How to Prep Your Home Before a Paint Job

prep before painting

Step 1: Clear the room

Remove as much as you can from the room including wall decorations, lamps and smaller items. For bigger furniture that cannot be removed, push them to the middle of the room and cover them with a drop cloth to avoid any dripping paint.

Step 2: Place a dropcloth

Protect your floor with a dropcloth. Find a material cloth with a liner on one side; lay the liner side down. This way the material provides safe footing but the liner avoids paint from seeping through to your floor.

Step 3: Fix the walls

Survey your walls for any imperfections. Fill any holes and cracks with spackle. Make sure to apply only enough spackle to fill the hole and scrape off the excess on the wall. Once the spackle is dry, sand over the repaired area by hand until the spot is smooth. Then apply primer to the spackled areas before painting.

Step 4: Clean the walls

Ensure your walls are clean by vacuuming any dust and cobwebs with a soft brush attachment. Use a simple household cleaner for any splatters or stains. Make sure that the walls are completely dry before painting.

Step 5: Remove any outlet & light switch covers

Unscrew all of the outlet and light switch covers and place them in a ziplock bag with the screws to keep everything together, ensuring easy reassembly.

Step 6: Tape!

Taping is one of the most important steps when you prep your home before a paint job. Make sure to use blue painter’s masking tape. Place a plastic bag around door knobs and any light fixtures that cannot be removed and tape around the edges (don’t use the lights that you cover, instead use a work lamp). Cover unused doors with plastic and tape the edges. Place a strip of tape over electrical outlets. Tape the edges of the walls you wish to paint including around the trim, ceiling or floor. To guarantee a tight seal on the tape, use a plastic putty knife, old gift card or bowl of a spoon to run over the edges. (Avoid a metal putty knife; it could leave marks on the wall).

Remember to remove the tape BEFORE paint is fully dry. Otherwise it may pull the paint away from the wall.

Step 7: Ventilate

Open windows or a door to create ventilation in the room to avoid inhaling the paint fumes.

Step 8: Paint

Trim – If you have trim, paint it first and overlap a small amount of paint from the trim onto the wall. Once it’s dry tape off the trim.

Ceiling – If you’re painting the ceiling, do it before the walls to avoid splatters on your fresh paint.

Whether you’re painting your interior yourself or hiring a professional, proper preparation can make all the difference for a successful paint job. If you’re ready for a professional paint job, give Smith and Company Painting a call.