6 Steps to Prep and Paint Walls

Feb 19, 2015 | Painting

If you have decided to forego hiring contractors in Columbus, Ohio, for your paint job, make sure you still prepare your work area adequately before starting. Preparation is usually more involved than the task of painting. You must make sure your surfaces are in good condition and nearby items are covered or removed. Start with these steps.

1. Remove or Cover Furniture

Remove furniture or move items out of the way to prevent stray splatters from ruining your décor and to make room for painting. In living rooms, you may not be able to remove furniture, so move everything to the center of the room, leaving plenty of walking room next to walls. Cover this furniture with painter’s plastic or canvas drop cloths. Lay enough ground cover that carpet or tile will not be damaged. If paint does splatter on anything, immediately wipe it off with a wet paper towel or painter’s cloth.

2. Remove and Cover Outlets and Plates

Remove outlet covers and put a piece of tape over the outlet itself. Any other covers, plates, wires, thermostats, doorstops, switches, or other matter should be removed or covered. Be aware that paint will likely bleed under tape if paint gets on it.

3. Tape Crown Molding

There are two options to protect crown molding and baseboards. The first is to tape them. This often takes a long time and a lot of tape, and this will still allow paint to bleed under the tape. Nevertheless, many people prefer this method. If you feel a risk of paint splatter, feel free to use this method in combination with the next.

The second option is to forget the tape and simply stop your paint roller several inches from molding. After rolling, go back with a good quality angle brush for cutting precision painting. Start your brush stroke away from the molding edge and brush in a stroke parallel to the molding. Bring your brush gradually closer until you make a perfect line of paint where the molding meets the wall. Brushing perpendicular to the molding will not work.

4. Double Check the Wall Texture

Make sure the drywall is as good as possible. If your surface is textured, make sure the texture is even. Paint can highlight defects. If the wall is smooth, run your hand over it to make sure no holes, bumps, or lines are present. If the drywall work isn’t good, no paint will cover it. You may need to get out some sandpaper or a scraper to make a smooth wall. If the texture is inconsistent, hardware stores often sell instant texture in a spray can that will cover small areas.

5. Apply Primer

When you are ready to paint, apply primer first. Primer will block out any of the bleed through from the drywall. It will also help cover any previous paint colors.

6. Paint Your Finish Color

After using primer, paint two coats of finish color. After the first coat of color, you should go back through and touch up any drywall spots that were missed. It’s really hard to see small imperfections until color makes them stand out. You then need to prime these missed spots and apply their first coat of finish color before applying the final coat over the entire wall. Typically, you should cut in around the ceiling and trim, then roll the walls and repeat the process for the second coat.

If you are painting an average living room, you will likely be able to start the second coat right after the first one. Paint does not need long to dry before applying the second coat. That being said, the final coat needs to be guarded for at least 24 hours. Items placed against the wall too soon will bond to the paint, causing it to peel up when moved.