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How to Prep Walls before Painting

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Today, I’ll show you how to prep walls before painting them!

Y’all! The other day, I noticed a small dent in my wall that had been bothering me for weeks. Now, I don’t know about you, but that kind of thing just drives me crazy. I knew it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work, but where to start? Prepping your walls before painting can be easy to overlook or skip altogether, but fear not! I’m here to share all of my tips and tricks for getting your walls in tip-top shape before you even think about cracking open that paint can. So, grab your overalls and your DIY hat, because we’ve got some work to do!

How to Prep Your Walls for Painting Step-by-Step

To get a professional look, you need to know how to prep your walls before you start painting. If you’re like me, tempted to just crack open a can of paint and start painting, then this is for you!

Step 1: Remove electrical plate covers

Before you start painting, be sure to remove any electrical plate covers. This will make it easier to paint around outlets and light switches.

Step 2: Clean the Surface

First things first, you need to clean the wall surface. Use a soft cloth or sponge and a gentle cleaner to wipe down the wall surface. Make sure to remove any dirt, dust, or grease.

Step 3: Repair any damage

Next, it’s time to repair any holes, cracks, or dents in the wall. Use spackling paste or joint compound to patch up any damage. Be sure to sand down any rough edges to make the surface smooth.

How to prep walls before painting: repair damage

I don’t know what happened, but I cannot stop looking at it. And, just a little to the right of the hole there’s this…a long annoying dent! They’re like pimples on my face, I know they are there, I can’t stop thinking about them and they just irritate me.

For my project, as you can see, there was no way that simply painting them would have fixed that level of damage. I used a lightweight spackling with primer and it dries fast (like within 30 minutes)!

If the hole is deep, you might need to apply several coats of spackling, let it dry and sand in between. Use a repair kit if the damage is wide.

Step 4: Sand the wall

Once the repairs are complete, it’s time to sand the entire wall surface with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will create a slightly rough surface that will allow the paint to adhere better. Be sure to wipe down the wall with a clean cloth to remove any dust.

How to prep walls before painting: How to Fix the wall before you repaint

Step 5: Protect surrounding areas

Before you start painting, it’s important to protect any surrounding areas. Cover any furniture or flooring with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to prevent paint drips and splatters from ruining your belongings. (Sometimes I get a little too confident and start painting without doing this step – never a good idea!)

Step 6: Apply painter’s tape

Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas you don’t want to paint, such as trim, windows, or door frames. Be sure to press the tape down firmly to prevent paint from seeping underneath.

Step 7: Remove fuzz from your roller

Roll your paint roller over a piece of sticky tape or a lint roller to remove any fuzz or debris before using it to apply paint.

How to prep walls before painting: Wrap tape around your hand to remove unwanted fuzz from paint roller
Rollers can be fuzzy, walls don’t need to be fuzzy. Wrap tape around your hand, sticky side out ๐Ÿ˜‰ and go over your roller removing the fuzz.

Now You’re Ready to Paint

Start by priming the wall

Be sure to stir your primer very well, all the good stuff settles on the bottom!

Apply a coat of primer to the entire wall surface, using a roller or brush. This will help the paint adhere better and provide a more even finish.

Next, Paint the wall

Once the primer has dried, it’s time to paint the wall. Again, be sure to stir your paint very well. Use a roller or brush to apply a coat of paint to the wall. Be sure to use long, even strokes and apply the paint in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry completely before applying the next.

How to prep walls before painting: QuickPainter Pad Edge Painter from HomeRight

I used my HomeRight QuickPainter Pad Edge Painter, you just draw the paint up from the can. This little guy makes edging easy with less mess! Just pump to add more paint to the pad.

How to prep walls before painting: Load your EZ Twist Paintstick

And for the wall, I used the EZ Twist Paintstick, I painted without a roller pan. Can you imagine how nice that was! Let me tell you, it was awesome!

You may also notice that bath cloth laying there. No, I didn’t bathe in it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I alway keep a wet/damp cloth handy for wiping off any little mistakes that I make. Because unlike Bob Ross, they are not happy little accidents. Some people use baby wipes. In case you’re wondering. I did not want to change my wall color, I just wanted to repair it.

This is the area at the top of the stairs. I didn’t have the original can of paint. I painted one whole wall, from edge to edge, I didn’t want to risk the paint not matching. Luckily, we had this paint left over from the basement project. It’s Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray. One of my favorite colors, right now anyway.

Luckily, we had this paint left over from the basement project. It's Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray. One of favorite colors, right now anyway.

Repeat as necessary

Depending on the color and type of paint, you may need to apply a second or third coat to achieve the desired coverage and finish.

And finally, clean up!

Once the paint has dried completely, it’s time to clean up. Before you remove the painter’s tape, be sure to use a putty knife of razor blade to cut along the edge of the tape. This prevents the paint from being pulled up with the tape and from cracking along the paint line. Pick up your drop cloths and clean up any spills or drips. Store any leftover paint in a cool, dry place for future touch-ups.

How to prep walls before painting: How to paint like a pro, 5 easy tips

As you can see, the wall looks great! Inside the white circle is where the pimple, I mean damage was.

How to paint like a pro, 5 easy tips

Right there! Now I guess I’m going to have to find another blemish to stare at every day.

How to Prep Your Walls Step-by-Step Summary

  1. Remove electrical plate covers
  2. Clean the surface
  3. Repair any damage
  4. Sand the wall
  5. Protect the surrounding areas
  6. Apply painter’s tape
  7. Remove fuzz from your roller
  8. Prime the wall (and let dry)
  9. Paint the wall
  10. Repeat as necessary
  11. Clean up

If you like painting, then you’ll love these projects!

How to paint kitchen cabinets:


Paint your dining chairs in one afternoon:

Dining Chairs DIY-How to spray paint!

Paint to coordinate your baskets:

Baskets - Paint them with @homeright #finishmax

More fun DIY projects: Get Busy with your projects!

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s costs no more for you and it helps support my love of sharing free stuff on my blog ๐Ÿ™‚ My affiliate links: HomeRight C800755 EZ Twist Paint Stick and HomeRight C800771 Quick Painter Edge Painter

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    49 thoughts on “How to Prep Walls before Painting”

    1. I am so happy that the paint stick works for someone. I have purchased two of these (the first one leaked like a sieve), returned and bought a new one because I thought the first was faulty. The second one did the same. How do you get these products to work? I love the concept but clearly I am doing something wrong. :-/

    2. Hello. I think your ideas are great and managable. I want to paint my hallway and landing. I have lining paper on the walls and some of it has not lined up properly. Can i use the same treatment you described for the dings in the wall

    3. I have a wall in my kitchen that I have to paint but it has paint peeling like a bad sunburn.. What do I do to remove this layer of paint and prpare the wall for painting..Do I spray a paint remover? I am so desperate, please answer ASAP this kitchen reno nightmare is almost over..

      • First you need to test your paint for lead. You can get a kit at most hardware stores. It will need to be sanded before you paint, be sure to wear a proper respirator!! After you’ve sanded, you may need to use drywall mud to smooth the surface. Use a good primer and you’re ready to paint.

      • You can use the edger for painting next to the ceiling and baseboards. Just make sure you watch the edge guide and don’t overload your paint. Just like painting with a brush you have to watch your alignment.
        I hope this helps,

    4. Pingback: Tips on Prepping Your Walls for Paint | Joseph's Coat Painting
    5. Yes! Every wall in my home needs a fresh coat of paint! I was so relieved when I read your statement that there are unfinished projects in 90% of your home! I thought we were the only ones! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for your tips & giveaways!!!

    6. My damaged wall needs painting, but it’s textured, kind of like orange peel & I’m wondering if after I spakle & sand, the patch will be visible under the paint because of the sanded spot (with texture removed)?

      • Yes, if the texture is removed it will be visible. If you use a flat paint and add back the look texture look it will be less visible. Lowe’s and HomeDepot sell a product to add texture. Just ask someone in the paint department. You want to apply it in a manner to look like the texture you already have.

    7. Yes! My son’s bedroom, between the crayon and marker drawings..I’d love to repaint the whole room to a new fresh blue. And then I would love to paint my living room to a beautiful soft gray!

    8. All the walls in my house need to be painted. I’m focusing on the ceiling this summer and the bathroom walls at the end of summer, fingers crossed!

    9. I wish I didn’t have walls that needed to be painted but I do. Our master bedroom of all places, has never been (re)painted. My hubby and I bought our house as a bank owned foreclosure and we are living with contractor grade boring creamy beige. They did such a terrible job too- the corners are cracking and there are point drips everywhere! Ugh. One day we’ll get around to it. I hope!

    10. We’ve lived in our house for 16 years and we still have the original paint in our hallways. I’d love to try these Homeright products. Painting would be so much easier. Thanks for the chance to win this great prize!

    11. I recently decided to repaint all the walls and I’m dreading it… Although these tools, especially the edger, might make it a little more desirable!

    12. Great tips as I am about to embark on a wall painting frenzy. All the walls in this rental were painted a horrible caramel brown and it looks awful! Thanks for the great tips!!

    13. Love your dining room chairs..I have a bedroom that needs a complete overhaul..Painting walls, painting the bathroom vanity, new bedding and window treatments. Just need to get started..

    14. I have lots of walls that look like yours with dents and dings. Winning this would helps so much in getting everything spruced up….after I do the prep on the walls.

    15. I did all e the above before I painted the hallway and dining room EXCEPT taking the fuzz off the roller–I used a small sponge roller. Looks great!

    16. yes i have many walls to paint because i have alot of stains, writing on walls and just some old paint that needs get off the wall

    17. I have been painting my mom’s home and the going up and down the ladder reloading my roller and edger, whick is very tiresome, I wish I had known about this product. Getting ready to help son paint three rooms, you can believe I am getting the Quick Painter edger to speed things along. Thanks for the introdction to this product.

    18. I have plenty of walls that need painting. I have found painting is the best way to change the overall appearance of a room and refresh it without breaking the bank !!


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