Proper preparation is crucial before painting an interior room. Sure, you can slap some paint on a wall and call it a day. To achieve a professional result, you must prepare the room before the first stroke of paint is applied.
The first step before painting is cleaning. Remove all items from the room and clean the ceiling, walls, baseboard, trim and floors. You do not have to scrub them with bleach, but do focus on eliminating dust, dirt, spider webs and other debris. A broom, small duster and vacuum are ideal for ridding the room of these contaminates. Wipe down heavily soiled areas with a damp sponge. Remove nails, screws or picture hanging hardware from the walls.
Cover anything left in the room with a drop cloth, plastic or paper to include light fixtures and ceiling fans. In general, if you don’t want paint on it, cover it. This includes flooring, furniture and miscellaneous items. A power screwdriver makes quick work of this task. Use masking tape to protect all receptacles and switches. Remove or mask any doorknobs, door hinges and other hardware.
Caulking is the most essential step to a professional paint job. Visible cracks, including nail or screw holes, should be filled with latex caulk. Baseboards, trim, corners and window frames should also be caulked. This process takes some time, but makes it easier when you apply paint.
New drywall requires a solid coat of primer before painting. Primer lends an added layer of protection by sealing the drywall’s unfinished surface. It’s a good idea to prime existing drywall, especially when painting over dark colors. Primers contain pigments that prevent darker colors and stains from bleeding through.
Keep a bucket of clean water and plenty of rags nearby for mishaps. Scrape or sand rough surfaces to smooth them before applying paint. A power sander equipped with 120-grit sandpaper quickly preps these areas. Cover paintbrushes, cut pots, rollers and paint buckets with damp rags when not in use to prevent them from drying out. Use a high quality, professional paintbrush for all brushwork — inexpensive brushes do not hold paint well, which leads to poor results and increased dripping.
By following these steps, your job will have more professional-looking results and last longer.