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How to Prepare Walls for Painting

Taking time to prep walls correctly before you paint can give your finished paint project a professional look. Learn these basic steps in prepping your walls before you paint.

More in Painting

take time to prep walls correctly
  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Remove Outlet Covers

If walls have previously been painted, there is no need for primer (unless you are painting over a very dark color). First, remove outlet covers, switch plates and window hardware.

Step 2: Scrape Away Rough Areas

Use sharp edge of chisel to scrape away rough areas or bumps, next, fill damaged or rough areas and holes with spackle. Use 2" putty knife to apply. Spread thickly, then remove excess.

Allow paint to dry completely, then sand and smooth.

Step 3: Apply Painter's Tape

Apply a 2-3" strip around moldings and outlets, next to ceiling and in corners -- before painting with roller.

Step 4: Apply Paint with Roller

Follow by painting with roller in long, broad strokes. Work from one point all the way around the room.

Apply second coat as needed, allow to dry, then re-install switch plates, outlet covers and window hardware

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