How to Prep a Room for Painting: DIY Guide

So, you’ve decided you need a change and want to paint your room a different color. Before you pick up that brush and start painting, there are a few things you can do to make painting your room a painless process. To help you get started, here’s how to prep a room for painting!

Visit your local Grayco Hardware & Home Center to find all of the paint and painting supplies you need.

Get Your Materials

First, stock up on everything you need. Get your paint and primer, brushes/rollers, painter’s tape, and plastic bags for storing outlet covers and switch plates. Be sure to have some plastic sheeting for covering furniture as well. Along with a duster, you may also need a putty knife, spackle, and sandpaper for cleaning the walls.

Clear Out the Room and Empty the Walls

To prep the room for painting, remove everything you can, including smaller furniture pieces and rugs. If you have larger pieces of furniture, place some furniture sliders underneath and move these large items to the center of the room, away from the walls.

Any large furniture you have left in the room should be covered in plastic sheeting for protection. Take more plastic sheeting, or drop cloths if you have them, and cover your floors, taping them down at the edges. If you are using drop cloths in a room with carpeting, consider using heavy duty canvas or drop cloths with plastic coatings.

Next, take down any wall décor you have, and remove your switch plates, outlet covers, and vent covers. Store your outlet covers and switch plates in plastic bags, along with any door hardware you remove if you are planning to paint doors.

Safety First

For your own safety, check to make sure any old paint you want to remove does not contain lead. This is a concern especially for older houses that have not received fresh paint in decades. If you think your home may have lead-based paint in it, contact a professional.

Clean and Prepare Your Wall

Now, take your duster and clean your walls, starting in the upper corners of the walls and brushing downward to remove dirt and dust. Dust the baseboards as well. If you see any spots with peeling or loose paint, take your putty knife and remove them. Then take your sandpaper and smooth these areas until flush with the surrounding wall.

Next, examine your walls for any indentations or holes. Take your spackle, fill any dents you find, and let them dry. You may need to apply a few layers of spackle to build up the surface of the wall. Once the spackle has dried, take your sandpaper and smooth the repair site until blended.

Tape Your Walls

Now that you have prepped your room and your walls, take your blue painter’s tape and cover up the trim. Taping is not strictly necessary, but it is highly recommended so you can have crisp, clear edges when you are finished.

Cover the edges of your windows and baseboards as well as your coverless switches and outlets. If you have recessed features in your wall such as light fixtures, place strips of tape over them. Press the tape firmly to the surface with your fingers of your putty knife. You can use long single strips or multiple short pieces of tape to cover areas.

Assemble Your Work Area

Having a dedicated workspace will help save you stress by keeping your setup and cleanup time to a minimum. Find a sturdy table or create one by using sawhorses and plywood to keep all your supplies in one place and easily accessible without constantly having to bend over.

Place the table where you can access your paint, rollers and trays, brushes, and rags for wiping up spills. It will also help to have a trash can to collect discarded materials and a stepladder to reach the upper wall areas for taping and painting.

Use a Primer if Necessary

If you are going to paint a light color over a dark color, you should apply a layer of primer to ensure the underlying dark color does not show through the new coat. If you are using an oil-based paint, be sure to use an oil-based primer. If you are using any other paint, use a latex-based primer.

You should begin by applying primer around your baseboards and taped-off trim with a brush, then switch to a roller for larger areas. Try to make sure your primer is thinly spread and evenly coats your walls. Allow a full day for the primer to dry before you begin painting.

Find All Your Painting Supplies at Grayco

Now that you know how to prep a room for painting, stock up on all of the supplies you need. Visit your local Grayco Hardware & Home Center today!

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