Prep Walls – Painting

Prep Walls – Painting


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This Post: Prep Walls – Painting, will teach you how to best prepare your Walls and Ceilings prior to painting. If your Walls are brand new and have never had a coat of Paint before, and they have already been taped, mudded, and sanded, then it is merely the process of applying Primer and Sealer, then, Paint.

Although there are Paints on the market that have Primer built in, it is not recommended to use that type of product on a virgin Wall. There is a special product known as Primer and Sealer which should initially be applied to Wallboard that has never been painted before. Then, you can use whichever type of Paint that you choose, including the Primer and Paint combinations.

For Walls that have already been painted at least once, this post will also teach you how to apply Spackle to small holes from Nails or Screws. It is really a rather simple process, which in most cases, will not even require any sanding before painting.

Depending on whether or not your Walls have ever been painted before, some or all of the following Materials & Supplies will be needed:


Materials & Supplies Needed:

    • DAP Patch n Paint Lightweight Spackling (or comparable product) (for holes less than ¼” in diameter)
    • Interior Wallboard Primer and Sealer (for virgin Walls)
    • Mr. Clean or comparable cleaner (not needed for virgin Walls)


In order to purchase any Materials & Supplies Needed, see the appropriate page in any of the drop-down pages under:  Home Products – Supplies  in my Top Menu.

Scroll down the list to find the correct item. You will find an explanation of that item, as well as, links under each item, which direct you to my Recommended Suppliers for you to check out their offerings.


Tools & Supplies Needed:

    • (2) Buckets (not needed for virgin Walls)
    • (2) Sponges (not needed for virgin Walls)
    • 1” Putty Knife
    • Painter’s Tape
    • Small Ladder or Step Stool
    • 1 ½” or 2” Angled Brush
    • Edger Pad
    • Roller with new head
    • Extension Rod for Roller
    • Plastic Drop Cloths
    • Painter’s Latex Gloves
    • Painter’s Hat or Cap
    • Paint Pan
    • Paint Can Key
    • Paint Can Spout
    • Plastic Paint Shield Edger
    • Small Ball-Peen Hammer


In order to purchase any Tools & Supplies Needed, see the appropriate page in any of the drop-down pages under:  Home – Garden: Tools and Equipment List  in my Top Menu.

Scroll down the list to find the correct item. You will find an explanation of that item, as well as, links under each item, which direct you to my Recommended Suppliers for you to check out their offerings.




Step-by-Step Instructions


Please review the information included here in the first 5 Steps, and then review my page:  5 Steps for Project Management.  When you have completed those first 5 Steps, you can return here to continue on to Step 6.


Step 1 – Assess the Project


If your Walls have been previously painted at least once, you will need to check each Wall for any Screws or Nails from any Wall hangings, curtain rods, etc. If there are, and you do not intend to hang things in the same manner, then these Screws or Nails will need to be removed and the holes will need to be spackled prior to painting. Also, any larger holes will need to be patched if any are present as well. See my Post:  Patch Holes – Drywall

You will also need to measure the length x height of each Wall and add those figures together, in order to determine the total square footage of coverage needed for your Paint (or Primer and Sealer if needed). The average coverage will be marked on the Can.

Regardless of whether or not your choice of Paint claims to be one-coat coverage, you should always plan on putting on two coats.


Step 2 – Create a Materials & Tools Needed Sheet


Depending on your Assessment in Step 1, create your Materials & Tools Needed sheet.


Step 3 – Calculate Project Cost


Complete per my page:  5 Steps for Project Management


Step 4 – Order Your Materials & Tools Needed


Complete per my page:  5 Steps for Project Management


Step 5 – Inspect Your Delivery


After reviewing the information included here in the first 5 Steps, and then completing those first 5 Steps per my page:  5 Steps for Project Managementcontinue on to Step 6 or Step 7, whichever is appropriate for your situation.


Step 6 – Prime & Seal Virgin Walls


If your ceiling and walls have never been painted before, once they are all taped, mudded and sanded, you will need to apply Interior Wallboard Primer & Sealer before you can paint.


    • Begin by laying out your Plastic Paint Tarps, covering your entire floor.
    • When doing any painting Project, you should always start from the top and work down. Therefore, you will begin by applying your Interior Wallboard Primer & Sealer to the Ceiling first. However, since you will be using it on both the Ceiling and Walls, you will be doing your Trim work at the same time.
    • Turn your Primer & Sealer Can upside down and shake well for about 60 seconds or you can open your can and stir it if you prefer. Be careful not to be too aggressive when stirring, so that your Paint does not spill over the edge.
    • Using your Paint Can Key, remove the lid and install your Plastic Pour Spout. Then, set up your Small Ladder or Step Stool near the corner where you intend to start. You will begin by first applying the Primer & Sealer to a 2” wide strip around the perimeter of your Ceiling.
    • Set your Can to the left of your Stool or Ladder, assuming that you intend to work in a clock-wise fashion. Dip your Brush and gently wipe both sides and edges on the lip of the Can. Do this several times to prime the Brush. Then, dip the Brush and gently wipe and begin to apply your Primer to the Ceiling. Start near the corner, staying about ¼” away from the corner and the edge on your first swipe. Then, go back in and fill in the bare spots, once your Brush has less Primer on it. Paint in smooth back and forth motions, and continue to spread until your Brush becomes depleted. Then repeat the process for the top of the Wall area just below what you have already painted. You should have about a 2” edge on your Ceiling and Walls. Repeat the process for the entire perimeter.
    • Do the same for your Wall corners. Then, use your Plastic Paint Shield Edger for putting your 2” edge along baseboards and trim. The alternative is to tape off all of your molding with Painter’s Tape or use your Edger Pad around these areas. If you do use your Edger Pad, take your Brush and paint the top half of the Pad thoroughly. Use the Pad until it runs out and repeat the process until finished.


Step 7 – Remove any Unneeded Nails and Screws and Spackle


If your wall have been previously painted, remove any unneeded Nails and Screws from any Wall hangings that are not going back up in the same spot, and spackle all of the holes.


    • Remove any unneeded Nails and Screws from your Walls. Place a small piece of Painter’s Tape near each one, so that you will not miss any when you spackle.
    • Then, take your 1” Putty Knife and your DAP Patch n Paint Lightweight Spackling (or comparable product), place a little Spackle on the edge of your Knife and wipe it over each hole at about a 30 degree angle or less. Wipe any excess off of the Wall with the edge of your Knife. Remove the Painter’s Tape as you repair. This type of Spackle is used primarily for holes ¼” in diameter or less. For larger holes, see my Post: Patch Holes – Drywall for how to repair.


Step 8 – Wash Ceiling and Walls


For all pre-painted ceilings and walls, it is recommended to wash them before repainting.


    • Take one of your Buckets, pour in about ½ cup of Mr. Clean or comparable cleaner. Then, add warm water to fill the Bucket about ¾ the way full. Fill a second Bucket with warm water only for rinsing. Each Bucket will be used with a separate Sponge.
    • Place your Stool or Ladder near the corner that you will be starting in. Dip your Sponge in the Bucket with the Mr. Clean solution, and squeeze out the Sponge. Beginning in a corner or your Ceiling, wash your Ceiling in both directions; first, left to right, then turn the Sponge over and wash up and down. Move the Stool or Ladder, dip and squeeze out your Sponge, and continue to repeat the process until the entire Ceiling has been washed.
    • Once the entire Ceiling has been washed, repeat the process with your clean rinse water using a separate Sponge. Dip your Sponge a couple of times, squeezing it out each time to clean it. When your rinse water begins to turn cloudy, change the water. Repeat the process until the ceiling has been completely rinsed.
    • Repeat the entire process on all of your Walls, window frames, doors, moldings, and baseboards. Let the entire area thoroughly dry before beginning to paint.
    • Your Ceiling and Walls are now properly prepped to accept Paint. Now it is time to choose your Paint colors, type of Paint, and make your purchase of your Paint and Supplies.


See my Post:  Best Way: Paint Ceiling and Walls


Please leave a Comment or ask a Question in the Comments section below.


Thank you,

CJ Dodaro


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