How to Prepare Surfaces for an Interior Repaint

How to Prepare Surfaces for an Interior Repaint
How to Prepare Surfaces for an Interior Repaint
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From the blogger: "Professional decorators and painters tend to have a motto they like to live by: "90% preparation, 10% painting." And that's great advice. It's well worth following becuase it is 100% correct! The secret (and it is not really a secret) to making sure your new interior paint job looks fresh, crisp, and clean is in the preparation. For a flawless finish that's sure to last, follow these five basic steps before even thinking about picking up a paint brush."

Estimated Cost$31+

Time to CompleteWeekend project

Primary TechniquePainting




DIY Project Instructions

  1. Wash the Wall: Your wall may look clean to you, but it isn't. Residue from household cleaners can stop new paint from properly adhering to the walls, meaning it'll start peeling years before it ought. The wall may also be dustier than you'd think, so the first thing you've got to do is clean them down. Use any good brand of sugar soap and a big, soft sponge. Make sure you clean the whole surface, including the corners and edges. Not only will a sugar soap wash get the walls clean, but it'll also stop any old stains or marks showing through the new paint. Remember to dry the walls off with a clean rag.

  2. Remove Mold and Mildew: If you have mold, this will need particular attention. Mold is that spotty gray, black, or brown mold that is common in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or anywhere where moisture is a regular occurrence. Mold Removal businesses recommend and consider essential, the removal of all mold before you begin a new paint job. Mix 3-parts water with 1-part household bleach. Sponge the mixture onto the mold and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse off with clean water. Wash the area with a mild detergent and rinse again with clean water again. Leave to dry. To make sure the mold doesn't return and ruin your new paint job, apply an anti-mold preparation, and leave it to dry as per the instructions. Never try to paint over mildew. The effect will only be temporary, and it will soon show through the new paint again.

  3. Scrape off any old, Cracked Paint: Put on your safety goggles and a dust mask lay down a ground sheet next to the wall, grab your paint scraper and start scraping. Use a triangular or oval shaped scraper to get into awkward corners. Take care not to gouge or score the surface (if you do, see the next step). Sand any rough spots with fine-grade sandpaper (use a sanding block).

  4. Fill any Gaps: Fill any holes in the wall with a good brand of filler. Make sure your filler is the right kind for the type of surface you're working with (e.g. plaster, wallboard, etc.) and that you've got enough of it for any holes or cracks needing to be filled. Squeeze the filler into the hole or crack, making sure to overfill it. When it's dry, sand down the excess dry filler with sandpaper or an electric sander to get a smooth finish.

  5. Preparing Wood or Timber: Remove any grime using non-soapy detergent and a scrub sponge, working from the ground up. When dry, sand the surface with fine-grade sandpaper, and scrape off any loose paint. Sponge the surface down with clean water to remove any dust. Use this sanding guide if you are unsure. You are now ready to start painting! Don't skimp on any of these steps and you will get a fabulous, immaculate finish to be proud of that'll last for many years.

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