Step 2 - Preparation
Prepare the room
Clearing out furniture and other items
Placing drop cloths
Filling nail holes and other imperfections
Masking and taping
Time required - 2 hours for an average size bedroom
Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment
Stool and tool box combo (optional)
Hammer to pull nails
Multipurpose painter's tool
Drop cloths (9' x 12', 12' x 15', 4' x 12')
Masking and painter tape
Paint brush for priming
Mini-roller for priming (optional)
Spray-on texture (for large holes)
Paintable silicone caulk
Oil-base primer (if needed)
1. Clearing the Room
Clearing the room is an important first step. Ideally we can remove EVERYTHING and store it elsewhere while we paint. We will make every effort to do this, even if have to stack the furniture in the living room or hallway, because it will pay dividends in time saved.
Next, we clean the room. Clear all cobwebs from the corners and vacuum out the closet, especially the shelves where dust gathers. Give the trim a quick vacuum with the brush attachment to clear old dust. Take the pictures off the walls.
Remove the switch plates from the light switches and outlets. Put the plates and screws in a safe place if we are going to re-use them. We recommend getting nice new ones because the old ones will look dingy against the fresh paint.
Take down the curtains and curtain rods. It’s best to remove the curtain-rod holders from the wall, but if leave them in place we will need to cover them with tape later.
Once the room is cleared and all the stuff is off the walls, we completely cover the floor with drop cloths.
2. Filling nail holes and other imperfections
Once we have drop cloths on the ground, it’s time to fill all nail holes with lightweight spackle. If there are holes bigger than a half-inch wide to fix, we use patching tape and joint compound. Cover the hole with tape and give it a few coats of joint compound.
After the spackle has dried, it’s time to sand the trim. We use a medium or fine grit sanding sponge. If any large holes in the walls we sand them smooth. Once we are done sanding, vacuum all the trim with the brush attachment so it’s ready for caulking.
Check all the joints in the window and door casings, baseboards and crown molding. Use a dripless caulk gun and paintable caulk to neatly fill these joints, then wipe away any excess.
If there is a hairline crack in the drywall, rub a small amount of caulk into the crack. Using caulk is a better option than spackling because caulk will remain flexible and won’t re-crack as quickly.
We make sure not to leave any caulk out on the wall because it will shine through the finish coat.
5. Masking (Taping)
Masking is the process of applying a combination of tape and masking paper to areas of the room that need to be protected. We strongly recommend to use a hand masker and blade, especially if we are going to be doing more painting than just one room. Put an “awning” of masking paper and tape across the top of each window to shield it from getting speckled. Other items on the walls, like thermostats, fuse boxes, etc. will need to be masked off with tape and paper. We put a piece of 1.5 inch tape over the outlets and light switches to protect them.
Now that we got the room fully masked and all drop cloths in place, it’s time to do necessary priming. Good latex interior primer will work fine for any holes we spackled on the walls. Mildew and water stains will bleed through even the best paint, so it may be necessary to use a stain-blocking primer. Now we are done prepping the room, and frankly, that’s usually the hardest part of this whole process, everything else is more enjoyable because we see solid results.
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