How To Prepare A Wall For Painting

How To Prepare A Wall For Painting

The key to getting the best results when painting a wall are preparation, preparation and preparation. We are going to show you how to prepare a wall for painting just like the professionals.

Step 1: You will need

  • Drop clothes
  • A screwdriver
  • A bucket, washing up liquid and a sponge
  • A face mask and sand paper
  • A Voltage Detector
  • And a putty knife

Step 2: Clear the room

Remove all furniture from the room and all mirrors and pictures from the walls. Cover any remaining furniture and the floor with drop clothes and newspapers to protect them from paint splatters.

Step 3: Paint around the electrical outlets

This can be a tricky process and may not give a professional finish. The best solution is to unscrew and remove the electrical outlets all together. But before you do, you need to switch off the electricity to outlets in this room.

A simple and cheap Voltage Detector will confirm the flow of electricity by flashing or buzzing or even both. Now, you will need to switch off the electricity at the main circuit box. This is usually under the stairs, in the hallway or out the back of your house depending on where you live. Look for the circuit breaker marked for the relevant floor you are painting and flick it to the off position. Using the Voltage Detector again check the outlets to ensure they are no longer live. You are then ready to unscrew and remove the outlet plates.

If you are unsure about this process please DO NOT attempt this procedure. You can use an alternative masking method, which is explained in the VideoJug, How to Paint a Wall.

You will also need to remove any heating grills. Label each plate and tape the screws to it so that you can properly return it to its correct place on the wall, without losing any screws.

Step 4: Prepare the Wall

Examine the wall for any old paint drips or ridges and gently sand down, or “flatten” with sandpaper.

Once you have fixed all of the imperfections in the wall, you are now ready for the next step.

Step 5: Clean the walls

It is essential to wash the walls to remove any dust, dirt or greasy stains that will stop the paint from sticking. A sponge dipped and gently squeezed in slightly soapy water is ideal for this. For heavy soiled walls you might need a commercial cleaning product.

Don't forget to wipe down the skirting boards or baseboards and clear any dust or cobwebs from the corners. If you have decided to remove the outlet covers be careful not to get this area too wet.