How to Prepare Your Room For Paint

Everyone dreams of the amazing new look they’ll get by giving a room a new coat of paint. Something as simple as updated paint color can drastically change the way that light will cast across the walls. The entire vibe and mood of a room can be transformed by one day of painting!

To get the most of your painting day,  you’ll need to make sure your room is properly prepared for the paint. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take too long and you’ll be glad you did it!

Step 0.5: Get Everything You Need

The worst thing that can happen after you prep an entire room for paint is to realize that you don’t have everything you need. Now your room is out of commission for even longer as you head to the store, or even worse, wait until they open in the morning to get your supplies! Here’s a quick start video to reference when picking supplies, but double check with your Koopman Paint Expert to make sure you’re set.

Step 1: Prepare your Furniture and Floors

If you’re painting in a room that has furniture against the walls, it’s either going to need to be moved into another room or relocated to the middle of the room (if the size of the room allows) and covered with a heavy, plastic drop cloth.

Then spread several large drop cloths so that the entire floor the room is protected from drips and spills. This easy precautionary step is always worth the time spent, but is especially so if you are painting the ceiling first (always paint ceilings before walls).

Step 2: Prepare your Fixtures

removing light switch plate from wallRemove all light switch and outlet covers from the walls. Make sure to keep those tiny screws with the covers, so they don’t get lost!

If you have decorative or mounted lights, or other wall fixtures then you’re either going to have to remove them or take a lot of care in marking them off with painters tape.

If you will be painting your ceilings first, keep in my mind that how well you paint the ceiling and around your ceiling fixture can make or break the desired effect for the entire room.  Take the time to protect your light fixtures and/or ceiling fan and ensure a perfect job.

Remove exposed light bulbs, blades from ceiling fans, small lamp shades or parts from your fixture that can be easily unscrewed or detached.  Cover a hanging fixture with a plastic trash bag. Pull the bag up and over it. Gather the top of the bag tightly around the fixture and secure it with a strip of blue painter’s tape. This will prevent paint from spattering or dripping onto the suspended part of the fixture.  Finally, secure painter’s tape around the edge of the fixture’s base where it is attached to the ceiling. Smooth the tape with your fingers to ensure the tape is completely sealed.

Step 3: Deep Clean Your Walls

Skipping this step can only hurt your paint job. To get the best paint job, you need a smooth, clean surface to work with that’s free from dirt, dust, and grime. Prepare yourself a bucket with a mixture of hot water and TSP® and get ready to clean.

Dunk your sponge in the mixture, wring it out, and gently wipe down the walls. Make sure you have a small rag ready to clean up any drips that might land on your flooring and leave behind a residue.

Once you have wiped down the all of your walls with your cleaner, wipe it down with clean, warm water.

Step 4: Smooth the Walls

spot fixing the wellRemove any nails or screws from the wall, and cover the holes with spackle or drywall joint compound.

Using a very fine sandpaper (120 grit) give the wall a light sanding by hand. Use a tack cloth to remove any residue left on the walls, and then clean with a sponge and warm, clean water.

Caulk any gaps between the wall and baseboards, windows, and door frames with an acrylic latex painter’s caulk. Wipe a damp finger, or a damp cloth along the caulk to smooth it out.

Step 5: Final Preparations!

Masking off the baseboard with painters tapeMask along all the sides of the wall with a painters tape, especially along baseboards, window frames, and door frames. These masks are critical to keeping clean the things you don’t want to be painted.

Spot prime areas that are going to be harder to paint, such as heavy stains or repaired areas. It’s best if the color you prime with is the same or similar to your paint color.

Wrap up

Now your room is ready to be painted! Don’t be afraid to consult your local paint experts at Koopman Lumber for all your painting needs. We have friendly, helpful staff to help you get the look you’ve always dreamed of! Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time.