Preparation is key to a great finish when decorating
It’s worth spending a little extra time and care over prepping your walls before you paint, as you’ll get a much better finish. Follow our steps below to find out how to prepare recently plastered walls, a previously painted wall with a few cracks and holes and a previously wallpapered wall. No matter the material of your walls, they must be dry, and free from grease and dust, holes and cracks, flaky plaster, peeling paint and bits of wallpaper.
If you can, take as much furniture as possible out of the room, or place in the centre of the room and cover with protective sheets.
How to prepare a newly plastered wall
This is probably the easiest surface to paint onto. All you need to do, is apply a primer and undercoat with a roller to create the best surface. If you don’t prime the surface with sealer, the plaster will soak up any paint like a sponge, so you’ll waste a lot and end up doing more coats than you’ll need. Allow all bare or new plaster to dry completely before decorating. You’ll know it’s dry when any dark patches shrink away, or it turns a light pink/grey colour.
How to prepare old surfaces
Walls that have already been painted are fairly easy to prepare for new paint, but it’s worth doing a few things first to help get that professional finish.
Fill any holes or cracks
Step 1: Clean the gaps with sugar soap before you fill as any dust could stop the filler sticking to the wall.
Step 2: Take your flexible filling knife and push filler into the gap until smooth with the wall.
Step 3: Let the filler to dry, then smooth down with a fine sandpaper
Sand the walls
Tools for the job:
- Fine sandpaper
Take a fresh piece of fine sandpaper and lightly sand all the walls and any peeling paint. This gives the wall a texture which will help the paint bind to the surface.
Clean the walls
Tools for the job:
- Sugar soap
Remove any grease, crayon or mucky fingerprints with a sugar soap solution. This comes as either ready-mixed or as a solution to mix with water. Wear gloves and apply the sugar soap to the walls. Once all walls have been cleaned, give the surface a final clean with warm water to remove any soap traces. Leave the walls to dry thoroughly.