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How to prep your walls before painting

We get it - the best part of painting a room is taking those first few swipes with a fresh new paint brush or roller. There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing your new colour on the walls, especially if you’re painting over a colour you didn’t particularly enjoy. (We’re looking at you, Blah Builder Beige.)

But don’t reach for that paint can-opener just yet. Here at TIMBER MART, we get kind of bossy pants about the importance of starting a DIY job properly.

Here five things you need to do before the paint touches the walls...

  1. Protect those floors! Even if you’re convinced you’re the tidiest painter on the planet, you’re probably going to drip or splatter. We’ve all been there. Pick up a canvas drop-cloth (or two) and you can reuse it again and again -- plus, it won’t be slippery like plastic drop-cloths or garbage bags.
    protect the floor
     
  2. Take it all down. Remove every painting, every photo frame, every mirror -- and the hanging hardware. Then unscrew all of the outlet covers and switch plates and tuck them into a large zippered baggie for safekeeping.
    remove the paintings
     
  3. Start scrubbing. If your walls are looking pretty grimy, it’s a good idea to wash them before applying fresh paint. Try a TSP (trisodium phosphate) solution to get rid of greasy fingerprints, dust, dirt, and smudges.
    clean the walls
     
  4. Attack the holes. Walk slowly around the room and sand off any hardened paint drips or high spots using a piece of sandpaper. Then use filling compound to fill in any holes, making sure to press the goop into the hole with a slight mound on the surface (it shrinks as it dries). Sand the areas lightly once the compound has dried, and make sure the walls are smooth and hole-free.
    fix the walls
     
  5. It’s time for tape. The final step before you get to crack open the paint can is taping off the trim and the ceiling, as well as around any windows and doors. It’s tempting to think you can freehand it neatly - and some people can - but taping ensures you’ll have clean, straight lines that make the paint job look professional.
    apply painters tape

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