How to Prepare Your Walls for Painting - Home Decorating & Painting Advice

How to Prepare Your Walls for Painting

DIY Blogger Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely tells Glidden® how a little prep at the start of your project goes a long way in delivering a great result in the end.

I love painting. I do! I find it to be a very soothing, Zen activity. I’m often eager to jump straight in and get some paint on the wall, but years of experience have confirmed for me that good prep is essential. So how do you prep for painting?

First, assess your walls.
Is there any cracking or peeling? If so, you’ll need to fix those issues before going any further. Cracks can be repaired with spackle, followed by a good sanding with fine grit sandpaper. Peeling paint must be scraped off, then sanded smooth.*

Next, the walls need a good cleaning.
Dust first with a towel, or vacuum with a brush attachment to remove any loose dust or debris before washing. You can use a very diluted solution of baking soda and vinegar to clean most walls, or even just very watered down dishwashing liquid.

Get ready.
Go ahead and take off the outlet covers and switch plates so you don’t have to worry about being neat and avoid getting paint on them. If you want to tape off the edges of the room with painter’s tape, now’s the time to do it! Be sure to press down firmly to get a nice, crisp line.

OK, you’re just about ready to start painting.  Yay!
But wait. What about primer? Do you need it? If you’re painting over walls in good condition (meaning you didn’t need to patch or sand), with a similar color to what is currently on the walls, no, you should be good to go without a primer.  If you are making a drastic change in color, painting a bright clean color (like Calypso Berry) or have done any patch work, you should use a primer for your initial coat. 

Now you are ready for paint color.  Happy painting!

As always, please refer to the Product Label, Technical Data Sheet and Safety Data Sheet for safety and detailed application instructions.

*WARNING! If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to
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