Careful and precise preparation is key to getting the best finish when painting and decorating your home or office walls. Taking the time to fully prepare is essential if you want to achieve a professional looking, sleek finish that you’ll be proud of. We’ve put together an essential guide to preparing your walls and ceilings for painting and decorating, to get the professional results you desire.
#1. Protect Floors and Furniture:
Before you begin, your first step will be protecting any flooring and furniture in the general vicinity of where you are about to decorate. The best way to do this is to lay out heavy-duty protection sheets on the floor. If you are fully renovating a room, it’s always best to paint before laying new flooring down. Any furniture that can be easily removed from the room should be taken out at this point. Cover any remaining items that cannot be moved with heavy-duty sheets as well.
#2. Remove All Grease and Dust:
Once you’ve got the surroundings protected, the next step is to make sure that all surfaces you plan to decorate are clean and free from any grease and dust. The best way to do this is to clean the walls and ceilings thoroughly with sugar soap; this may take some time but it’s a very essential part of the process, which will help you get the best results once you are finished. Whilst cleaning the walls, it’s important to look out for any cracks, holes or dents, which should be filled and sanded down to create a smooth, sleek surface.
#3. Stripping Wallpaper:
Whilst it’s possible to paint over wallpaper, the best option in most cases is to strip it. If you are planning to remove the wallpaper in your room before painting, this should be done before step two. Once the wallpaper has been fully removed from the walls, it’s important to sand them down to get rid of any lumps, bumps, and imperfections. After sanding, it’s a good idea to use a vacuum to clean these areas since this will help you avoid picking up any dust particles on your paintbrush.
#4. Staying Safe:
Don’t forget that your safety should be a top priority when decorating your home and office. Always wear gloves to protect your hands when using filler, and it’s a good idea to keep these on, along with protective goggles, when using chemical products or sugar soap. Googles are useful when sanding surfaces, as they will prevent any debris from getting into your eyes. If using chemical stripping products, be sure to read and follow the safety instructions thoroughly. Take extra care if you use a steam stripper; always use a step ladder when working at height to avoid hot steam from burning your arm. Long sleeves are always a good idea, too.
#5. Preparing Plastered Walls:
If you’re planning to paint plastered walls, it’s important to know the specific steps to take to get the perfect finish. If the walls are freshly plastered, be sure that it has completely dried before you begin to prepare it for painting. An easy way to tell if it’s dry is when no dark patches are left on the wall. Once you’re ready, priming the plaster is key to getting a sleek and professional finish. Use a specialist primer for plaster and make sure that you follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Alternatively, you can apply two coats of a light-colored mist coat, which is made up of 60% paint and 40% water. Then apply a top-coat as per the manufacturers’ instructions. Follow the link for more tips on exterior and interior home and office painting.
#6. Preparing Painted Walls:
If you’re planning to paint over walls that are already painted, then the preparation process will be slightly different. First, it’s important to identify any gaps, cracks or holes in the wall and fill them. Small, hairline imperfections and cracks can be hidden using a basecoat. Then, clean the walls using sugar soap, before allowing it to dry and smoothing with fine grade sandpaper. Check the wall for any areas of flaking paint and sand where needed. Once the wall is smooth and ready, prepare it by painting over first with a primer; this will help the paint take better, along with keeping the finished colors more vibrant.
Lastly, bear in mind that the best results are in rooms that are well-ventilated before painting. Have the windows open to provide a good flow of fresh air; you might want to leave the room to air out for a while in between preparing and painting the walls, particularly when using chemical strippers. If using heavy chemicals or cleaning products, don’t forget to protect yourself using a ventilation mask, too.
If you found these tips helpful, we’d love to hear from you!