One of the easiest ways to freshen up a room and bring back old-looking houses to life is with a nice new coat of paint. Interior spaces are not as forgiving as exterior painting when it comes to wall preparation. Flaws and imperfections are more likely to be noticed inside than the outside. This is why good surface preparation is necessary to make applying paint easier and the outcome perfect.
1. Clean the walls
Cleaning the walls will let you see imperfections early on before you start painting. It’ll also help paint adhere better to the surface. Cleaning the walls is as easy as dusting and wiping down the walls with sponge dipped in water and laundry detergent.
For kitchens and bathrooms, you may need to clean grease and water stains carefully and allow it to completely dry before applying paint. If mold is present, use a mold removal solution.
2. Check invisible wall flaws
Smaller flaws are usually harder to find until light hits it. While it’s easy to miss this with the naked eye, it’s still good to fix and patch minor flaws to prevent it from getting bigger. Close all the lights take a utility light and hold it close to the wall. In examining artworks, this is called raking and is also effective at pointing out flaws on surfaces.
Get a masking tape and stick it on to the flawed surface. Patch and sand any protruding or rough surface.
3. Watch out for exposed nails
Nails would sometimes pop out of drywalls over time due to contraction of studs. Replace the nail with a screw instead. Place it slightly above the exposed nail and then pull out the nail gently. Cover the nail hole the screw head with a joint compound.
4. Fill in damaged corners
A slight bump on drywall corner beads can create dents and cause cracks on the edges and corners of drywalls. Hammer it back to shape gently with a hammer. Use a level if needed to make sure it’s still aligned with the wall.
Cover any cracks with mesh tape apply joint compound and sand it to a smooth finish. Mesh tape or drywall tape is used to add strength to the seams of gypsum especially used on two corners of drywall.
5. Repair torn drywall paper
Torn drywall paper cannot be remedied by painting it over. The best way to deal with it is to put primer over it, let it dry and sand the edges before applying joint compound. Apply primer again over the joint compound to prevent it from absorbing the paint.
6. Fill in holes thoroughly
Compounds tend to shrink when it dries down so applying three coats is better than using a single coat to fill in holes. Use spackle for smaller holes and joint compound for larger cracks. If you have concrete walls, use a concrete crack sealer instead. Wait for each coat to dry before applying the next coat. Sand the compounds using fine-grit sandpaper and ensure it is smooth and leveled with the rest of the wall.
7. Use self-adhesive aluminum patch for larger holes
If there are huge holes in your drywall that cannot be solved with compounds, use an aluminum patch instead. Before, wood backings were placed on the hole and then covered with a drywall. Self-adhesive aluminum patches have replaced that method and are easier to use. Simply cut the patch large enough to cover smoothen the surface with sandpaper.
8. Use primer for heavily marked or stained walls
Primer isn’t always necessary and if you’re in a hurry, you could easily spot prime surfaces that need it. But if your wall is heavily stained or marked with kid’s doodles, your wall will benefit from a primer. Primer is also required if you need to paint over a dark wall with a lighter color.
Tip: Some painters tint their primer the same color as the paint you’ll be using to make the color more vibrant and make painting easier. Others use a contrasting color to tint the primer so they’ll know which spots they missed or how many coats they need to cover the primer.
9. Remove sticky adhesives
Mirrors sometimes come with adhesive backing to hold it in place and when removed, the glue leaves its residue on drywalls. While it’s tempting to just pull it down, this will tear large patches of drywall paper. Instead, cut it gently with a utility knife. This will still create tears on the paper but it is limited to one area only. Prime any torn areas, apply joint compound and sand the surface.
10. Remove existing paint if it is peeling
If the existing paint is peeling or flaking, you’ll need to remove it before painting it with a new coat. You can scrape this or use sandpaper or use a paint-stripper. If you go with the latter, you’ll need to take safety precautions and dispose of the paint properly.
Surface preparation is one of the tedious parts of interior painting but can make paint application easier and look better. A good paint job does not solely rely on brush strokes or painting techniques; surface preparation is the key to having good-looking smooth walls.
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