Getting the Rooms of Your House Ready to be Painted

Successful indoor painting projects don’t just happen. A significant amount of prep work goes into even the most effortless-looking job. Because this preparation is a multifaceted process, we recommend that you peruse the linked resources in order to get a full picture of what it entails. Our goal is to help you achieve durable, impressive finishes throughout your home.

Fundamentals of Prepping a Room – Though many people focus on the painting portion of the process, the amount of preparation you undergo predicts your project’s outcome at least as much.

What’s On My Walls? - It’s important to know what kind of finish was applied to your home’s trim and vertical surfaces in the past.

Fixing Things and Applying Primer - If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — but if it is, time to bring out your handyman kit. Taking care of problems before painting increases the odds that your work will last.

Washing the Walls - Some vertical surfaces are fine the way they are. If yours need to be cleaned, however, you’ll want to do it as efficiently as possible. 

Moving Furniture – Seems easy enough, but it’s worth getting advice from the pros. Contractors have accumulated considerable wisdom on the subject of taking furniture out of a room before it’s painted. Read and learn.

Masking - Features that can be taken off the wall, like outlet covers and lights, aren’t hard to deal with. But what about the permanent ones? Whatever the topography of your surfaces, you must keep them safe from harm. Masking is key in both indoor and outdoor jobs; there are several excellent reasons to shield certain areas during a painting project.

Sanding, Indoors and Out – Most painting endeavors involve sanding, especially when the previous coat of paint has started to peel. Inside walls ought to be completely smooth before you get out the paint and brush. Skilled sanding during the prep stage makes for more attractive walls in the long haul. Most painters sand after they scrape, in order to eliminate scuffed or otherwise less-than-smooth spots. Knowing when to use a power sander (and what kind), and when to work by hand, is also important.

Scraping – Before doing much else, you’ll need to scrape off caulk and flaking paint from previous jobs. Like many tasks related to painting, scraping sounds simple enough, but it’s best to read up on how licensed contractors do it before plunging in yourself.

Mold and Mildew – If you fail to nip fungus problems in the bud, you may find yourself painting your house again much earlier than you planned to.

Taking Outlet Covers and Switch Plates Off the Walls – This step will help your DIY project look as though you’d hired a pro.

Peeling – This common problem occurs when paint stops sticking to the surface it’s been applied to. Fortunately, it’s a nuisance that’s easy to troubleshoot. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case. If the old paint in a room is peeling, it’s foolish to apply a new finish without knowing what caused the original to peel (and resolving the issue).

Finishes that Peel and Flake - When paint behaves this way, it’s possible that the people who applied it cut corners during preparation. Alternatively, it could mean that they used the incorrect kind of finish. As noted above, job one is determining why the peeling and flaking are happening.

Paint that Blisters - While finding blisters and bubbles in an indoor finish is annoying, it’s reparable. As with peeling and other such problems, you must figure out the root cause, resolve it, get rid of the old paint, and apply a new coat.

Trisodium Phosphate (aka TSP or E339) – If you’re looking for a reliable all-around cleaner, TSP may be just what you need. It works well on grime, oil, and residue left by other cleaning products.

Eliminating Mold Inside the House – You’ll need powerful cleaning agents and bleach in order to get rid of fungus growth and ready surfaces for repainting.

Applying Caulk Indoors – The purpose of caulking is to plug small holes in and between surfaces. With the right approach, applying caulk can produce a fine-looking result in relatively little time. Openings between trim and the surface it’s attached to, or between a cabinet and a surface, are prime candidates for caulking. Caulk must be applied in particular ways if trim is finished, or if breaks between surfaces are sizable.