the surrounding wall, and it can also make your walls appear smoother.

If your walls have wallpaper, it’s a good idea to take them down and sand them down before you paint them. If you don’t, you can easily end up with a wallpaper-like finish that won’t stand up to normal wear and tear.

Lastly, you’ll need to sand down any gloss that may have built up on your walls. This is especially important if you’re going to repaint the entire room or change the color of your walls.

Once your walls are clean and smooth, it’s time to paint them. Fortunately, this task is pretty quick and easy to do.

Before you begin to paint, it’s important to have everything ready, such as your paint and your paint brushes. It’s also a good idea to have a working checklist so that you can ensure you’ve done everything you need to do before starting your painting project. Having this prepared will save you a ton of time in the long run.

Apply a Primer

A primer is an essential step for a successful paint job. It can promote paint adhesion, improve sheen and help cover stains on your walls. It can also help create a smooth surface for your topcoat to lock onto. This is a practice that all professional house painters do, including the Old Charleston Painting Company.

The primer you choose depends on the type of surface you’re painting and the desired result. Whether you’re working with new and bare drywall, newly installed wood or masonry, it’s important to prime the wall first before painting.

Priming a new drywall is particularly crucial because drywall is porous and can absorb a lot of paint, leaving you with uneven coverage and a splotchy finish. Use a specialized wall primer for drywall that levels in the creases and smoothes out the rough surface for a more even finish.

You may want to use a stain-blocking primer for heavily stained walls, including old water damage and smoke stains from candles or cooking. This will keep stains from bleeding through the topcoat and creating unsightly streaks. These water-based stain-blocking primers are easy to apply and come in low- and no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) formulations.

For interior walls that have been painted a light color, you can tint the primer to bring it more in line with the wall’s topcoat color. This will reduce the number of coats of primer you need to apply.

Using a primer that’s tinted gray can even help make your new wall color look more like the original if you’re making a dark to light color change. Some stores offer a tinting service, so ask them about it when you purchase your primer.

A good exterior wall primer will extend the life of your paint job and prevent rusty nails, wood knots, dirt and moss from bleeding through your topcoat. It will also protect your drywall from the harsh effects of moisture and keep it looking fresh.

When you’re ready to paint your house, don’t forget to shop The Paint Shed for the tools and supplies you need to get a great finish! Our trade-grade paint and primers from Johnstone’s Trade, Zinsser and Crown Trade are sure to deliver a professional-looking finish.