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How to Prepare Your Walls Before Painting



Thoroughly preparing and washing the walls before painting is one of the most ignored recommendations for painting projects. Even the most thorough and careful avid DIYers are tempted to do away with the wall preparation, especially when it looks clean. What many do-it-yourselfers do is add paint right away.

The results of skipping this step may not be evident right away. In many cases, the paint may last for years, but for some, they see the consequences right away.

Wall Preparation

Major paint companies suggest cleaning the walls before the application of paint. This may include basic wiping or scrubbing using cleaning solutions.

Wipe the walls if it is filled with dirt and dust. Get rid of wax stains, grease, or oil using a sponge dipped in a solution of water and mild detergent. After that, you should rinse the wall using clean water and let it dry.

Kitchen walls, which may have been exposed to oil or grime, should be washed with a solution that can remove grease. Once done, clean the wall using water to remove any residual cleaning agent. Then, wipe the walls using a damp cloth.

Will professional painters wash your walls?

Most professional painters don’t wash walls. Why? Because it’s not part of their job description. Their job is to paint the walls. But did you know that if you, as a homeowner, do this, you can significantly cut the time needed to paint the wall? And less time painting means less money spent to pay for their services.

You have the option to take the DIY route when cleaning the walls. However, If you can’t do this yourself, you can always hire a home cleaner to get this job done for you.

When can you skip washing the walls?

Here’s a list of instances when you can skip washing the walls before you paint.

  • The walls have minimal dust.
  • The walls have no grease or crayon stains.
  • The house doesn’t have a wood-burning fireplace.
  • There are no pets inside the house.
  • No bathing or cooking takes place in the room you plan to repaint.
  • You plan to pain vertical surfaces only.

When can you wash the walls with soap and water?

As previously mentioned, most major paint manufacturers recommend that you clean the wall using mild detergent and water before proceeding with the paint job. Even though modern paints are designed to adhere well to the surface, they will do so if the wall is smooth and clean.

The first thing you need to do is get rid of cobwebs and dust bunnies. You should use a detergent and water to clean visibly dirty and dusty walls. Then, the trim and baseboards should be cleaned with a lightly moist cloth. Next, vacuum any areas near the walls.

Mix warm water and mild detergent in a bucket. Start wiping down the wall using a damp sponge dipped in the cleaning solution. After washing, rinse the walls carefully using clean water and a damp sponge.

You should clean the walls with trisodium phosphate if it’s filled with oils and grease. TSP is also ideal for lightly etching the surface as preparation for applying a high gloss paint finish.

  • When can you wash the walls without using a detergent?
  • If the walls need some washing, there are some instances when it doesn’t need activating washing using detergent.
  • If adults use the primary bedroom
  • If the room is used as a home office
  • If the family room doesn’t have a wood-burning fireplace
  • If the powder room is used only for handwashing and toilet activities.
  • If the living room was recently repainted or didn’t get a lot of activity
  • If the dining room is used for dining only, not for cooking.

    © APA Painters and Decorators