How to Prep Your Walls for Painting

A proper paint job requires a lot of preparation. One of the most important things before painting a wall is to ensure that the paint will stick properly, ensuring durability and a wall that looks good. Even when using high-quality paint like the kind purchased at Surepaint LLC, you still need to put in the work to ensure that such good paint is applied to a conducive wall.

Painting a wall is more than just sprinkling paint and using a brush to apply it. It involves prep work that includes cleaning and using sandpaper, if necessary, to ensure that the wall surface is smooth enough for the paint.

Of course, not every wall surface will require a lot of preparation before painting it. However, those that do should be worked on to prevent paint from peeling off prematurely. 

Do the following things before painting your walls. 

Cleaning your walls

Even before painting, keeping your walls clean should be part of your regular house maintenance routine. Dirt on walls can make them look uninviting and affect the paint. Most walls can be cleaned using lukewarm water and a sponge or piece of soft rag. Stains and other forms of dirt can go unnoticed, especially on seemingly clean walls with colors that tend to mask oils. Gently scrub the wall surface with the sponge after soaking it in the warm water. When necessary, you can use regular household detergents for the greasy stuff. Like those in kitchens, some walls tend to have more oily residues due to the culinary activities usually carried out there. In such cases, you need grease-cutting detergents that can deal with the high-density oils that tend to stain kitchen surfaces.

Ensure to give the wall surface enough time to dry. Applying paint or primers to wet walls can lead to problems like blistering.

Removing mildew

Mildew can be a stubborn problem that refuses to go away. Before painting any walls, ensure that they’re mildew-free. Otherwise, painting over mildew will only result in more problems. Mildew can grow and penetrate the paint surface, meaning you’ll have to re-paint the wall.

To avoid any future problems of mildew, ensure to treat any mildew-infested walls with bleach. Usually, mixing three-parts water to one-part bleach gives an ideal solution for getting rid of mildew. Sprinkle enough of this mixture on the walls, focusing more on areas with visibly dense mildew. After a few minutes, gently scrub the wall before rinsing with water. Bleach can cause some skin irritation. As such, always wear gloves and goggles when mixing the bleach and scrubbing the walls.

Use sandpaper

An uneven wall surface can make the paint lose its gleam later on. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that the wall surfaces to be painted are smooth and even. Whether it’s a wall being painted for the first time or one that’s being repainted, always ensure to smoothen the wall surface. Sandpaper works well. A sanding block can also get the job done. Use either one to scrub the rough and uneven surfaces. After all the scrubbing, use a cloth soaked in warm water to wipe away the dust from the wall surfaces.

Give the walls enough time to dry before applying the paint. Before using sandpaper, it’s important to know if a wall was previously painted with high-gloss paint or a water-based one. This is because removing water-based paint, for example, requires fine-grit sandpaper, while medium-grit sandpaper is more suited to removing oil-based paints.

Additionally, painting on cracked and flaking paint surfaces should be avoided. All such cracks of paint should be removed entirely before applying fresh paint.

Priming walls before painting

Think of primers as providing a firm foundation for the paint. Primers are ideal for covering up stains that won’t go away. Walls with porous surfaces can also benefit from the application of primers before painting. Primers help the paint gloss over all the imperfections and blemishes on a wall surface, creating a gleaming, uniform wall appearance. Of course, some types of primers are better suited for certain types of walls. Oil-based primers, for instance, are better for wooden wall surfaces. Besides offering great surface protection, such primers also dry quickly.

Follow the above steps to get your walls ready for fresh paint. Issues related to painting over wallpaper can be tricky. As a general rule, don’t paint over wallpaper. This is because it’s nearly impossible to hide their seams. It’s best to contact a painting contract to have the wallpaper removed before any paint job is performed.

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