How to clean and prepare walls for painting
If you want to get the best effect when painting, then you’ll need to clean and prepare walls first. It’ll be the difference between a good and bad paint job, so let’s get started.
Clean and prepare the room
First, you’re going to need to prepare the room you’re painting, because you don’t want to get paint on your furniture and the floor. Remove all the furniture you can and cover everything else with some good quality dust sheets. Now give the room a good sweep or use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any dust.
Start with the right equipment. You’ll need:
- A bucket
- A sponge or old clean paintbrush
- Wall cleaning solution or sugar soap
- Bleach solution if you have mould on the wall
- Safety goggles
- Mix up your cleaning solution and bleach solution if necessary. Wear safety goggles and gloves in case the solution irritates your skin.
- Rub the mixture well into the wall with your sponge or paintbrush to get rid of any dirt or grease.
- Let the cleaning solution work for a few minutes and then rinse the wall with clean water.
- If you have mould on the wall, use a bleach solution to clean and disinfect the wall. Use a sponge to clean the mould and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse with clean water.
- Let the wall dry completely.
To prepare walls for painting, you will need:
- Filling knife
- Small paintbrush
- Sanding block
- Paint scraper
- Dust mask
- Safety goggles
- Scrape off any loose plaster from the hole that you want to fill.
- Paint water all over the hole with your paintbrush – this will help your filler to stick better.
- Fill the hole with filler and make sure that it stands proud from the surface of the wall, as you’ll be sanding it later to create a smooth surface.
- Leave the filler to dry and then use your sanding paper and block to sand the surface level.
- Use your paint scraper to remove any flaking paint from the wall.
- Continue sanding the rest of the wall, using circular movements, until smooth – check with the palm of your hand.
- Sweep or vacuum up the dust.
If your wall is now clean and smooth, you don’t need to use primer. However, you’ll need to prime the walls if they have just been plastered, and you’ll need to prime any filled in holes. There’s a good choice of primer available here.