Prepping Your Walls for House Painting

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The old adage that preparation is half a task applies to any painting project. The painting results will only look good if you prepare the surface properly and plan things well from the start. Both seasoned DIY enthusiasts and professional painters have learnt this early on.

Step 1: Clear the Canvas – Remove Furniture and Accessories

Before you begin, create an open space by removing furniture, wall décor, and any other accessories from the room. Cover the remaining items with drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect them from dust and paint splatters.

Step 2: Dust and Debris – The Foundation of a Clean Canvas

Use a duster or a microfiber cloth to remove dust and cobwebs from the walls. Pay special attention to corners, baseboards, and trim. For stubborn dirt or grease, a mild solution of water and a gentle dish soap can work wonders. Allow the walls to dry thoroughly.

Step 3: Inspect and Repair – Addressing Imperfections

Examine the walls for any imperfections—cracks, holes, or dents. Use a lightweight filling compound and a putty knife to fill small imperfections. Larger holes or cracks can be filled using a joint compound. Once applied, allow the patching material to dry completely.

Smooth Operator – Sanding for a Seamless Surface

To achieve a smooth and even surface, sand the patched areas with fine-grit sandpaper. This helps to blend the patched sections with the rest of the wall. Be diligent in smoothing out any rough spots or uneven edges.

Wipe the Slate Clean – Tackling Lingering Dust

Before moving on to priming, wipe down the walls once again, this time using a tack cloth. This specialized cloth is designed to pick up and remove any remaining dust particles, ensuring a pristine surface for paint adhesion.

Prime the Canvas – Setting the Stage for Brilliance

Priming is a crucial step that often gets overlooked. It not only enhances paint adhesion but also provides a consistent base colour. Choose a high-quality primer that suits your wall surface—whether it’s drywall, plaster, or wood. Apply the primer evenly with a brush or roller, focusing on the patched areas. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding to the main painting. Tinted primers, which are similar in colour to the final paint, are a popular trend, and they can work well. Tinter primers often cover wall discolouration very effectively.

Mask and Protect – Defining the Edges

To achieve clean lines and protect surfaces that won’t be painted, use painter’s tape to mask off edges, trims, and adjacent surfaces. Take your time with this step, as precise taping ensures a professional finish.

Sometimes it helps to remove the painter’s tape while the paint is only half dry. This seems best with acrylic paint. Running a knife edge along the edge where the tape meets the paint can help give a neat, sharp edge.

Let the Painting Begin – Bringing Your Vision to Life

With your walls prepped and primed, you’re now ready to unleash your chosen colour palette. Whether you’re aiming for a single hue or experimenting with patterns, careful preparation ensures that your paint job will adhere beautifully and endure the test of time. The final project is only as good as the surface you are house painting. Prepare this surface correctly at the beginning and you will avoid most problems.