10 Easy Steps To Prep For Your Painting Project

Paint jobs that look professional and clean don’t just happen. Preparation is key to achieving that smooth and professional finish, no matter what type of surface you’re working on! The following 10 steps will ensure your next painting project ends with an excellent result.

Starting Simple – Make A Plan

When you are preparing to paint an interior, take time beforehand and walk through what will happen step-by-step. Make sure that everything is clear on paper before getting started so there aren’t any surprises later down the line. When things get complicated the project may be abandoned halfway through, because it became too much for one person alone! It may seem like a useless step to take. However the 10 minutes you spend inspecting the area could save hours of frustration. You could be mid-project and have not considered how to solve the problem you are facing.

Problems that may arise that you hadn’t considered was mobility in the space. How much space do you have to negotiate with if you have left furnishings in the room? Or you could need that second can of paint that is outside and you’re only a half way through. Keeping the necessary tools and supplies nearby can sometimes be an afterthought. You usually only consider the main items needed and not that spare rag to catch the odd drop of paint.

Furniture Coverings

Prep work for painting can be time consuming and tedious. But it is worth taking the necessary steps to avoid any issues with your furniture. Make sure you move all items out of harm’s way before starting, so that they don’t get damaged during painting. If you’re unable to completely remove furnishings, ensure you move them into the centre of the room and cover with painter’s plastic or canvas drop sheets. Pay particular attention to soft furnishings, as the upholstery can absorb any paint drops. These stains are very difficult to remove after the fact.

In some areas where you have heavy furnishings or appliances, tread with caution if you don’t plan to move them. Otherwise next renovation you’ll have a silhouette left behind when they are moved! This typically happens around the toilet as that is a pretty difficult item to manoeuvre. However you can attain specialty brushes that allow you to get as far behind the tank as possible to avoid stark finishing lines.

Wall Outlets

When you’re finished removing the furniture, take note of all light switch and outlet covers. Remove them along with any vent or return cover plates. You will be able to maintain a clean and professional look around the outlets when the covers are reinstalled. Painting around or over the covers makes it difficult to remove later on. This risks damaging the paint or drywall when pulled away during your next renovation project.

If you find your existing outlets are loose from being frequently used. Refrain from painting over them to seal them into place. We highly recommend contacting your local electrician to inspect the outlet and advise you on how to fix it.

Cover Your Floors

To make sure you have a smooth painting experience, it’s best to cover any flooring that is near your project. For example, if your wall is to be freshly painted, you should provide at least a meter of cover. If you are painting the ceiling, then it is non negotiable – the whole floor underneath should be covered! The perk of covering the entirety of your floor is that you can spread your tools out. Not being restricted to a small workspace which can allow you to finish your project faster. 

You can choose between canvas drop cloths and painters plastic for covering the floor. We recommend using canvas as you don’t have to tape it into place. They’re great protection against drops or splatters of paint, and won’t be absorbed. Leaving your floor in the clear for any stains or marks! If you happen to knock a tin over then work quickly, as that volume of paint may go through the sheet. Canvas drop sheets are not particularly cheap, but they are reusable and long lasting. Depending on the length of your project To-Do list, will determine which product you decide to use.

Ladders and Scaffolding

Projects that require you higher than half a meter from the ground should have a sturdy ladder or platform. Staircases and rooms with high ceilings will need scaffolding systems, as your domestic ladder cannot reach or be placed safely.

The key thing here is understanding how much height you’ll have when working on any given project. In the planning process it is essential to highlight easy access points. As opposed to getting to the difficult areas and realising you needed equipment you don’t have access to.

Cleaning Surfaces

Next to do in preparation of your paint project, is to remove all foreign substances from the walls. Make sure that there isn’t anything on the surface which could prevent proper adhesion. This includes dust, dirt or other dry debris which you can simply wipe away with a microfiber cloth. If you have found any grease-based substances, it is best to use dish soap and water. Be thorough when cleaning all surfaces including: walls, ceilings and trim. You don’t want to be surprised mid project with any dirt or dust!

Painters Tape

The transition between wall and trim can be tricky to get just right. Especially if you’re aiming for a clean, professional finish. That’s where painter’s tape comes in! It protects the woodwork while also creating an elegant, smooth finish when pulled away. Assuming of course that we took time during prep to place it where needed. You may not lay the tape perfectly on your first try, however you will get the knack of placement and have a perfect finish every time.

Emergency Clean Up

Whether you’re using oil or latex paints, it’s important to have cleanup material on hand to use for spills before opening any paint. If it’s latex, make water and rags available; oil-based or enamel based – mineral spirits will be helpful for these kinds of spills. If you are unsure which solution to use, see the manufacturers recommendations on the tin or online.

Patching and Priming

The clean, crisp look of your project will be achieved by patching walls after you cover the floors. It’s easy for a glob or two of drywall mix to get stuck on carpet or floorboards, making things more difficult when cleaning up – don’t let this happen! After you have patched any holes or imperfections of the wall, you are ready to apply primer to the walls.

Test Your Paint

The last interior paint prep step before breaking out your brushes is to double-check for errors in colour or consistency. Do this by pulling out your original paint card, do a small test stroke on it to ensure the tone is right. You can also paint a small swatch on a section of your wall to test the paint. This gives you a chance to make sure everything has been mixed well and you wont get any pigment streaks.

You Are Ready!

Most of us know that painting is not an easy project. y following these tricks you can ensure the project will run smoothly and the finish will be comparable with professionals! There is a fair bit of time that is to be invested into a painting project to ensure it is a quality job. However always know that you can always call the SAGE Painting team for professional backup!