Readying The Walls and Floors

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,297
    Spike Carlsen with The Family Handyman magazine demonstrates how to prepare a room for painting by prepping the walls and floors.

    Spike Carlsen: Hi, I am Spike Carlsen. I am a contributing editor of The Family Handyman magazine the number one, Do-It-Yourself and home improvement magazine on the planet.

    Today we are talking about how to get a room ready for painting and really one of the first things you want to do is clear that room out as much as possible to not bumping into things, tripping over things, and getting paint over things.

    Anything small enough move out of the room. If you have some really large objects, move it all into the center of the room in one spot and cover them with a good plastic drop cloth.

    Another thing you want to do is plan ahead. You should really turn off the electricity when you paint a room because you are going to be using putty knife, you might be using some cleaning solutions on those outlets and you want to make sure that those aren't activated. So you either want to paint during the day when we have good light or have provision where you can bring in some artificial lights for while you are painting.

    Now you also want to protect the very edge of your floor covering and the best way to do that is with a good painters tape. We are using Frog tape, laid in place; take your putty knife and gently shove it underneath the baseboard. Use both hands; use one to push it down a little bit. If you have solid wood floors, you can just basically place it right down on top of the floor.

    Once you have that done you can go ahead and put down your plastic, your canvas or both and your drop cloth on top of that. There are two different types of drop cloths you can use. Plastic is very inexpensive, it's easy to put down, it's very light weight. But one of the disadvantages is if you get paint on it and then you step on it, it's easy to track it around.

    Canvas is the other alternative, it's a little bit more expensive, but it will stay in place on its own, once it's down if you get a little paint on there, it's a little bit more absorptive. So you are not quite as likely to track things around.

    What I like to do is use both. I like to put down a little bit of plastic initially to prevent any big spills and then I put canvas on top of that to absorb any drips and it's easier to walk on and it's easier to work on.

    Now you need to get your walls ready. So remove all the outlet covers, and the switch plate covers. And one great little tip is, on the back of the switch plate cover near the door or an outlet cover near the door, write down the name and the maker of the paint that you use so if you have to go to touch it up gain or repaint up the same color you have a record of what you want right in the room.

    When it comes to cable devices and telephone devices, really the best thing to do is to unscrew the face covers and then in most cases there is going to be wires already connected to it. Rather than disconnecting those simply take the cover plate and put it inside the cover so that you can still paint around it without getting any paint on the cover.

    Before you move on to your next step, take a piece of painters tape and place it over the outlet that will prevent you from getting paint on that outlet. Okay now let's move on to any grills. Most of these are just held them place with two simple screws. If you have a cordless drill that will speed things up a little bit or your multi tip screwdriver words just fine and again this saves the all the time of masking off and taping around the grill covers.

    Remove the grill, once your grill is up, it's a great time to take a can of spray paint and paint them further nice and crisp like the rest of your walls, once you have done that take your screws and tape them to the back of your grill so you don't lose them.

    Some things like light fixtures are harder to just remove. In that case start out by applying long strips of masking tape around the canopy of the light to protect the light where it hits the ceiling. Once that done, you want to use plastic to protect the light fixture itself. Take down any curtain rod brackets, any picture frame brackets that might be on the wall and then you are getting ready really close to be enable to paint.