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How To Prep Your Walls Before Painting (My Guide)

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Prepping Walls for Paint

The key to a good paint job on any wall is preparation. Without preparation you may be able to do a good job painting, but it is highly unlikely that you will be able to do a great job. It’s very difficult, but you need to resist the temptation of taking shortcuts with the preparation. In the long run, good preparation saves you more time than taking shortcuts without preparation.
What will you need to prep the walls for paint? – The tools that you will need are:

Take accessories off the walls – One thing you will need to do is to take off anything that you would have to paint around. I’m talking about curtains, picture frames, posters, switch plates, and any other hardware that you may have on your wall that you do not want to get paint on. If you do not do this you may very well regret it later, so do yourself a favor and be sure to do this troublesome task. It may be a smart idea to be sure that the power is shut off at the breaker from this point on of prep time, because you are going to be cleaning next to outlets and such.
Move furniture – The next step is a hassle, but you do not want to be taught a lesson here so just move the furniture. You want to be sure to put all the furniture in the middle of the room with plastic covering it, so this way you don’t have paint dripping on your expensive furniture. If you are not planning on painting the ceiling you may be able to get away with not using a drop-cloth, but I always say better safe than sorry.
Clean the canvas – Use the putty knife to take off any wrinkled paint. Another necessary step is to be sure that your walls are completely clean. Just take some warm water and add some dish soap to it and use a rag to clean the walls. Basically, you just want to get all the dust and cobwebs off the walls before you apply any paint. Once again, I would advise that it is always a good idea to shut off power to the room before cleaning next to power outlets.
Fill in the holes – Might as well do it right and give yourself a nice, smooth surface to paint on. The next step in preparing to paint a wall is to fill in the holes with spackle or bondo. If there are any cracks in the wall then make sure to fill them in using paintable latex caulk. After everything is filled in you should prime over these areas so that the paint will not have any problem with the caulk or bondo showing through.
Protect the rest – Gather all the tools that you will need for the job. Be sure to use masking tape that is 2 inches wide to cover the baseboards and anything else that you do not want to be painted. Also, use drop clothes or plastic to cover the floors. Every major store has some plastic drop cloths that can be purchased for a very decent price and they can be reusable.
Make sure that you are ready – Double check your inventory before you get started. I hate leaving a job when it is half done, so this last example of preparation combats that. Now that the wall is all prepped and ready to be painted let’s be sure that we have all the paint and all of the proper tools that we need to do the job correctly. There so many different brands of paint and types of paint and makes it very difficult to pick out what you want, but I can recommend you not getting the cheapest paint. In my past experiences I have never had any luck with bottom of the line painting products. So I can recommend for you to be sure that you’ve done your proper research online of different painting products that you would like to be able to use before you go to the store and pick something solely on price. And grab a Paint Zoom to save you a ton of time as well.
How much paint to buy? – Now that you have a list and have made sure that you will have all the equipment then the next thing you need is to figure out the amount of paint needed. To figure out the proper amount of paint that you should purchase you will simply need to figure out the square footage of your walls. Remember to add the ceiling into the mix if you are painting that too. Most brands of paint will cover about 350 ft.² / gallon. I recommend that you double that because applying two coats is always what’s best for your walls to make the job really seem professional.
Tools of the trade – Be sure to make a list of everything that you need and do not start the job until you have everything. While you’re buying new paint you may as well make sure they have all the tools that you need to do the job correctly.

  • A 2 1/2 inch brush
  • a roller
  • a roller screen
  • a pole extension for your roller if needed
  • more masking tape if needed
  • a smaller trim brush
  • a roller tray
  • Paint Sprayer

Not every house is the same. If you have 20-foot high ceilings you may need a few more tools then I have listed. This is just a basic paint job that I am describing. Remember that different houses may need different things, so be sure to think of everything that you will need to do to your own house. No matter the situation please be aware that you should use mid – high quality tools and materials at all times. What you put into your painting project is exactly what you are going to get out of it.

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