How to Prepare a Wall for Painting

15 Nov 2018

How to Prepare a Wall for Painting
One of the easiest things you can do to freshen up a room and give it a makeover is to simply put your paint brush.

The beauty of painting is that anyone can give a living space a new look on their own without having to hire a professional.

While it can be tempting to dive right in and get started painting, it’s actually quite important that you properly prep any wall before you paint it. If your wall is not properly prepped ahead of time, your paint job is unlikely to stand the test of time and the paint may not adhere to the walls properly. If you’re getting ready to redecorate, you might want to read on as we’ll tell you everything you need to know about preparing a wall for painting.

Make Sure Your Walls are Clean

If your walls are covered in dust or other debris, any paint you apply will likely not adhere to the wall properly. The most important step in the process for prepping a wall for paint is to clean your walls. To start, use a dry duster to rub down the entire surface. This will remove a large portion of the dust and dirt on the wall that can prevent new paint from sticking properly.

To make sure the surface is truly clean, you can use a few different combinations to wash your walls with water. This is particularly helpful in rooms that are exposed to grime or soap scum, like kitchens or bathrooms. One option is to combine 3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar with 4L of warm water in a container. Use a large sponge to apply the solution to your wall to remove any residue or grease, before wiping the solution away with clean water and a cloth. You can use a solution of sugar soap and water instead if you’re not keen on the smell of vinegar, though this smell should not linger if you wipe away thoroughly.

Fill Cracks and Holes

To really ensure that the new paint really helps transform your wall, you should also make sure that the surface is smooth. The walls may be littered with cracks due to age or holes from where photos or artwork once hung. Filling cracks and holes will not only help your wall look newer, but can also ensure that the paint has a better surface to stick to.

Patching up small holes is a very simple process that can be completed with just some filler and fine sandpaper. Once you have cleaned the walls, simply apply a small amount of filler over the hole with a putty knife. Use the knife to remove the excess. Allow the surface to dry and buff away any imperfections with fine sandpaper and you’ll be left with a smooth surface.

Filling cracks can be a little trickier, but the same principle is used as with holes. You should start by filling the deepest part of the crack before moving out to the edges of the crack.

Prime the Walls

For surfaces that are badly stained, or if you’re painting a lighter paint over old dark paint, you’ll want to prime the walls first. Primer assists paint in adhering to a wall more effectively. After the wall has been cleaned and all filler applications have dried, apply a coat of primer (more if you’re covering a dark colour. Once you’ve allowed the primer to dry, your walls will be in the perfect condition to apply new paint. You’ll find that by following these steps, your paint is likely to wear better and last longer, keeping your living space looking at its best.