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How to Prep Your Walls for Interior Painting: Tips From Expert House Painters

Do you consider yourself a competent house painter and decorator? Ready to hop on a journey to home improvement? Start it with interior painting! Don’t rush to grab the paint brushes and spackling paint, the first step is always preparing your walls.

Preparing your walls for interior painting is a crucial step that can make or break the outcome of your project.

Skipping the prep work may seem tempting, but it can lead to a subpar finish that chips, peels, or looks uneven.

Expert house painters know that investing time in proper wall preparation ensures a smooth, professional-looking paint job that lasts for years to come.

In this article, we’ll share essential tips from the pros on how to get your walls ready for a flawless interior paint makeover.

1. Inspect and Repair

homeowner fixing spots on wall painting

Before applying a fresh coat of paint, inspect the walls for any imperfections or damage. The most skilled Charleston painting contractors know that a smooth, flawless finish starts with smooth, clean awlls. Carefully examine the walls for cracks, holes, dents, or any other issues that need attention. We recommend leaving a small piece of blue tape to mark each spot so that when it’s time to repair they ar eeasy to find and you aren’t re-inspecting.

2. Remove Hardware and Obstacles

moving out sofa to prepare painting

Before beginning the painting process, remove any hardware or obstacles that might interfere with achieving a flawless finish. This includes items such as outlet covers, furniture, light switch plates, room, doorknobs, curtain rods, and wallpaper if there are any. Carefully remove these items and store them in a safe place until the painting is complete.

In addition to hardware, consider moving any furniture or décor that may block your access to the walls. This could include:

Furniture Décor
Couches
Paintings
Chairs
Wall Hangings
Tables
Shelves

By removing furniture, homeowners can ensure that their painting company has access to the walls, allowing for a more efficient and precise painting process. This step may require some extra time and effort that doesn’t always feel necessary but we’ve found that jobs finish faster with much less risk of accidents when this step is followed.

3. Protect Your Floors

protective sheets on floor in preparation of painting

Before beginning any interior painting project, protecting the floors is a must. Even the most careful house painters can experience the occasional drip. Invest in quality drop cloths or plastic sheeting. You can tape it down to the corners and save yourself from costly repairs or replacements down the line. Additionally, it’s recommended to cover furniture with protective plastic sheeting to avoid any potential damage.

When covering the floors, be sure to extend the protection a few feet beyond the immediate work area. This extra coverage ensures that any splatters or accidental drips from painting on top of a ladder will land on the protective material rather than the floor. Secure the edges of the drop cloths or plastic sheeting with painter’s tape to prevent them from shifting during the painting process. Always use sandpaper to prepare the surface before painting.

For added protection, consider removing any area rugs or mats that could be at risk of paint splatters.

4. Fill Holes and Cracks

wall holes and cracks to be fixed before painting

Before applying a fresh coat of paint, it’s time to go fill in the holes we found. Your painting contractor should fill holes and cracks with spackling compound and a putty knife that will stand the test of time. Spackling paste and a drywall patch work well for smaller issues, while larger damage may require a joint compound and a drywall patch. If you notice interior cracks going from floor to ceiling or around a joist you may want to have it looked at by a structural engineer or house inspector.

Sanding the repaired areas is a crucial step in the preparation process and that part that is most often done incorrectly. Once the filling compound dries completely, use a medium grit sandpaper to create an even surface and a high grit sandpaper to blend the patch seamlessly with the surrounding wall. This attention to detail guarantees that the final paint job will look polished and professional.

By taking the time to fill holes and cracks the paint has a much stronger probability of creating a strong adhesion to the walls.

5. Scuff-sand moldings and walls

scuff sand moldings and walls

Professional house painters know that scuff-sanding moldings and walls is an essential step in preparing for an interior painting project. This process involves lightly sanding the surfaces with sandpaper to create a slightly rougher texture, which allows the new paint to adhere better. Scuff-sanding also helps to remove any minor imperfections or bumps, resulting in a smoother, more even finish.

Painters typically use a fine-grit sanding block to gently scuff the moldings and walls. They pay special attention to areas that may have a glossy finish, such as trim or previously painted surfaces, as these areas require extra scuffing to ensure proper paint adhesion.

By taking the time to scuff sand moldings and walls, expert interior painters create an ideal surface for the new paint. This preparation step is crucial for achieving a long-lasting, professional-looking interior paint job that will impress homeowners and their guests alike.

6. Plan Your Painting Order

painting ceilings first before wall

Planning the painting order is important for achieving a flawless interior paint job. Best practice is to typically start with the ceiling, followed by the walls, and then move on to the trim, doors, and windows. This sequence ensures that any drips or splatters from painting the ceiling will not ruin freshly painted walls or trim.

When painting the walls, professionals often work in sections, completing one wall before moving on to the next. This approach allows them to maintain a wet edge, which helps to avoid visible lap marks and ensures a smooth, even finish.

Why is it Important to Prep Your Walls for Interior Painting

walls preparation before painting

Preparing walls for interior painting is a step that should never be overlooked.

Skipping this process can lead to a subpar paint job that may peel, chip, or fail to adhere properly.

By preparing walls correctly, homeowners can ensure that the interior painting project will look beautiful and stand the test of time.

Ensures Adhesion

Proper wall preparation creates a clean, smooth surface that allows the new paint to adhere properly. This step involves cleaning the walls, filling cracks and holes, and sanding any rough or glossy areas to ensure the paint bonds well with the surface, resulting in a long-lasting, professional-looking finish.

Removes Dirt and Grime

Cleaning the walls to remove dirt, grime, and other contaminants is a critical step in wall preparation. These substances can prevent the new paint from adhering properly, leading to an uneven or flawed finish. Expert house painters use specialized cleaning solutions to ensure the walls are spotless but if you are doing it yourself then soap and water will suffice!

Fixes Imperfections

Filling cracks, holes, and dents during wall preparation creates a smooth, even surface for painting. Use professional grade spackling paste compounds or joint compounds to repair these imperfections, ensuring a flawless finish that enhances the overall aesthetics of the interior space.

Primer Application

Applying primer is an essential step in wall preparation that helps to create a uniform surface, improve paint adhesion, and enhance the overall durability of the final paint job.

If you are switching from a dark color to a light one you will want a gradient primer that helps you bridge the color gap for better coverage.

Better Finish

Proper wall preparation results in a better overall finish for interior painting projects. By creating a clean, smooth, and uniform surface, expert house painters ensure that the final paint job looks flawless, with even coverage and no visible imperfections.

The benefits of thorough wall preparation become clear when comparing a well-prepared surface to one that has been neglected:

Properly Prepared Walls Poorly Prepared Walls
Smooth, even finish
Rough, uneven texture
Consistent paint coverage
Patchy or inconsistent coverage
No visible imperfections
Visible cracks, holes, or dents
Long-lasting, durable results
Paint may peel, chip, or fail to adhere

By investing time and effort into proper wall preparation, homeowners in Charleston can trust professional house painter and decorator companies like Wade Paint Co. to deliver exceptional results that will enhance the beauty and value of their interior spaces for years to come.

Longer Paint Durability

Properly preparing walls for interior painting significantly extends the durability of the paint job. By creating a clean, smooth surface that allows for optimal paint adhesion, expert house painters ensure that the new paint will stand up to the test of time, resisting peeling, chipping, and fading. This means homeowners can enjoy a beautiful, flawless finish for years to come, without the need for frequent touch-ups or repainting.

Enhanced Appearance

A properly prepared surface enhances the overall appearance of an interior painting project. By filling cracks, sanding rough spots, and cleaning the walls, you can create a smooth, flawless canvas for the new paint. This attention to detail ensures that the final result is a stunning, professional-looking finish that elevates the aesthetic appeal of any room.

Looking for someone to help with your Interior painting project? Call Wade Paint Co

wade paint co for paint jobs at home

If you’d rather skip the work and hire a professional give Wade Paint Co a call. We are your trusted local painting company, specializing in home painting services including interior paint. Our team is fast-moving, thorough, and extremely experienced at giving homes what they need to endure the weather swings in Charleston.

Homeowners in Charleston who prioritize wall preparation can enjoy a beautiful, professional-looking paint job that stands the test of time with Wade Paint Co.

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Wade Paint Co.

Wade Paint Co. proudly offers interior painting and exterior painting services to the following communities: West Ashley, Daniel Island, Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palm’s, Sullivan’s Island, and North Charleston.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Check for cracks, holes, or uneven surfaces that need to be repaired or smoothed out before painting.
  • Look for signs of moisture or mildew, which should be addressed and cleaned before applying new paint.

Use a screwdriver to carefully take off any screws or fasteners, and store the items in a labeled container or bag to avoid losing them. When moving obstacles, cover them with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect them from paint splatter and dust.

The best way to protect your floors during interior painting is to cover them completely with drop cloths, plastic sheeting, or rosin paper. Secure the edges of the covering material with painter’s tape to prevent paint drips and spills from reaching your floors.

To begin, gather the necessary supplies, which include spackling paste or joint compound, a putty knife, sandpaper, and a damp cloth. For small holes, such as those left by nails or screws, apply a small amount of spackling paste using the putty knife. Larger holes or cracks may require multiple applications, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next.

Once the spackling paste or joint compound has dried, use sandpaper to gently sand the area until it is level with the surrounding wall. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth and allow the surface to dry completely. For best results, prime the repaired areas before painting to ensure adhesion, even coverage, and a long-lasting finish.

For more tips and advice on preparing your space for a fresh coat of paint, visit Wade Paint Co’s house paint guide or contact their experienced painting contractors near you in Charleston.

In my opinion, without using sandpaper, without scuff-sanding, the smooth surface won’t allow the bonding with paints, leading to peeling or chipping down the line.