Preparing the surface prior to painting is the most important part of any painting project! Expect to spend as much time, or more, on surface prep as you will painting. Follow these steps to ensure your painting project is a success for many years to come:
If you can’t move the furniture out of the room, push it all into the center and cover it with drop cloths, plastic, or some old bed sheets. Remove plug and light switch outlet covers, vents, pictures, etc from the surfaces to be painted.
Scrape and sand the edges smooth of any flaking paint on the surface. If you are repainting over a semigloss or gloss paint, the gloss should be removed by sanding to ensure the new coats of paint will adhere properly. A liquid deglossing agent can sometimes be used instead of sanding to speed up the process and reduce the dust being created via sanding.
Look for cracks, dents, nail holes, etc in the surfaces to be painted. Repair them with a spackling compound such as DryDex or wood putty that is appropriate for the surface being repaired. Larger holes and/or repairs in drywall surfaces may require a California drywall patch. More often than not our projects looks like they came down with a case of chicken pox before we get into the painting.
When the repairs are dry it’s time to sand them ensuring to feather the edges so they’re level with the rest of the surface around them. Seal the patches by spot priming to ensure a uniform finish when the final coats of finish paint are applied. Skipping this step will result in the areas being patched showing threw the final finish coats of paint.
Using a paintable caulking caulk all trims (baseboard, shoe molding, window/door casings, chair railing, and crown moldings) where they meet the wall, ceiling, or other trims. As you apply a bead of caulking to these areas use a wet index finger to work the caulking into the joints to fill the cracks and create a smooth transition between the trims and surrounding surfaces. Having a wet rag available to keep your finger wet and to remove caulking from your finger is the key to success during this step.
Once the initial prep above is finished and the spot priming is finished and dry, it’s time to sand the entire surfaces to be painted. This removes any blemishes left behind from the previous painting work and ensures a good bond between the old finish and the new finish paint being applied.
Once you do a one over cleaning to remove the dust created from sanding you are ready to paint! Be sure to mix multiple gallons of the same color together to ensure a consistent color throughout. This is also known as “boxing the paints”
If you have additional suggestions for preparing interior surfaces for paint we would love to hear them.