How to Prepare a Room for Painting

Starting a project with a clean, prepped workspace will help ensure that the painting process runs smoothly from beginning to end.

For Best Results:

When removing items such as picture frames and light fixtures, tape the screws to the back of each object to avoid losing them during the project.

Don't underestimate the importance of eliminating dust, cobwebs and mildew before beginning your painting project.

  1. Create a workspace.

    Step 1

    Create a workspace by removing items such as rugs and furniture.

  2. Gather painting supplies.

    Step 2

    Create a central area for all your tools and supplies; make sure it is easily accessible to your workspace.

  3. Remove cover plates.

    Step 3

    Remove what you can such as doors, light fixtures, pictures, doorknobs and nails.

  4. Cover furniture with drop cloths.

    Step 4

    Protect what you can't remove with coverings such as plastic sheeting or masking paper.

  5. Patch cracks and holes.

    Step 5

    If you have cracks or small holes, remove any dust or debris from the area, then apply patching material and allow it to dry completely. Sand the finished area so it blends evenly with the surface.

  6. Scrape off peeling paint.

    Step 6

    If you need to remove peeling paint, scrape the area with a wire brush or scraper to remove all the loose paint, then sand the finished area to blend it evenly with the surface.

  7. Caulk seams and gaps.

    Step 7

    For gaps and seams, remove excess debris, apply caulking to the area and allow it to dry completely before painting.

  8. Scuff-sand glossy surfaces.

    Step 8

    On glossy surfaces, such as metals and when painting over higher sheen paints, scuff sand or etch the area to provide proper paint adhesion.

  9. Clean surfaces.

    Step 9

    If you need to remove any oil, grease or wax stains, apply a mild detergent with a sponge onto a lightly water-dampened surface, rinse with clean water and allow it to dry.

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Suggested Tools & Supplies
  • Drop Cloths

    Plastic Sheeting

    Wire Brush



    Putty Knife


    Caulking Gun

    Caulking (Painters Grade)


    Ceiling/Wall Patch

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