Prepping to paint is one of the most overlooked aspects of painting a room. The majority of people simply wipe down the walls and begin painting, however to obtain a professional look simply take the extra time, be patient and follow these steps:
1. If the wall surface has any peeling or flaking paint it must be removed. There are two inexpensive tools you may use to remove this loose paint; a paint scrapper (not a putty knife) and a wire brush.
- Paint scrapers come in a wide array of sizes and configurations, however s simple scraper will work for most applications. A good 3" scraper with a tapered blade can be purchased for less than $10 any any hardware store.
- You will want to purchase a coarse wire brush to remove large areas of peeling or flaking paint. Ensure you buy a brush with a handle as it is easier to use than a palm held brush. A decent wire brush may be purchased for around $5.
2. Once you have removed all of the loose paint you will need to either sand the edges smooth or fill the uneven area with a spackling compound.
- If the removed paint were only a lite coat then you may be able to simply sand the edges to level the edges of the intact paint with the wall surface. You will want a sandpaper with a fine grit rating of between 180 and 220.
- If the removed paint layers were slightly thicker you will need to fill the scraped area with a spackling compound. One of the best spackles is manufactured by DAP and is available for purchase at any hardware store for less than $10. Utilize a 2"-3" putty knife to fill the area and smooth it our as best as possible. Once the compound has dried you will require a 180-220 grit sandpaper to smooth the area out. If the area filled is 2" or less you may simply use sandpaper, however the the area is larger than 2" it will be best to use a sanding block to help keep the area level while sanding.
You will need to sand the area smooth to the touch to complete.
3. Once sanding is complete you need to wipe the wall down with cool water. You can utilize a sponge or damp rag to ensure all powder residue from sanding, as well as any dirt are removed. Leave the wall dry for 24 hours then you may begin to tape and paint.