the painted surface
Prep Work Overview
Is there a room in the house that needs painting? Or just thinking about painting a room? Probably. Can it be done? Sure, of course it can! A total makeover or just a freshening up of a room can be accomplished with a coat or two of paint. But, before the paint goes on, take time to prepare the room for results that are satisfying, long lasting and beautiful. Think of the following as a step-by-step guide a simple recipe for the preparation work necessary before painting. There are four steps to cover: Plan; Protect; Patch; and Prime.
Several days before beginning, go to the target room, make a visual inspection, and ask questions such as:
- What needs to be painted? Decide if only the walls will be painted or will this project include the trim, woodwork, ceilings, etc.
- Do these surfaces need to be cleaned?
- Are there water stains or markings that need to be sealed over?
- What color is appropriate for the future use of this room?
- Is the trim painted with water-based (which could be latex or acrylic) or oil-based paint?
- What tools, brushes, rollers, drop cloths, paints, primers and materials will be needed?
- When can this project be accomplished? Plan blocks of time for each step.
- Are there gaps between mouldings, holes or cracks in the walls or any damage requiring repairs?
TIP !!! To determine if the old paint is latex (acrylic), wet a rag with denatured alcohol and rub an inconspicuous spot, if the paint dissolves onto the rag, it is latex and can be painted with water or oil based paint. However, if the paint does not dissolve, it is oil based and should be painted with another oil based paint. Water based paint will not adhere to oil based paint without intermediate primer coats.
Paint looks great on walls and woodwork, but not on the rooms furnishings. Anything that can be taken out will provide space to work and also safeguard the furnishings from accidental paint splatter.
- Remove any paintings, photos, wall decorations, small pieces of furniture and lamps.
- Old sheets and lightweight plastic sheeting can be used to cover the remaining furniture, ceiling fans and chandeliers.
- Cover the floors with drop cloths.
- Remove the covers from the light switches, cable and electrical outlets.
- Remove window locks, handles and doorknobs.