Prep The Room Before You Pick Up That Paintbrush!

When you begin a new painting project, it's always tempting to skimp on the preparation process and start slathering on the paint right away, but that's a good way to run into problems. Preparing the walls and the space will help ensure that your paint job doesn't look sloppy. These steps will help you get ready for your next painting DIY project.

Clear the Space

You might think you can paint an entire room without getting little accidental splats of paint everywhere, but think again. Before you begin painting, you must remove or protect everything that isn't supposed to be painted. 

  1. Remove all furniture whenever possible. Move all your furniture out of the room for the duration of the painting project. Furniture that can't be removed should be pushed to the center of the room and covered in tarps. Secure the tarps to the furniture with painter's tape. 
  2. Cover the floors with tarps. Secure the tarps to the floor with painter's tape. 
  3. Take down curtains and window hardware. You may find it tempting to leave the window hardware up on the wall. You can protect the window hardware with painter's tape and plastic sheeting. However, if the hardware is attached to a wall or window that will be painted, remember to take the hardware down so you can paint underneath it.
  4. Protect the doorknobs with plastic. This will prevent little spots of paint from dotting your doorknobs for the foreseeable future. 

Prep the Walls

Once the space has been cleared, it's time get the walls ready to accept paint. 

  1. Remove any nails, screws, vent covers and smoke detectors. Don't leave anything on the wall that could be damaged by paint, which you don't want to be stuck there forever (like nails). 
  2. Fill in any holes and cracks. Spackling can be used to fill in nail holes. For cracks in the drywall, slather it with drywall compound. If there are holes in your wall larger than nail holes, call a contractor for professional drywall repair
  3. Clean the walls. Use a dry rag to remove dust and cobwebs from your walls. Focus on the corners near the ceiling and the floor. If your room has a ceiling fan, the ceiling fan may have contributed to dust buildup at the top of the wall near the ceiling, so focus your attention there. If you're painting a kitchen, wash the walls with commercial grease remover, then dry them afterwards before beginning to paint.

With this done, you're ready to get started. Good luck with your upcoming painting project!