How to prepare walls for painting

Step 1. Cleaning the Walls

In order for your primer and paint to adhere to your walls, surfaced that are going to be painted should clean, dry and free from debris. First, remove dust and cobwebs with a soft broom, vacuum cleaner or dry lint free cloth. In areas of high humidity such as the bathroom, or areas exposed to grease, such as kitchens and garages it is important to wash the walls down with a soapy solution to remove any trace of these substances, as they will compromise the integrity of the finished paint job. A mixture of sugar soap or laundry detergent and water will help remove any built-up grease, dirt and grime. After washing with soap, make sure that you always wipe down with a clean damp cloth to remove any traces of detergent, which if left on can interact with the paint upon application.

Note: If there is any trace of mould or mildew on your walls, ceiling or cornices it is important that you treat this before painting, as it will most likely recur and spoil your project shortly after completion.

Step 2. Remove any chipped or peeling paint.

If your walls have any damage, such as chipped or peeling paint it is important that you take care of this before priming or painting the wall. Carefully inspect the wall, paying special attention to areas of high wear and tear, such as skirting boards. If you do find areas that need to be repaired simply scrape away any chipped paint, sand the area to roughen the surface and apply a putty or wood sealer to the area and smooth with a putty knife. Once dried, sand the area to return it to an even surface and carefully wash down the area to remove any dust caused by sanding.

Step 3. Protect adjacent surfaces or furnishings.

When painting an interior wall, it is important that we take the time to correctly protect the surrounding areas This can be done by using a high-quality painter’s masking tape, which will provide a barrier should there be any overrun with paint rollers or brushes. This is especially useful when needing to create clean lines, such as for a feature wall or contrasting areas such as cornices and skirting boards. There is nothing worse than accidentally over brushing and having to paint over areas that were not meant to be painted. Take the time to mask your job correctly, and you can avoid any unnecessary rework.

Step 4. Prime your walls.

Priming walls before painting can have a number of benefits. A good quality primer will prepare the walls for maximum paint adhesion but can also help fill in small imperfections in the surface of the wall that may not be clearly visible upon inspection. In addition to this, tinting your primer to a colour that is closer to your chosen paint colour can significantly reduce the amount of paint required to cover previous colour selections. This is especially true when the old colour and new colour are very different, or very light or very dark. It is also important to consider what type of paint is currently on the wall. If you are moving from oil-based paint to a water-based paint the correct primer can be the difference between a professional finish or a total failure.

If you would like to know more about how to correctly prime your ceilings, walls or doors, feel free to reach out to one of our friendly team members for advice.