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How to Prep Your Walls for Painting

Paint Prep - Central CT House PainterPlans to rejuvenate your home interior with a fresh paint color can be exciting, but the success of a painting project depends largely on prep. Getting walls ready doesn’t seem glamorous, unless you think about the fact that it makes or breaks the ultimate finish. Going through the sometimes tedious process of prepping your walls for painting is critical.

Clean the Walls

Paint won’t adhere or stick to surfaces that are dirty or dusty. It’s best to begin prep work with cleaning, whether on the interior or exterior of your home. Pressure washing is the best way to remove dirt on the exterior.

Professional pressure washing is recommended because a lot can go wrong. An inexperienced person using a pressure washer could damage the wood or break windows. It’s possible that a surface isn’t sufficiently cleaned with pressure washing as a result of using the wrong nozzle. Proper techniques for spraying the walls also need to be used, to produce desired results.

TSP cleaner is strong and must be carefully handled. It is recommended for use when cleaning surfaces before painting. Rubber gloves and a mask should be used when using TSP cleaner, and areas in which the cleaner is used should be well-ventilated. Interior walls should always be cleaned before painting in the following situations:

  • The walls are extremely dirty, greasy, or oily;
  • In rooms with a wood-burning fireplace;
  • Pets or children are in the home; and
  • In bathrooms and around the stove and sink in kitchens.

Cleaning is usually not needed before painting ceilings or bedrooms and other low-impact rooms. Ceilings don’t usually need to be cleaned before painting, either.

To remove mildew, mix TSP cleaner with bleach. Rinse after cleaning and allow to dry. Typically, TSP is mixed with water to clean surfaces before painting. TSP cleaner removes paint, and it can often be used as a replacement for sandpaper. Caution: TSP cleaner can damage metals and ceramic tiles.

Repairs to Prep your Walls for Painting

Once walls have dried from cleaning, all imperfections on the walls to be painted must be resolved. If they are left as is, adding fresh paint will only accentuate the flaws. Some or all of the following steps may be needed before painting. How to prep your walls for painting follows:

  • Carefully inspect the walls and identify all imperfections. Address each one, as appropriate.
  • If the wall has any cracked or flaking paint, use a paint scraper to scrape it off.
  • Use sandpaper to smooth bumps and other imperfections in plaster.
  • Use a spackling product and putty knife to patch small holes. Smooth the area and let it dry. After it is dry, smooth the area with sandpaper.
  • Before painting, use primer on patched areas.

Remaining Steps to Prep for Painting

With your walls repaired, a major part of prep work is done. But there’s still more. When you do a complete job of prepping for painting, you are ensuring greater quality and longevity of the finished look.

  • Move and cover furniture.
  • Use canvas drop cloths for the floors.
  • Apply painter’s tape around the trim. As much as possible, use longer pieces of tape. Short pieces cause gaps that paint can leak through. Press the edge of the tape to your trim using a clean putty knife, to ensure that the edge of the tape sticks firmly.
  • Use primer either on patched and repaired areas or over the entire surface, if you are painting a lighter shade of paint over a dark color.

Leave Prep and Paint to Professionals

You can go through all the steps to ensure a quality finish or leave the work to professionals. The experts at Franklin Painting always use their own trained, experienced team members for interior and exterior painting. They know all the secrets to achieving a flawless, professional quality paint job. Contact Franklin Painting today at 877-646-7774 to leave prep and painting to skilled professionals.

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