You’ve decided to redecorate a room. Inspired by a new color scheme, you purchased paint and you’re ready to jump right in. Almost…

prep-room-paintTo assure that paint adheres properly to your walls, ceiling and trim, it is essential that all surfaces are free of dust, dirt and stains. This means a thorough cleaning is in order. Cleaning can be a daunting task, but it is an essential part of the room make-over. It takes time and let’s face it…it isn’t much fun. It’s certainly not as much fun as rolling a fresh new color on the walls; however, putting in a little time and effort up front will help you achieve a professional looking finish.

Let’s get started. Here are 7 easy steps to help you properly prepare your walls before painting:

  1. If your room has furniture in it, remove as much as possible. Push the remaining (probably larger items) to the center of the room so that your work area is clear.
  2. Cover the remaining furniture and floors with drop cloths. Old sheets and blankets work well as furniture covers. Professional painter drop cloths are essential to protect your floors from any potential drips or spills. These heavy-weight cloths can be easily folded and moved to fit the configuration of the room. They aren’t terribly expensive so they are well worth your investment.
  3. Remove all nails. Fill the holes with spackling or drywall compound. Drydex by Dap goes on pink and turns white when it is dry. Allow 10-15 minutes or longer to dry, then give each spot a light sanding. Don’t forget to wipe off any residue.
  4. Remove all of the switch plate covers. Wash them and set them aside so that they are ready to go when you are finished painting.
  5. Create an inexpensive, but efficient mixture of water and any light cleaning solution like Dirtex, which doesn’t leave any residue.  (Dirtex is also the best product for washing walls after they are painted because it is gentle on the paint.) Using a large sponge, squeeze out the excess water and wash the walls, ceiling and baseboards. Work in sections beginning at the top of the wall. Be aware of drips. Wipe away excess water, if necessary. The surfaces must be dry before you paint them. If you have a small stain, use a gentle abrasive like baking soda and water paste to gently wash it away. Rinse and wipe. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is perfect for removing crayons and fingerprints.
  6. Spot prime the newly spackled holes or heavily stained areas with any Benjamin Moore primer.
  7. Using painter’s tape, mask off the trim areas like baseboards and window and door trim. Even if you have a steady hand, masking helps you create straight lines and avoid overlapping paint.

That’s it! You are ready to roll. Literally!

Preparation takes time but it’s definitely worth it. Your room is now clean, freshly painted and ready for you to enjoy.

If you still have questions, visit one of our three Shelby Paint & Decorating stores and talk to one of our designers. Their training and years of experience can help you find all of the tools and supplies you need for your next room make-over.

For more on preparing a room to paint, check out this video.