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How to Prep Walls for Painting: A Step-By-Step Guide

Is it time to breathe new life into your old and out-of-style walls? If your home hasn’t seen a paintbrush since 1999, it might be time to liven up your space with a fresh coat of paint.

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How to Prep Walls for Painting A Step-By-Step Guide

Keep reading to learn how to prep walls for painting so your space can get a much-needed spiffing up.

1. Clean the Walls

Cleaning your walls is the most essential step for prepping walls. The walls need to be clean and free from any dust particles that could prevent the new paint from adhering.

In most rooms, a bucket of warm water and a clean cloth is all you’ll need. If you’re painting your kitchen walls, you might consider using water with a grease-cutting detergent. You’ll then need to follow up with another bucket of plain warm water to remove any remaining detergent.

Make sure your walls are 100% dry before proceeding with the primer or paint.


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2. Remove Wallpaper

If the room your painting has wallpaper, you’ll need to remove it before proceeding. Removing old wallpaper will provide longer-lasting results than if you just painted over top of it. If you paint over top, it’ll act as a sealant and make the wallpaper very difficult (if not impossible) to remove in the future.

If you plan to tackle this task yourself, you’ll need a few tools for the job. A stripping knife, wallpaper stripping solution, sponge, and sandpaper will be necessary.

This task can be quite a chore so we wouldn’t judge you if you hired wallpaper removal specialists to tackle it.

3. Pull Out the Painter’s Tape

If you’re not a whiz with a paintbrush or don’t trust your painting skills, painter’s tape will be your best friend.

Remove all of your switch and outlet plates to ensure you don’t paint over them. Use a strip of painter’s tape to cover the outlet itself so you don’t get paint into the outlet.

Use painter’s tape around the baseboards and doorframes. You can also apply the tape to your roof if it’s flat and the floor to keep it free from any paint splatter.

4. Sand, Repair, and Prime

Sanding isn’t a required step for every painting project, but it may be necessary for your home. If the room your painting has any rough spots or cracking paint, the walls will need to be sanded to ensure the paint sticks to it. A sanding block is the best tool to use for this job.

Repair any holes in your drywall with a spackle. Large holes may require the use of drywall patches and mud. You may need a few layers of mud to cover the holes and each layer needs 24 hours to dry completely.

Priming is a must-do step, especially if the walls are porous or have surface stains. A primer will disguise any imperfections and create a smooth base for your paint to adhere to.

How to Prep Walls for Painting Made Easy

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to painting your walls. Use our tips for how to prep walls for painting so you can freshen up your space fast.

Keep reading our blog for more helpful home improvement tips and design ideas.