Properly preparing your walls for painting is the key to creating a beautiful space. You can save money and time by using these simple-to-follow tips to get any room in your house ready to paint.
Step 1: Gather all your materials
Have all your supplies on hand before you prepare to paint to eliminate the need of running to the hardware store midway through your project.
Step 2: Prepare the room
Move furniture and other items, such as lamps and chairs, out of the room to be painted. Heavier furniture can be moved towards the center of the room and covered with a drop cloth or plastic sheet. Place drop cloths on the floor. Pro tip: plastic furniture sliders are a great way to move heavy furniture, even if you are working alone.
Remove all window treatments, mirrors, and artwork from windows and walls. Remove all outlet and switchplate covers and use painter’s tape around door knobs and light fixtures. Pro tip: tape outlet cover screws to the back of their respective covers and place them all in a ziploc bag to prevent loss.
Step 3: Clean the walls
Vacuum baseboards and around the top of the ceiling to remove dust and cobwebs. Wipe down the walls using plain water and a damp sponge or rag to remove any fingerprints, dust, pet hair, kid’s “artwork”, etc. so you don’t see imperfections in your paint job. Pro tip: If you will be painting an area that has an oily residue (for example, a kitchen), you should clean the walls with trisodium phosphate (TSP) prior to painting.
Step 4: Repair any damage
Use a quality spackling compound to fill any small nail holes and cracks in your walls prior to painting. Firmly press the compound into the hole and use a putty knife to smooth. All the compound to dry completely and sand the rough edges. Make sure to vacuum up and sanding dust. Pro tip: spackling compound shrinks when it dries, so a second application is sometimes necessary for larger holes.
Step 5: Taping your woodwork and baseboards
To get that professional look, use painter’s tape to cover your baseboards and other woodwork. It is a good idea to tape the border between the ceiling and the wall as well to create a nice edge. Pro tip: to prevent paint bleed behind your tape, run a credit card around the edges to ensure it is securely adhered to the surface.
Step 6: Prime your walls
This step is only required if you have any of the following circumstances:
If you need to prime, apply 1-2 coats (depending on your circumstance) and allow to dry thoroughly before painting. Pro tip: There are great paint-and-primer products available, such as the Kilz Tribute Collection, which allow you to skip the separate primer step. These also offer exceptional stain-blocking properties for your high traffic areas!
Step 7: Paint your walls
You are now ready to start painting your walls! Begin by giving your paint a shake and stir to make sure it’s thoroughly mixed, especially if it has been some time since you had it mixed at the store. For that professional look, “cut” in the room by using a brush to paint around the edges and corners of your room. Once that is done, you can use a roller to apply the paint working top to bottom, rolling back and forth in a series of overlapping V or W-shaped strokes to prevent line and streaks. Pro tip: don’t use too much paint on your brush or roller since you will create drips and thick lines of paint on your walls.
Step 8: Finish the job
Once the walls are completely dry (usually 12-24 hrs depending on the type of paint), you can carefully remove the painter’s tape from walls and edges and replace all the outlet covers. Then, step back and admire your handiwork!
Bob Wagner’s Flooring America is an authorized distributor of the Kilz Tribute Paint Collection. Click here for more information.