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How to Prepare a Room to be Painted

woman applying tape to prepare room to be painted

Painting a room on your own is a great project for novice DIYers. It’s not too expensive and if there are any hiccups, they should be relatively easy to fix. With that said, those hiccups can usually be avoided by spending a bit more time during the prep stage. Here are some helpful pointers on how to prepare a room to be painted.


covered furniture

We assume that you know that you need to move as much stuff as you can out of the way so items don’t obstruct you from painting and so they don’t get paint on them. When it comes to bulky furniture like sofas and dressers, you are better off moving it to the center of the room. Just remember to cover them before you do anything to the walls or ceiling.


preparing floor to paint

If you want to protect your floor from a worst-case scenario, use plastic sheeting on the floor and place a canvas drop cloth on top of the sheeting. Tape them to the trim so they remain in place when you are walking. You want to get rid of any bumps and wrinkles from the cloth so you don’t trip over them. To do so, flatten out the cloth and move all of the excess to one side. Fold the excess towards you so the edge is against the trim.


unscrewed plug

Before you start removing any fixtures, turn off the room’s power. Keep it off until you are finished. Unscrew any lighting fixtures and outlet covers that might get painted on. You can probably get away with leaving a ceiling fan as is as long as you aren’t painting the ceiling. It is a good idea to label everything you removed so you know where everything goes one you are ready to screw everything back in.


removing mildew to prepare room to paint

Under no circumstances should you ever paint over mildew. The mildew will grow right through the new paint and will make cleaning it even more challenging. To get rid of mildew, create a solution that is 1 part bleach and 3-4 parts water. With a thick sponge, scrub the surface until the mildew is gone. Then rinse with clean water and allow time for the area to dry. Remember to wear gloves, goggles, and a mask before you start scrubbing the mildew off your wall.

Ensure walls are even

putty on wall to prepare room to be painted

Thoroughly examine your walls for signs of cracks, holes, and any other imperfections that cause the walls to be uneven. The paint will not fill them in so you will have to do a little extra work. Use caulk to fill imperfections and a putty knife to remove excess. Let the caulk dry before rinsing the area. For imperfections that are above the surface, use sandpaper to smooth the area out. Once the walls are even, remove any dust with a damp towel or sponge.

Painter’s tape tips

painter's tape on wall to prepare room to be painted

  • Use long strips instead of a many smaller strips
  • Trim excess with a precision cutting knife
  • Use a putty knife to press down the edge of the tape to ensure a tight seal
  • Only tape area you are painting that day
  • Use a small strip to tape over outlets

We hope these tips help you the next time you prepare a room to be painted. If you want to schedule an appointment with one of our experts click here. For more painting tips, visit our blog.

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