Prep Your House for Paint in Six Steps

I won’t pretend the following six steps will be easy. Preparing your home for interior or exterior painting isn’t easy, and should be thought of as a job in and of itself, even if you’ve hired a team from Ireland’s Finest to help you.

Communication is key when you’ve hired a team to paint your interior or exterior. You should be clear about what exactly you need from them, what protection measures to take, which areas of your home are particularly susceptible to damage or are dangerous for painters, etc. Most painting companies will take the proper precautions around your home during prep work to protect you and your property from unintentional damage, but no one knows your property and your home like you do.

Below are six steps to prepare your home for a paint job. Some of these steps will only be applicable for exterior paint jobs, and some of this work will be handled by professionals. If you plan on painting your home on your own, you should pay close attention to these preparatory steps to ensure you only have to do the work once and anything that you don’t want paint on doesn’t get splashed or dripped on.

Step 1: Wash Paint Surfaces

Anywhere you want fresh paint to touch, you have to clean. If you’re inside, using a combination of a simple cleaning solution (or water), a duster, or even a vacuum will remove most of the dust and dirt on your walls that could cause adhesion problems for your new paint. For exteriors, renting a power washer is a cost-effective and fast solution. If you use a power washer, let your house dry for a day before continuing.

Step 2: Scrape

This step is more common for exteriors than interiors, but in either case, the idea is the same. Remove any flaky or otherwise unsecure paint from your surface with a scraping tool. It’s hard work, but if you don’t do it, you’ll have endless re-paints.

Step 3: Fill Holes and Fix Surface Imperfections

If you notice imperfections in the surface that will affect clean, even coats of paint, such as plaster bumps and knots, smooth them over with sandpaper. Try to create as smooth and even a surface for your paint as possible. Fill any holes or cracked seams in your walls with caulk.

Step 4: Make Small Repairs

Now is the time, before you add any primer or paint, to resolve any cracks or damage to your interior or exterior walls that you see.

Step 5: Apply Primer

If you’re outside, primer is required. It’s not as important inside, but it can still help create an even color and smooth finish over your surfaces. You don’t have to cover your wall with primer, just patch up the parts you’ve scraped away. You want to put a layer of primer between the bare material and the paint.

Step 6: Remove Any Potential Dangers

By now, if you’re painting your interior, you’ve removed (hopefully) everything from the painting area that you can, but before you start slapping that paint on the wall, make sure your floors are covered, and any small surface (like a window sill) that you don’t want to paint your new color. Outside, it’s a good idea to trim away any branches or plants growing close to your home.

Now you’re ready to start painting!

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