Painting Walls – How to Prepare Walls to Be Painted: Preparing any project is as important as doing the job itself. With proper prep painting goes quicker and the results are far superior.
Once you have decided to paint the walls stop and look overhead at the ceiling and determine if it too needs to be painted. While most people just go with a flat white this is a good opportunity to consult with a designer for an hour to determine which color or colors will enhance your room.
First, begin by thoroughly vacuuming the room. This includes the walls and ceilings to remove spider webs and dust. If possible remove all the furniture from the room. For most of us that is not feasible however, so move it to the center of the room and vacuum the remainder. If you are planning to paint the ceiling move it all to one end or corner of the room to maximize the amount of area you can paint before having to move it again. Then, remove any pictures and wall hangings and place them on top of the furniture. Examine the walls for defects such as cracks and holes. Fill these with spackling paste or drywall joint compound, using a putty knife. (Large holes will need a drywall patch and that is a subject for another article.) While the joint compound is curing, mask the floor with 9″-12″ masking paper from a masker (a handy, inexpensive tool that combines paper and tape in one pass–any paint or hardware store will carry them.) If you are planning not to paint your baseboard trim you can mask it by placing the tape on the top edge of the trim and smoothing the paper down to the floor. Next, lay down dropcloths or plastic sheeting overlapping the paper. Now, cover the furnishings in the middle of the room with drop cloths or plastic. Return to the filled holes and sand them down if necessary with a lightly dampened sponge. Once you have protected everything look over the walls and clean them as necessary to rid them of any dirt, buildup of cooking residues etc. A dilute solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate) or white vinegar or ammonia will work. If there are any stains cover them with a stain blocker such as Killz. Marker stains may require more than one coat. Remove all switch plates and outlet covers and store the screws in the holes they came out of.
Gather your tools, you’ll need: ladder or work platform as necessary, 2-3″ cutting brush, roller frame, roller cover, paint pan, hat, gloves (optional), painter’s 5-way tool, wire brush (for cleaning brush), adjustable painting pole (optional, but handy for both ceiling and walls), and a few rags. Start painting.
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