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Prepping Your Room for Painting: A Step-by-Step Guide to a Flawless Finish

spackling compound, sanding sponges, putty knives

So you've chosen the perfect paint color and envisioned your transformed space, and now it's time to get down to business.

But wait!

Before you grab that brush and unleash your inner artist, remember that preparation is key to achieving a smooth, professional-looking paint job.

Haha, my inner artist didn't even want to get into this job! 

Let's do a little recap. The last project to be completed in this, our home's second story level, was the linen closet, the closed doors that you see in the next picture, and the bottom drawers. The big project that I was going to hire out was the installation of hardwood floors on the entire level.


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Prepping the hallway for paint

Well, I was also thinking of hiring out the painting of the rooms and hallway. The problem was that they set me on a schedule that they kept on postponing and postponing until I couldn't wait any longer.

This blue room that belonged to my daughter also needed paint; at that moment, it wasn't looking half as decent as it looks in this picture. In total, there were two rooms, the little hallway and the staircase, the spaces in need of paint on the walls and the ceiling.
how to prep your room for paint

I kept on waiting and waiting, and at last, I decided to take matters into my own hands and go for this painting job.

As with most jobs, preparation is key for a successful outcome. I'm going to give you the key points on how to prep your room for painting. Don't let skipping these crucial steps lead to chipped corners, uneven coverage, and painting frustration.

Here's your comprehensive guide to prepping a room for painting, ensuring a beautiful and long-lasting finish:


Step 1: Clear the Canvas


  • Furniture movers: Remove as much furniture as possible. For immovable pieces, use furniture sliders to easily move them around the room.
guest bedroom with painted floor ready for paint

  • Declutter your walls: Take down artwork, mirrors, shelves, and anything else that could obstruct your painting path. Label hardware and store it safely.

  • Drop cloth defense: Protect your floors and remaining furniture with drop cloths. Opt for plastic sheeting for heavy-duty protection or canvas drop cloths for better breathability. Secure them with painter's tape for a seamless barrier.


Step 2: Inspect and Repair


  • Become a wall detective: Scrutinize your walls for cracks, holes, loose paint, or any imperfections. A good flashlight can help reveal hidden flaws.
Cristina Garay prepping a room for paint

Cristina garay filling gaps and holes on the wall with spackling compound

  • Trim talk: Check your trim for peeling paint or chipping. If necessary, scrape off loose paint and lightly sand the surface for better adhesion.


Step 3: Cleaning Crusade


  • Dust bunnies beware: Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove dust, cobwebs, and debris from walls, ceilings, baseboards, and trim. Don't forget light fixtures and corners!
Cristina garay cleaning the wall while sanding rough spots



  • Wash away the grime: For greasy or grimy surfaces (especially in kitchens and bathrooms), mix a mild detergent or trisodium phosphate solution with water and wipe down the walls. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely.

  • Spot-check champions: Address any stains like crayon marks or fingerprints with appropriate cleaning solutions. Test them in an inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with your paint.


Step 4: Taping Time

  • Sharp lines, happy you: Use painter's tape to create crisp lines along baseboards, trim, doors, and windows. Press firmly to prevent paint bleeds.
Cristina Garay using painter's tape to protect window trim from paint

  • Don't forget the fixtures: Cover outlet and switch plate covers with painter's tape or remove them if possible.

  • Pro tip: For extra protection, apply painter's tape slightly wider than the trim and then fold the excess onto the drop cloth, creating a double barrier.


Step 5: Priming Power (optional)

  • Uneven surfaces, rejoice!: If your walls have different textures or paint types, primer helps create a uniform surface for better paint adhesion and coverage.

  • Stain sealers: For stains that bleed through paint, apply a stain-blocking primer to prevent them from reappearing.

  • Follow the label: Choose a primer compatible with your paint and surface type, and apply it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Let it dry completely before painting.

Bonus Tip: After prepping, take a final walk around the room to ensure you haven't missed any spots. Double-check that everything is covered, patched, and clean. Now you're ready to paint with confidence and transform your space!

Remember, thorough preparation is an investment that pays off with a professional-looking and long-lasting paint job.

After going through all the areas, and prepping them well, I was ready for the painting job!

All about the painting of those rooms in an upcoming post.









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