Importance of Prep for the Best Painting Results

Did you know that California is the state that employs the highest number of painters at 27,220 in 2018?

Painting involves more than just purchasing paint and brushes and slapping them on the walls. You need some planning to ensure that the surfaces are smooth and the paint adheres properly. Otherwise, the color will peel or break, and the effects will be slapdash.

If you own a house, you understand how important it is to keep it in good condition. Part of the upkeep includes painting the interior and exterior of the building on a routine basis. 

Rushing through the surface preparation stage would only turn out badly and end up with cracked paint and dodgy work. Then, unfortunately, you will have to restart the painting right from the beginning.

Ready, Set, Prep!

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A new paint job, whether it be for a commercial or a residential painting project, will completely transform it. However, you need proper painting prep to achieve the desired effects. 

What can you do to ensure the job goes well? Keep reading to find out how to get your painting prep done correctly. 

1. Clear the Area

You must protect the entire area from damages during the painting process before any work starts. Before painting, remove all smaller furniture or belongings.

Cover any bigger non-removable items, like cumbersome furniture, static carpeting, heavy appliances, and the like, with drop cloths or tarps. This not only protects the possessions from debris and paint but also makes the cleaning process quicker and smoother.

2. Clean the Walls

The importance of clean walls in preparing a room for painting cannot be overstated. Although there is no one correct way to clean walls before painting, you can use a sponge and warm water to clean most walls.

You must use a combination of water and grease-cutting detergent to clean surfaces exposed to oil or grime, such as kitchen walls. You must follow up with a rinse of clean water to eliminate any remaining cleaning agents. Finally, use a wet rag to clean off the walls.

The most critical part of this process is to guarantee that it is fully dry before continuing to the next step. Applying the primer or paint to damp walls can result in a variety of problems, including bubbling and uneven coverage.

3. Remove Mildew

No matter which room you're planning to paint, the first step is to make sure you clean it of all mildew or mold. Never paint over mildew because it can spread into fresh paint, making subsequent cleaning and upkeep much more difficult.

You can wash mildew off the walls with a cloth or sponge dipped into a mixture of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. Apply the mixture, let it sit for a few minutes, then brush the infected area with a soft brush and wipe with clean water. 

Wear safety clothing such as gloves and goggles. Allow the affected areas to dry completely before proceeding.

4. Scrape Off Old Paint 

It is not always necessary to remove old paint when adding a fresh layer. However, if the paint is peeling and flaky, you must remove the loose paint to achieve a smooth surface. This is particularly true when dealing with older homes and surfaces with several coats of paint.

There are appliances available that can assist you with paint removal, such as infrared heaters. But, you will also still need to use a scraper and a brush to scrape off the loose paint by hand.

When it comes to older buildings, You may find that some of the older paints can include lead or asbestos. It is thus important always to wear safety gear when working with such conditions. Even better is to hire a professional painter who is certified to work with lead paint. They have the knowledge and experience to prevent lead exposure from toxic lead dust.

5. Fill in Holes and Cracks

Are there any surface gouges, holes made by nails, cracks, or other problems that would weaken the paint job's final appearance? If this is the case, you must fix them before continuing. 

You can use drywall, putty, and other materials and procedures to correct these imperfections. You may need to use fillers more than once. Let them dry between applications. If they aren't filled in and flush with the surrounding wall, you'll know you need to repeat the procedure.

6. Sand the Surface

Sanding isn't mandatory for every paint job. However, you’ll know after you have stripped the paint and repaired the surfaces whether it’s necessary. If the surface is rough and uneven, sanding is required. Also, if the surfaces have previously been painted with matte or high-gloss paint, it is vital to smooth them before painting.

Sanding the surface will smooth it out and make it more uniform. Sand any rough surfaces with sandpaper or a sanding block, then wipe away dust with a damp cloth and allow it to dry entirely. 

Sand the surfaces using fine-grit sandpaper over freshly painted water-based paint. Use medium-grit sandpaper when sanding off oil-based paint. Don't forget to wipe away any leftover debris and dust, and again, allow to dry completely.

Since sanding produces a lot of grit and dust, you must follow up by washing the surface before painting.

7. Completely Clean the Surfaces

Cleaning the surface to be painted is vital, whether or not you have sanded it. Dirt, debris, and dust gather and must be completely cleaned off the surface before painting. 

If the surfaces are indoors, you can use a moderate detergent solution. Exteriors may be power washed, but proceed with care, as if the power washer is set too high, it can damage the surface.

8. Apply Primer

The next phase is to add primer to the surface. To get the best results out of your paint, use a primer, particularly if your walls are porous or have surface marks that need to be covered up.

Primers conceal defects, create a seamless surface for your paint to cling to, and maintain a clear finish no matter where you're painting. It also aids in the paint adhesion and longevity of the color. 

Remember that it is vital to use a good quality primer. We recommend using a water-based primer when adding directly to drywall. Use an oil-based primer on heavily painted or paneled walls, and on walls with smoke residue and water exposure.

9. Tape off Any Areas That Will Not Be Painted

Taping off areas that will not be painted may be a no-brainer, but you'd be shocked at how many people forget or ignore this step. As a result, a messy paint job happens, with paint getting on trim, walls, ceilings, and other places where it was not intended.

You won't have to be concerned as much about a stable hand if you tape off baseboards, window frames, and door frames. Since you aren't slowing down to concentrate in those places, the work will go faster.

10. Do Not Paint Over Wallpaper

If you have a room with wallpapered walls and have decided you want them painted instead, painting over the wallpaper is not an ideal solution. This is especially if it has a high sheen or a thick texture. Even the most expensive paint color can not conceal wallpaper seams. 

Removing wallpaper before painting is a difficult task. Wallpaper removal is a sticky, time-consuming, and labor-intensive process. If not done correctly, you can end up with walls that are very damaged, requiring extensive repairs before painting can be done. We highly recommend employing a painting contractor to strip the wallpaper and ready the walls for painting after the wallpaper has been removed.

11. Buy Quality Paint

Better quality paint is more costly than cheaper brands; that is a fact. However, it's essential to remember the old adage: you get what you pay for. 

Cheaper paints do not have the same level of consistency as more costly paints. They will not have the same level of coverage, and you will need to add more coats of paint. The less costly the paint, the more coats you'll need. As a result, you will save nothing in the end.

The use of high-quality paint results in a smooth, more seamless finish that lasts longer. You might save money in the short term by buying cheaper paints, but you will pay more in the long run because you’ll need to repaint more often.

Get Painting Done Right

To avoid spending extra money, some of you may try painting your house yourself. But is it truly worth it? 

Hiring a skilled and reputable professional painter guarantees good quality paintwork. Qualified painting contractors understand the importance of the painting prep and don’t skimp on it to save time and money. They understand the significance of careful planning and have the skills and tools to provide the quality outcomes you want and deserve.

Hiring a specialist painting firm will make a significant difference in the results. Contact us for a free estimate in the Silicone Valley area!