Picture Perfect Walls For Painting

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,000
    Spike Carlsen with The Family Handyman magazine shows you how to get your walls ready for painting.

    Spike Carlsen: Hi, I am Spike Carlsen. I am a contributing editor with The Family Handyman magazine, the best Do-It-Yourself and home improvement magazine on the planet. We have been talking about how to get a room ready for painting and right now we are going to talk more specifically about how to get your walls ready for painting.

    You want to make sure that your walls are clean so the paint will stick to them. You want to make sure that they are flat, so the walls look good. The best way to clean walls is with TSP or TSP substitute. Rinse them and then make sure they are dry before you move on to your next step.

    On most walls you are going to find little dings and dents. You are going to find things like, place where pictures were hung, little bit bigger dings where there might have been some damage and some major things that are going to take a little bit more work to get ready.

    So major leak holes like this, you can't just fill them with compound; they need a little bit of reinforcement. So what we have here is self sticking fiber glass tape. Take that, put it over the hole, it will stick out by itself and then give it a quick coat of drywall compound.

    Put on good and thick, it's probably going to take you a few quotes to get it done right and smoothed out. You are going to run into dings and dents like this something about the size of nickel or smaller that doesn't go all the way through.

    If it is something like that, all you really need to do is give it a good coat of drywall compound, again give it one coat. You may have to give it more than one coat. You want to apply it so that it's a little bit proud on the surface so that when you sand it, it winds up flush.

    When you wind up a little holes like this where pictures were hung, lots of times you don't really have holes as much as you have a dimple and if you just put drywall compound over that, you just wind up with the bigger dimple.

    So the solution to that is to a hammer, give it a couple of good taps to make it indented and then put your drywall compound over that. Again it may take a couple of coats and another sanding to get the surface perfectly smooth.

    Once you have patched your dings and dents, and you've let them dry and then you just want to go ahead, you are going to slightly feather the edges so that they blend in. There was the baby ding, give a little touch to see if it passes the field test. There is our bigger ding, and some like this you really want to make sure the edges are feathered. Give it the touch test, then you give them a coat of primer and those are ready for paint.

    One another situation you might run into is flaky paint. As you go around your room take a look at that. If your house is built prior to 1978 there is a good chance you have lead paint on. In that case don't sand it, simply prime it and go over it. If you have a newer house and flaky paint use your sanding block to soften and feather those edges, prime them and then those will be ready for paint.

    There are certain kinds of stains that are going to keep bleeding through the paint n matter how many coats you put on them. Things like coffee stains, things like water stains, cream different things like that. So what you really need to do is cover those up with a good coat of a stain blocking primer and it just prevents these things from bleeding through in the future. Sometimes stains like this don't bleed through right away but a year two later you will see them prop through, so the time to deal with them is right now.

    Of course if you had water stains, you better figure out why you had water stains in the first place. Take care of those types of problems. The only thing left to do on this now is give it a good coat of paint. Here you go, that's how you get your walls ready for painting.