How to prep a room for painting. VIDEO

You can always tell when a painter didn't know what he was doing – or didn't care. The room says it all. The difference is in the prep.

John Burbidge, from How to Paint a House Right, does know what he's doing. He cares a whole lot too. He even wrote a book about painting, Watching Paint Dry.

Watch his video on how to prep a room for painting.

Here's a summary.

1. Clear the room.

Painting is so much easier when you're not working around stuff in the room. Remove everything.

  • Furniture & belongings
  • Unwanted nails & screws
  • Outlet covers & switch plates

Give the room a quick cleaning with the vacuum – top to bottom – and then lay drop cloths.

2. Fill nail holes.

Spackle holes in the walls and trim. Also make any other wall repairs needed. Skip holes you plan to keep, like for your curtain rod.

3. Sand.

Lightly sand areas that were spackled plus trim, doors, and any areas you plan to prime before painting. This helps the prime and paint to stick.

Wear a dust mask while sanding and vacuum the dust afterwards.

4. Caulk.

Caulk cracks on and around trim to be painted. Skip where the baseboard meets the floor.

You can also rub caulk into hairline cracks in the wall.

5. Mask.

Mask areas where you don't want paint splatter, such as:

  • Over window frames (to protect window)
  • Over door frames (to protect door)
  • Baseboard heater
  • Door handles
  • Light switches & outlets
  • Thermostats
  • Light fixtures
  • Trim that won't be painted
  • Baseboard (to protect gap between wall and drop cloth)

6. Prime.

Prime any unprimed areas to be painted, including newly made repairs. Priming helps paint stick better. It also helps make a consistent surface texture.

5-Part Series on Interior Painting

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