Before you jump in and start slapping paint on the walls of your home, take a few moments to fully prepare the room. It may seem tempting to skip things like filling in nail holes, or taping off ceilings, but it is entirely worth the time and effort it takes to do it. After all, painting a room is no walk in the park. Why settle for mediocre results when you can enjoy a perfectly painted room instead?
10 things to do before painting a room
Remove everything from walls – This means everything - including curtain rods. I’ve seen people paint around curtain rods, and leave a streaky mess in their wake. Everything must come down from the walls if you want your paint job to look smooth.
Push furniture away from walls – If you can move it out of the room, that’s even better! If not, simply push furniture to the middle of the room and cover it with a dropcloth.
Remove electrical outlets and light switches – This eliminates messy brush marks around outlets and will give the entire room a seamlessly painted look.
Fill-in nail holes – Use lightweight joint compound to fill in small nail holes. Remember, joint compound will shrink as it dries, so it’s best to use a little more than you think you’ll need.
Sand rough spots –Sand areas that were filled with joint compound, as well as any other rough spots on the walls.
Scrape flaking paint – Scrape away large portions of flaking paint with a putty knife, and sand the surface smooth.
Remove mold and mildew – Don’t paint over mold or mildew; it will just grow back. Instead, remove it with a mixture of household bleach, water, and non-ammonia detergent. For complete details on how to remove mold and mildew from non-porous and semi-porous surfaces, visit the NC Dept. of Health and Family Services website.
Wash the walls - Lightly washing the walls before painting a room will remove dirt and dust and help paint adhere. Simply fill a bucket with three gallons warm water and one cup of white distilled vinegar.
Tape off - When the walls are completely dry, start taping off baseboards, windows, doorways, moldings, and ceilings. USE PAINTERS TAPE! It may cost more, but it works!
Protect flooring – No one is perfect and mistakes DO happen. Protect flooring with cloth or plastic dropcloths to prevent spills and splatters from becoming permanent stains.
If you’re painting over a dark-colored paint, or painting a room that is prone to moisture, as in a bathroom, you may need to prime the walls before adding more paint. This will help prevent dark-colored paint from running through the new paint, and also help prevent moisture from forming in a moisture-prone zone.