Sunday, January 30, 2022

How To Prep A Wall For Painting

How To Prep A Wall For Painting

Prep your room to get it ready for paint. I'm a huge believer in doing it right and guys be honest with me how many of you have actually prepped a room the way you should. Not many of you I know. It's one of those things where you gloss over parts, or skip it just because it seems like it takes too much time.
But doing it right the first time and properly prepping can actually save you time in the long run and ensure that your more likely to get better results in the end. I'm going to show you all the essentials and even some additional steps if you want to go to the extra mile but either way when you're done reading this how to prep a room for painting post, you're going to know everything you need to do it right the first time. 

Basically prepping a room is all about two things. First protecting. Protecting your floors and your furniture. Basically anything you don't want to get paint on. And second, preparing your trim and your walls. You want your surfaces to be as pristine as possible so that when the paint does go on it goes on perfectly.

Let's get prepping. So this is a bedroom, and it's a typical bedroom situation we have a closet, we have a window, we have a bed that we're dealing with. The first thing you need to do is to clear all the furniture out of of there. Get the accessories out, and take anything off the wall.

My friend Cheap Calgary Painting is a professional painter. He's going to be helping me throughout this entire process. Pro tip, remove any fish and actually all animals before you paint. Obviously we're taking everything off the walls so that we can paint the walls. 

And I'm going to pull out my nails as I go. The holes will take care of that in a bit if you're taking something off the wall that's going to go into the exact same place like this lamp. You want to take it off but then leave the two nails in there. 

That way when I'm going around room spackling holes I don't accidentally spackle these and then have to remeasure and hang it. Whatever you can't get out of the room you want to still protect it so move your furniture to the center of the room and cover it up with plastic sheeting or plastic drop cloths 

Luckily we're able to get all the furniture out of here. All right so we have the room cleared out and if you care about your carpet or your floors the next step is protecting them. So I prefer canvas drop cloths. 

I think they do a great job, they are easy to work with and they protect the floors. Now I mentioned the essentials versus preference. If you want to go the extra mile you can put down plastic sheeting underneath your drop cloth. 

So why would someone choose to go that extra mile and put down plastic sheeting. There is a chance that you could spill some paint and it could go through the canvas so we used the plastic sheeting as just an extra precaution to protect your carpets. 

So two mils of poly is of a great thickness in terms of durability. It's going to hold up more to foot traffic anything thinner than that it may take more of beating and open up, rip or tear while we're doing our thing in there. 

We are planning to paint the baseboard and all the term in this room but as a temporary fix I'm going to use painters tape and connect the plastic sheeting up onto the baseboard just a couple inches this is going to be really easy to remove later but for right now adding maybe two to three pieces on each wall will hold this plastic sheeting in place. 

When we're putting our canvas drop cloths down trust me it really helps it from moving all around. All right, now that the floors are all protected with our plastic which again is an optional step we are going to put down our canvas drop cloths and there are two types. 

One is areas which you can think of those as the big rectangle square and then runners and those are if you think like a rug like long and thin so we're going to start with larger drop cloths and then we'll use the runners to fill in any gaps that we need. 

Okay, so our drop cop is wider than the width of our room so we're going to do two things. I want to get rid of as many wrinkles as possible. If you have bumps in your drop cloth it's really easy to trip on it and the last thing you want to do is trip with paint in your hands. 

And then also pull all my excess to one side so I only have to make one fold. All right when you're holding like this you just remember you want to make sure you're folding towards you so when cleanup time comes if you do have some stray drips of paint they're not ending up on your carpet. 

All right on to some surface prep. The walls in this room are drywall and that's probably the most common situation, however I know that some of you have plaster. Every situation and house and home is a little bit different, but since drywall is going to be the most relatable to all of you, we're going to address that.

We've inspected the walls for holes, cracks, dings, dents, and dirt, and Cheap Calgary Painting is getting started on cleaning some of the dirt that we found off the walls. Behind the headboard, we found a little bit behind some of the artwork. This is super common. If you are not starting with a new construction space you've already had things up on the wall dirt can get trapped behind. 

It happens, it's no big deal but it's definitely something you don't want to gloss over, we want to take care of it so what Cheap Calgary Painting is doing, using just a spray bottle filled with warm water and about two tablespoons of a gentle detergent in there. 

You're not trying to make it so that you can't see that there was ever dirt there the paint will take care of that. You just want to get rid of anything that's loose on the surface. All right so now's the time to start repairing wall imperfections. 

You want to go through and fill any of those before painting. If you were to just paint it, you're still going to see it. Don't think that you can hide it with paint. Now, if you have a larger hole or a deeper gap, you might need to use joint compound. 

We have a step-by-step blog post that will walk you through those larger wall repairs so you can check that out. So we have two different types of holes here. So this one here is a traditional nail hole that one and then this one though is more of a paint chip. 

I have a four inch putty knife, and patch plus primer spackle. The reason I like this is that it dries in 30 minutes. It doesn't have a lot of shrinkage, so it's going to stay the same size, not shrink as much, and it's super easy to work with. It really hides the imperfections. 

So for the imperfection below you can see that there's kind of the edges are raised up and sticking out. So I'm going to use the back of my putty knife and I'm going to press that into the hole basically I'm making an indent. I want all the imperfections to be on the inside of the wall nothing raised on the outside. 

Now that it's indented, I'm going to load up the corner of my blade and I'd say like this amount will work for your average size nail hole. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to press it onto the wall and my first pass is going to be kind of a soft angle. 

And then I'm going to hold my knife almost perpendicular to the wall and I'm going to go sideways. So again, I'm just going to load up my knife, press it in, I'm going to do a soft diagonal, and then perpendicular. 

These holes, dents, and dings are now filled, and because I'm using quick dry they'll be ready to stand and paint in 30 minutes. There can be all kinds of wall imperfections, and honestly, I can't predict exactly what you're going to run into, but I'm going to show you an example of something that I just came across here. 

And basically, this is a ridge in the wall, it's an imperfection that's actually raised instead of being a hole. It probably is from someone putting a bead of cock here and then painting over it but regardless of what it is we need to fix it. 

So what we're going to try and do first is use my five in one tool to kind of knock it down a bit. See how much I can chip away at it without doing too much damage to the wall. So my five in one tool has two sides to it in this part the beveled side here and then this side is flat. 

For this I want to make sure that the bevel is facing in towards the wall. If it was facing out. When I go to chip it, it might actually do more damage than I'm looking for. I'm going to go a long looking for  imperfection in the same direction.

If I were to go up and down, I might chip off too much drywall and just make a much bigger gap than I'm looking for. I'm sure here noticing that my tool is actually marking up the wall but don't worry the end goal here is to paint the walls. 

This will get all covered up. All right, now that I've kind of knocked it down a bit, I'm going to switch methods and turn to sandpaper. I have an 80 grit sandpaper here, it's pretty coarse. I want to be a bit aggressive with this and I'm going to again go in the same direction as the imperfection. 

We're trying to get this as flush as we possibly can with the wall. All right, now that this is sanded down we need to repair the holes and the indents, and we can't use the same quick dry spackle. We actually need to use joint compound and that is better for larger holes and imperfections. 

Right okay so talk me through what we're going to do here. We're going to use a larger blade and we're going to use joint compound or just going to scrape it across left to right same same way as the where the gouge was. Full dry time and I'm actually even going to stick a box fan on this wall so that maybe it can cut down the dry time a little bit. 

When you start, really looking at your walls first, you're going to find all kinds of imperfections. And another really common one are old paint drips. So this is from a previous paint job, and as you can see it's just dripping here down onto my trim. 

If we paint over that you're just going to see it again even more. So all we need to do is, I have my 220 finish sandpaper on here, and I'm just going to knock down that old paint so that way it's nice and smooth. And you'll really never even know it was there. 

While our joint compound is drying we're going to deal with any areas in the room that need to be re caulked, and what you'll see usually is that caulking needs to be touched up around like where the baseboard and the wall meets or around window trim. 

Caulk is the best solution for this, so I need to open up my tube of caulk, so I'm going to take the tip and I'm going to put it right into the spout cutter. When I'm putting it in, I'm going in in about a 45° angle then to cut it you just squeeze the handle. 

For this we're using fast dry paintable caulk. So the bead is on, and a lot of times people just run their finger along it but that's actually not a great idea because your finger is round and you're really want your wall to meet your baseboard at a 90° angle. 

So instead of our finger, we're going to use our five and one tool and we're going to use this small square side here. Now what you'll do is you'll take your damp rag and you'll put it in one layer over it hold it nice and tightly this is going to give you a nice square angle that you can work with. 

We're going to take that starting in the corner and run it along the edge of the bead of caulking you've just put on and it creates a really nice clean square 90 degree angle for you. Okay, our wall repairs are dry and now it's time to move on to standing. 

And this time I'm actually going to be using 220 grit sandpaper that's kind of a finished sandpaper it's going to give me a really nice smooth finish perfect for paint. So this may seem a little bit excessive to some of you but always need to go safety first. So I have eye protection and the mask so that I don't breathe in any of the dust and my eyes are protected. 

When we are doing finish sanding as opposed to going in the straight back and forth motion we're actually going to be going in a circular motion and that will feather out the imperfection and give us the smoothest finish. Again we're trying to get this as flush as we possibly can with the wall. Don't be surprised if you get a little dusty. 

Okay, so our walls are spackled and sanded, and now we need to do a bit more cleanup and I promise we're almost done prepping. What I have here is a damp rag. You're going to use your damp rag along your baseboards. You may have some of the spackle dust that is coming down onto the baseboard then I have a dry rag. 

This is really great for the drywall and the walls itself, and make sure you check your corners for cobwebs. At this point, I'm going to go around the room and remove all of my outlet and switch plate covers. Guys, how many of you have been lazy and painted around a switch plate or an outlet. It is so not worth it. 

First of all, it hardly ever looks clean and perfect, and second of all next time around if you ever do need to take this off you might actually ruin your paint jobs. So it's very quick and easy and my preference is to wait until I'm finished all of my sanding so that I get less dust going in behind my wall. 

First step to removing is actually going down and shutting off the breaker for your room. It might sound excessive, but you really want to make sure that you're always going safety first when dealing with anything involving electricity. And now I'm going to remove it using a flathead screwdriver. Once I have it out, a little pro tip here,  is that I actually like to put it right back in. 

They are so hard to keep track of now I'm taking a small piece of my painters tape and I'm just going to cover up my holes in my outlet so that I'm sure not to get paint on those as well. In this room we're not painting the ceiling, but we are painting the walls and the trim, and we're going to start out with the walls. 

This is kind of hotly debated in the painting world. What do you paint first, trim or walls, trim or walls. Everyone has an opinion on it, and you can make a good case either way, but for an average homeowner we're going to recommend that you start with the walls, that way if you have any overspray or drips or drops on anything on your trim it's kind of the last thing you do and it really cleans up the whole job and looks great. 

So since I'm painting the walls first, my next step is taping off my baseboard and trim and to do that I have two inch painter's tape and I'm going to start back in the corner and I'm lining it up with the top of the return. You don't want your tape to be up on the wall surface because that's what we're painting. 

The key here is to try not to work in small segments so you just want to work in one long piece this makes it so that you have a perfectly seamless long line and instead of kind of starting and stopping.  Now I want to really seal the tape. Nothing is worse than taping and then coming back a few minutes later and seeing that it's kind of flopped off the wall. 

So you want to properly seal it you have a couple options to do this. You can use the edge of your five in one tool and pull it along but, occasionally if you apply too much pressure your five in one could rip the tape, you could also use a plastic putty knife. This works really well. Kind of the same way you're trying to get as square and straight of a line as possible. 

And really press it down in there and you can use just the corner of like a store's bonus card or credit card and you can just drag that right along the corner as well. In addition to taping off my baseboards I'm also taping off all the window and door casings for the exact same reason. I don't want to get any paint on them. 

Taping around these is a bit easier than the baseboard molding because there's a lot more surface area to work off of. And now friends, you're ready to paint. We prepared this room and we did it right we took our time and protected all of our services and then we prepared our walls we cleaned we patched holes we sanded with this room is now ready for the perfect paint job.

The professional Calgary Painters over at 1/2 Price Pro Calgary Painting can help you with all of your prep needs if you need assistance. You're likely better off calling in a professional painter to get the best results. Give us a call today @ (587) 800-2801 and get a free painting estimate. We beat most free painting estimates and free painting price quotes in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.