Painting your home’s interior is an excellent DIY project to give your dwelling a drastically new look and feel. Most of the key ingredients that go into an exceptional paint job are found in the preparation stages of the project. In many cases, getting your room prepped to paint can take longer than the actual application. Take the time to complete the preparation steps carefully and correctly – if you don’t it could cost you more time and money in the long run. Below are the eight steps to successfully prepare your room for a high-quality paint job.
- Remove all furniture and wall hangings
Removing all of the furniture from the room before painting will make it much easier for you to move quickly and easily from wall to wall while painting. If some furniture is too large or difficult to get through the door, move it instead to the very center the room and cover it completely with drop cloths to prevent any paint splatters from getting on anything.
- Lay drop cloths
If you think you can “wing it” and paint your room without some sort of covering over your carpet or hardwood – think again. Even the most skilled professional painters drip paint from time to time. You can lay down old sheets or a plastic tarp, just make sure the edges of the sheet is pushed up all the way to the edge where the wall meets the floor.
- Clean the walls
In order for paint to properly adhere to a surface, it needs to be clean and free of dust or oils. Use a mixture of water and gentle dish detergent to scrub the walls clean. Make sure to follow up with a rinse of fresh water in order to remove any soapy residue.
- Fill in any holes or imperfections in the wall with spackle
There will likely be some small holes or dents spread out throughout the room from hanging picture or artwork. Once the wall has dried, use a putty knife to spread a small amount of spackle into the holes, just enough to fill the gaps. Scrape away the excess spackle with your putty knife and allow the surface to dry (estimated dry times will vary). Once dry, use fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface.
- Paint the trim
If you are planning on painting any trim, baseboards, or moulding, you will want to start with them first. Add a small amount of paint to your brush and paint in long even strokes, from the wet area to the dry area to avoid overlapping brush marks. If you plan on painting the ceiling or walls connecting to the trim, feel free to overlap and paint onto these areas as you will be taping the trim to give you clean edge in step 7.
- Remove outlet covers
Use a flathead screwdriver to remove all of the outlet covers from around the room. If some of the outlet covers are unique, make sure to mark where they need to be reinstalled. Use a baggie or cup to keep from losing any of the screws.
Using low-adhesive painters tape, tape off the areas along the trim or windows where you want to keep clean lines between paint colors. If you painted the trim, wait until it is completely dry before applying tape. Cover the trim leaving the wall exposed and make sure the edge is completely flush with the wall to avoid paint from seeping underneath the tape. Peel and remove the tape while the paint is still wet.
- Ready to paint!
With all the prep work out of the way, you are now ready to begin transforming your room with a fresh coat of paint. Whether you are using primer or paint, start with the ceilings and work your way down. Starting with the ceilings, you can easily paint over any splatters that get on the walls.
Top image credit: Graciela Rutkowski Interiors