Tips for Preparing Your Walls Prior to Painting

Posted November 18, 2016 by RB Painting

When you need to paint the interior walls of your home, there are several steps you should take to prepare for the project. Proper preparation is especially necessary if you intend to do the work on your own time, either alone or with help. The more you do to prepare yourself beforehand, the less frustration and mess there will be when you begin the actual work. There are several tips available that should help you get started on the right foot and reduce wasted time and energy during the project.


If possible, it is in your best interest to remove any existing furniture from the room entirely. Mattresses, bed frames, and other furniture are large targets for paint, and you may not spot a spill until it’s too late to do much about it. Paint removal techniques risk damaging the varnish on your wood or scratching it, depending on how you remove the paint. You should remove the furniture whenever it is practical to do so.

If you cannot move your furniture, whether due to lack of space elsewhere in the house or any other reason, you should cover it in plastic. The same plastic you lay down on the floor should cover every exposed surface of furniture in the room. By covering the furniture, you significantly reduce the chances of spilling or dripping paint directly onto your belongings.

Safety Goggles and Old Clothes

Paint may smell terrible in most cases, but it is not particularly bad for your health, now that lead is no longer an ingredient. That said, you should wear safety goggles to avoid getting any in your eyes due to a spill or dropped roller. One drop can do serious damage, and you risk further injury stumbling around the home in search of a faucet to rinse it out.

In addition, old clothes are your best friend. Wear that shirt with the two holes in it that you promised your wife you would throw away but ended up tossing into your dresser. Paint is messy, and it is almost impossible not to get it on yourself. It is advised to wear clothes you do not mind ruining. This will make the process less frustrating.

Cracked or Flaking Paint

Any cracked or flaking paint on your walls should not be there when you start painting. Use a scraper to remove any and all spots you can find to ensure your walls look smooth and beautiful after application. For small imperfections, such as plaster bumps, smooth them away with sandpaper. It is best to staple the sandpaper to a sanding block or use an electric sander, as you may scrape your fingers using the sandpaper alone.

High-Quality Primer

Materials you should have on hand before you start to include primer, a paint-can opener, roller covers, stir sticks, paint brushes, a paint tray, drop cloth, a roller extension pole, and gloves. You need to ensure that the primer you use is of high quality, as it will help hide any small imperfections you missed and ensure the paint looks its best. If you need to paint on new drywall, use a water-based primer. Walls with heavy stains from water or smoke damage or that have paneling should be primed with an oil-based primer.

The final step should be to protect trim and sconces with painter’s tape. This will ensure your lines are crisp and beautiful after the job is complete. Once you have yourself ready to go, get to painting and enjoy the results with fewer delays.