How to Prepare a Room for Paint

Room Prep for Paint with ViewYou’ve decided that it’s time to brighten up your home’s interior living space…makes sense, since we spend most of our time inside the house. Typically, we cover a lot of the exterior painting that you can do to make big changes in the curb appeal of your residence or commercial building.

But, there are opportunities to make changes on the walls and ceilings inside, and prepare the room for painting is probably the most time consuming although ultimately it pays big dividends by creating a professional look.

Step 1 – Remove or cover all the furniture and other items inside the room.

Sometimes, it’s not possible or practical to move everything (beds, dressers, and other heavy items), so you can move those towards the center of the room. Use plastic sheeting to cover the items from getting paint splashes. I have utilized a Graco X5 airless paint sprayer for ceilings and save a ton of time, but make sure everything is covered adequately.

Step 2 – Take down everything off the walls including pictures, paintings, shades, curtains, light and fixture switches, and outlet covers.

image of outletThis usually doesn’t take very long, but most people overlook the fact that light, fixture switches, and outlet covers can be removed with a Phillips head screw driver pretty fast. It makes a big difference in the professionalism of the room when this is done.

I also recommend taking down the shades or curtains as you don’t want to get anything on these if possible.

Step 3 – Use a spackling, caulk or patch to cover up nail holes and cracks.

This is my favorite part. For some reason I like to make those simple repairs. I personally use Dun Edwards DEC Plus for this job. It just goes on nice and smooth and works well with a basic putty knife.

Depending on the size of the hole or crack, you may also need to texture it. For this I use low odor Homax Orange Peel Texture. It allows you to adjust the nozzle so that you can match the texture that is already on the walls.

Step 4 – Clean the walls of all the grime and dust.

When I recently moved, the house I bought had a certain ethnic cooking smell that permeated the whole place. The odor from cooking over 20 years along with the smell caked on the walls made it necessary to use a cleaner, especially in the kitchen before painting. In this case, I used TSP (it stands for Trisodium Phosphate) from Home Depot. After diluting, I grabbed a sponge and went to work. This took a while but the amount of crud that came off was incredible.

Cleaning the walls also helps to remove any layers of dust that have accumulated allowing for paint to stick cleanly on the walls without imperfections.

Ready to Paint

You’re now ready to paint. I typically start with the ceilings, which for me it’s best to use an airless paint sprayer with extension, as it does an even and quick job. While the preparation took a while, it will make your living space much more appealing to you and your guests visiting. With a little extra effort, I’ve seen the most nasty rooms transform with this and a good couple of coats of paint.