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How to prepare a wall for painting?

Before you can get stuck into decorating and painting your walls, there are a few important preparation steps you need to take.

These are well worth your time as they will help ensure your paint sticks, achieves a better finish and might even fool visitors into thinking you hired a professional to paint your home. Here’s everything you need to do before you can add colour to your room.

What you’ll need

Follow the steps in the video:

To move onto the next step and paint your walls, check out our guide.

Scroll on to read a step by step guide

Step 1

Protect the area

First things first, you need to remove furniture from the room and protect spaces you don’t want to get paint on with a dust sheet. Take down your curtains and blinds and where possible, remove the poles too so you can access every nook and cranny of the room. Remove everything from the walls including shelves, light fixtures, picture hooks and mirrors. If you’ve unscrewed any fixtures, tape the screws or bolts to the fixture so you don’t spend hours hunting for them when you’ve finished decorating.

dust sheet

Step 2

Sand down the surfaces

Sanding helps to smooth your walls out and means your paint will stick much better. It also will reduce the chance of any imperfections showing through your paint. Wrap 80 grit sandpaper around a block and work your way around the wall to remove and smooth blemishes. Sand in circular motions so you don’t miss a patch. Run your hand over the wall to check for any extra areas that you might have missed. You’ll also need to sand your walls if they are glossy and shiny to remove the coating – otherwise your paint won’t adhere well.

sanding wall

Step 3

Fill in the cracks

If you’ve only got one or two cracks or holes in your wall, take care of them with a filler. But if your wall is covered in cracks, fill the major ones and use a basecoat to cover up the rest. Lightly sand the filled areas for a smooth finish.

filling cracks on wall

Step 4

Clean the walls

Use sugar soap to remove dirt, grease and dust. Grab a large sponge and wipe down the walls to get them completely clean.

cleaning wall

Step 5

Prime the walls

Now it’s time to prime the walls. A tintable grey primer is perfect for covering bright colours as well as before applying a bold colour. It will mean you need fewer coats to finish your wall. Our Primer & Undercoat can tackle nicotine, water and mould stains to leave you with a surface that’s ready to paint. Apply the primer to the wall and leave to dry for two hours. Apply the second coat. Leave it two hours before you begin painting. And that’s it! If you follow these simple steps then you’ll be ready to put some colour on your walls and end with a beautifully smooth finish.

primer on dark wall