Paint Preparation for Interior Walls, Ceilings and Trim


A correct and thorough preparation of a home’s interior will help ensure a quality, long-lasting paint job.  Proper paint preparation will also help avoid messes and mistakes that could be time-consuming and expensive to clean up.  Interior painting preparation is actually more tedious and takes more time than applying the paint. For good advice and a quote on contracting the job out, homeowners in the New England states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island can depend on the professionals at United Home Experts. Following are some of their useful tips for interior paint preparation.

The first step in interior paint preparation is to clear the room of light furniture and any decorative items.  Remove everything from the walls, including heating vent covers and electrical faceplates.  Cover switches and receptacles with painters’ tape.  It is also beneficial to remove hardware such as knobs, handles and locks from doors and windows, or at least mask them off with painters’ tape.

Heavy furniture should be pushed into the center of the room and covered with a plastic sheet, with a canvas SWPaintCandrop-cloth on top of that.  Should a light fixture be immovable, wrap it carefully with plastic.  A garbage bag serves this purpose well.

Wallpaper in good condition can be painted over.  Wallpaper that is torn or pulling away from the wall must be removed.  The best way to remove wallpaper is the good, old-fashioned method of peeling off all possible paper by hand.  Any remaining shreds and paste are then sponged or mopped with very hot water until every last bit is removed.

The surface can now be prepared for the paint by a thorough sanding to ensure the wall is free of any specks of paper or paste.  Be sure to dust off any traces of the sanding as well.

Like the loose wallpaper, paint that is chipped or peeling must also be completely scraped off.  The trick here is to PaintPreparationremove the paint without gouging the wall.  A scraper with edges that can be sharpened and a stiff wire brush are good tools to use here.

If the finish on any woodwork is in poor condition, it is best to remove the paint or stain altogether with paint-stripping gel before applying new paint or stain.

Small holes and cracks in the wall from denting or nail holes must be puttied over to enable a smooth surface.  Larger holes can be made smooth with self-adhering mesh cut wider than the hole.  To do this, cut two pieces and center the first piece over the hole.  Press it down.  Center the second piece over the hole to form an X with the first piece and again press on it.  Cover the mesh completely with putty using a putty knife.  When dry, sand the area and apply primer.

Use fine-grain sandpaper to smooth the entire surface for paint preparation.  Sanding also finely roughens the surface, allowing better paint adherence.

The final step in interior paint preparation is to vacuum the rooms to be painted and dust the surfaces of walls, ceilings and trim.  If it is a kitchen or bathroom that is being repainted, the walls must be cleaned of all grease and soap scum both before and after sanding.

Repainting an interior space can make a huge difference in its appearance and livability.  This is a big project, but the results can be amazing.  A quality paint job will also add value to the home.  Homeowners considering selling their home should keep this in mind.

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