When it comes to painting, it’s tempting to jump in and see how that new colour looks on your walls. However, spending a few extra minutes on prep work will help you avoid problems and  give you better results. Following are the steps for preparing your walls for painting.

  • Sand rough surfaces. Rough spots on walls need to be sanded before they are painted to ensure the paint goes on smoothly. Use 80 to 120 grit silicon-carbide sandpaper. Finish with 220 grit sandpaper.
  • Vacuum surfaces to remove excess dust and debris or use a tack cloth.
  • Wipe the walls with a wet rag/sponge and cleaner to remove stains and oils. Wash with mild soap and water when your walls are visibly dusty, dirty or stained. Wash with TSP (trisodium phosphate) when your walls have a lot of grease or oil stains. Use a bleach and water solution (3 parts water to 1 part bleach) when your walls have mildew or mold (bathroom, basement, any humid space). Wash with a solution of water and Arm and Hammer Cleaning Soda when your walls have smoke stains.
  • Remove hardened caulking that has become brittle and pulled away from the trim.
  • Apply caulking to seal the gaps between door/window trim and walls, the spaces between baseboards and the wall and the joints in a frame. Control the flow of caulking by adjusting the trigger pressure and the speed at which you pull the tip along. Smooth the fresh caulk with a wet finger.
  • Fill holes: Use lightweight spackling compound and a putty knife to fill small holes or cracks. Use wood filler for trim work. Let dry.
  • Tape the edges of trim, floor, carpet, ceiling and windows with painters tape. To stop paint bleed, run a putty knife over the tape, firmly pressing down to form a good seal.
  • Prime all surfaces. Primers disguise imperfections, create a smooth surface for your paint to lock onto and ensure a uniform finish. Let dry then lightly sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Wipe away dust.

It’s worth spending time and care to prep your walls before you paint. You’ll get a much better finish and it will last. Make sure your walls are free from grease, dust, peeling paint and bits of wallpaper. Take the time to sand, wash, caulk, fill, tape and prime. You’ll be happy with the results!

Beginning a painting project? Need help choosing the right colour, paint and tools? Call Calgary’s independent paint and blinds store West Hillhurst Paint + Design at (403) 270-9696 or email at kyle@westhillhurstpaint.com Our knowledgeable professional design associates provide high quality paint and stain, a wide selection of blinds, advice for home projects and excellent service. Call for a consultation today!

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