Preparing to paint

Preparing To Paint


What you will Need


Push Broom

Soft dust brush

Putty knife


Rubber gloves

Wide paintbrush


Sanding block

Narrow paintbrush

Utility knife


Heat gun

Artist's paintbrush



Drop Cloths

Masking Tape

\Cloth Rags

Spackling compound


Household Detergent

Chemical Paint Remover

Wallpaper stripper

Wallpaper glue


Drywall nails or screws



Plan to work when the room is unoccupied and can be closed off to traffic.

Before removing switch and receptacle plates, turn off the electricity. Use a voltage tester to make sure the circuits are dead.


1. Move furniture aside and remove all switch and receptacle plates, nails, screws and hooks from the wall.

2. Clean and repair walls.

3. wipe, brush and vacuum debris from the surface.

Main Page

Main Electrical Page

Main Plumbing Page

Inside Home Repair Page

Repairing Drywall.





You can revive a drab room without spending much money by giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. But while the painting itself is quick and easy, chances are you will spend more time cleaning, repairing and sanding than actually painting. Preparing the walls properly is worth the extra effort, however. Your reward will be a professional looking paint job that endures.

Start by inspecting the wall surfaces. If they are already painted or wallpapered study the archeological layers, underneath. What type of wallpaper do you have on your walls? How many layers are there? What type of paint has been used? The answers to these questions will help you plan.

The surface of the walls should be perfectly smooth. Identify all dents, flaws and cracks. Re-nail or remove popped nails, spackle over holes and smooth the edges of any areas where paint has chipped off.

For unfinished wood walls, shellac over knots and sand any splinters that protrude from the wall.

If you plan to paint over wallpaper, be aware that it will be very difficult to remove the paper in the future. It may be better to remove it now. But if you are pressed for time and must paint over paper, first prepare the surface by sanding torn edges, popping any blisters and gluing back loose pieces.

After your wall surfaces are clean and smooth, measure the room to determine how much paint you will need. Assume that you will need one gallon of paint for every 400 square feet of wall surface. Calculate the surface area of the walls in a square or rectangular room using the following formula: 2(length + width) X height. You may buy a smaller quantity of paint of the room contains several doors and windows.

When choosing paint, consider how the color will influence the space. Dark colors make a room appear smaller, while light colors make a room appear larger.

Be sure to ventilate the room not only when you paint but when you prepare the walls as well.

Remove furniture from the room to provide maximum working space. Move heavier objects to the center of the room.

Cover the floor, baseboards, furniture, doors, and fireplaces with old sheets, newspapers or canvas drop cloths. Plastic provides excellent protection for furniture, clod radiators and wall and ceiling fixtures, but is less effective on floors because it does not absorb spills and leaves puddles.

Tape down the corners and seams of your protective covers to prevent paint or dust from seeping underneath. If you accidentally rip a cover, re-tape it immediately.

Key to Success

Look for flaws in the wall and repair them. Rough up the surface of the wall by sanding lightly. This helps the paint adhere to the wall surface. Sand in the direction you will paint. After sanding, be sure to vacuum and wipe away any dust.

Clean the wall thoroughly to ensure a smooth paint job. Always wipe from top to bottom so that you do not leave any horizontal streaks.

Be sure the wall is completely dry before painting. Moisture can cause paint to bubble or blister.

Preparing a Painted Wall:

Sand the wall with a sanding block to remove loose or blistered paint. Use a broad knife to scrape large, peeling areas.

If blistered paint is difficult to remove, apply chemical paint remover to the wall with a clean paintbrush and let it set for one hour. Scrape away softened paint with a putty knife. Be careful not to gouge the wall.

Wash the wall with water (lukewarm for oil-based paint and cold for latex) and a household detergent. Be through; paint adheres poorly if there is any oil or dust on the wall. Rinse until the water no longer feels soapy to the touch. Let the wall dry completely before painting so that the new paint does not peel or blister.

You can also use a heat gun as an alternative to chemicals to soften old paint. Follow the manufactures's directions carefully. Wear gloves to protect your hands, as the hot paint will tend to peel and drip. Be very careful when using a heat gun.

Repairing Popped Nails.

Press the wallboard with both hands to locate an area that has come loose. When you have located a popped nail, press with one hand above and one below the loose nail to push the wallboard tight against the stud. Drive the nail in but do not tear the wallboard paper. Alternatively, pull the nail out using nippers.

To prevent the wallboard from coming loose again, nail a drywall nail above the original nail and another below or use drywall screws. Dimple the wallboard when driving the nail, but take care not to tear the paper. Apply spackling compound over the nail heads and dimples. Let dry, then sand smooth.

Spackling a Wall.

Apply a small amount of spackling compound over dents or small holes with your broad knife. Use a spare putty knife to scrape away excess.

Press the spackling compound into the hole. Avoid pushing too hard against the edge of the flaw, causing the compound to bulge. Let dry and sand.

Preparing a Glossy Enamel Painted Wall.

Remove all loose paint with a push broom or brush. Then moisten any dents or holes with a wet sponge in preparation for spackling.

Use a broad knife to fill holes or dents with spackling compound. Start with a horizontal stroke.

Scrape away excess spackling compound using vertical strokes. If the damaged area is near a corner, work at right angles to the corner. Sand the spackled area lightly until the wall is smooth.

Prime the wall with a deglosser formulated to cover glossy paint. Or dull the glossy finish by sanding the wall lightly with fine-grade sandpaper. Wipe away dust with a damp rag.

Preparing to Paint Over Wallpaper.

I don't recommend painting over wallpaper but if you have to use the following tips.

Tear off loose pieces of wallpaper. Sand down the torn edges with sandpaper. At the same time flatten down the seams.

Wash the paper with lukewarm water. If there are grease or crayon marks on the wall, wash thoroughly with household detergent and water. Allow the surface to dry completely before painting.

Cut open any blisters and bend back the cut edges. Blisters occur because not enough glue was applied to the paper when it was originally hung.

Spread glue on the back of the paper with an artist's paintbrush. Fold the edges back in place and press to distribute the glue evenly. Wipe off any excess glue.

Preparing to Paint Over Vinyl Wallpaper.

Again I don't recommend painting over wall vinyl ether, but if you must follow the following tips.

Wash the entire wall with water and household detergent. Ware rubber gloves to protect your hands from harsh cleansers.

Apply a thin layer of vinyl wallpaper glue to any loose edges. Smooth the paper back into place. Let the glue dry.

Remove any sheets of paper that have come loose from the wall. Do not paint over paper unless it adheres securely to the wall and the seams are butted together.

After removing loose paper, scour and sand the wall with fine-grade sandpaper. Clean all of the glue from the wall so that the paint will go on smoothly. Use glue solvent to remove stubborn patches.

Preparing Wood Walls.

I like natural wood so I don't paint wood surfaces, but sometimes the wood can look better with your decor if painted. Follow the tips here for preparing wood.

Seal the knotholes with shellac or other knot sealer to prevent any sap from seeping through the paint and making it bubble.

Sand off any irregularities with coarse paper. Move the sandpaper in the same direction that you plan to paint. If you need to sand a crevice or corner, fold the paper into quarters and use the sharp edge.

After sanding, spackle any splinters or dents. When the spackling compound is dry, sand again. If necessary, spackle and sand once more to be sure the wood is smooth.

Brush off any sawdust and vacuum it up from the floor. Wipe off the walls and floor edge with a damp sponge to remove the last clinging bits.

There you have it now your ready to paint. Painting can be fun and enjoyable if done correctly and when complete you will have a new look in your room or home. Good Luck.

Remember if you have any problems email me and I'll help you with your project.

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