April 15

How to Prepare Walls For Painting?

How to Prepare Walls For Painting?

At first glance, painting a wall seems like the simplest task in the world. You just dip your brush in the paints, then go crazy, right? Well, there’s more to it than that. For instance, do you know how to prepare your wall for painting? There are several precautionary measures you should take before you start applying paint. We’ll walk you through the process step by step to ensure you prepare your wall properly.  

1. Take Your Posters/Frames Down

You don’t want to paint a busy wall unless you enjoy torturing yourself. So, if you have family photos or movie posters hanging on your wall, it’s time to take them down.

You also want to pull out any nails you might have used to hang these frames. They won’t be as much of a nuisance as the photos, but they’ll still make the painting process harder. 

2. Clean Your Wall

Think of your wall as a canvas, waiting for you to drop your masterpiece on it. Professionals take the time to prepare their canvas first. Remember, any imperfections in the walls will appear in the final paint job. So, take your time in this phase.

Remove Stains

You can even use a vacuum to speed up the process. If you don’t have one, a grease-cutting detergent is just as effective.

Removing stains might seem simple, but it’s more challenging than you think. These marks don’t always stare you in the face. Sometimes, they go unnoticeable.

Clean and Fill the Cracks

Cracks and holes are tricky to deal with, as a vacuum may not be able to clean all the dust inside them. We recommend using sugar soap, as you can apply it to tight spots more effectively.

Here’s where things get complicated: Who wants to paint a wall with holes and cracks in it? It’ll look ugly, which defeats the purpose of the paint.

What can you do? Fill these holes. Make a filler and use a filling knife to push it down the crack until it covers the entire hole.

That’s where the sugar soap is most helpful, as it’ll help the filling stick to the wall. Spread the filler until it becomes a smooth surface. 

Now, leave the filler to dry, and you’ll have a smooth wall.

Eliminate Mildew 

You will need to remove mildew from your wall before painting it. You might think: “Wouldn’t painting the wall cover the mildew?” Yes, but only temporarily.

Eventually, it’ll grow through the new paint, ruining your wall. All the effort you put into painting it will be for nothing. Luckily, cleaning mildew isn’t that hard.

All you need is water, bleach, and a soft sponge. Mix three parts water and one part bleach, apply the solution to the infested spots, and let it sit for a few minutes.

Scrub your wall with the sponge, then rinse it with clean water. Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to avoid getting spores on your skin.

3. Grab Sandpaper

So, you’ve used sugar soap to help the filler stick to the cracks. What about the rest of the wall? How can you ensure that your paint will stick to it properly? One word: Sanding.

Sanding improves the texture of your wall, making it easier for the paint to adhere to it. It also removes flaky plaster or remaining debris you might have missed during the dusting phase.

You don’t have to go overboard with it. A few quick swipes that cover the entire surface will do the trick. Now comes the million-dollar question: What grit should you use?

There isn’t one definitive answer to that question, but we recommend starting with an 80-grit sandpaper to eliminate uneven areas. Once you get that out of the way, use a 180-grit sandpaper to get a smooth finish.

5. Start Scrubbing

If you’ve used sandpaper before, you know it leaves too much dust on the walls. You can’t paint like that unless you want to end up with an ugly wall and claim it’s a surrealist artwork.

So, grab a sponge, a sugar soap bottle, and a bucket of water. Mix 0.05 gallons of sugar soap and 1.5 gallons of water. Dip your sponge in the solution and scrub your wall.

You want to take your time with this one and cover every inch of the wall. After you’ve ensured the entire surface is clean, go over it with a damp cloth (warm water) and remove any remaining soap traces.

6. Prime Your Wall

At this point, you’ve done everything you could to ensure your wall is spotless, but you can still see a few surface stains. That’s where primer comes in.

If you don’t know, primers are neutral base coats people apply before the color coats. At first glance, it sounds like an unnecessary step. You want to start using colors right away, right?

Trust us. You don’t want to skip it, not when your wall isn’t at its best. Primers can cover all the imperfections in your wall and create a smooth surface that helps your paint stick better and last longer.

Besides, some walls are more porous than others. That results in uneven paint absorption, which can ruin the appeal of your wall. Primers can block these porous surfaces, ensuring your wall looks as even as possible.


Now you know how to clean walls before interior painting. As you can see, the longevity and difficulty of that process depend on the state of your wall.

So, take your time inspecting it, identify the necessary steps and tools, and you’ll have a smooth wall ready for a fresh layer of paint.


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