House/Home Painting Prep Tips

We often learn the hard way that when we rush into a project, things go wrong. This applies not only to the job itself, but also to the setup and cleanup. This collection of top tips will help you get set up for your painting job while ensuring an effective and efficient cleanup.

Before You Start
  • Clear the room. This Old House recommends removing everything from the room if possible, since paint has a tendency to get everywhere when it spills or splatters. If an object can’t be removed, cover it with a plastic drop sheet.
  • Cover the floor. Canvas drop cloths won’t soak through as easily as old bedsheets, and are less slippery under your feet or ladder than plastic.
  • Clean the surfaces to be painted. Take a vacuum to the cobwebbed corners. Wipe dust with a damp cloth. For oil or grease, Lowe’s recommends TSP or a similar cleaner.
  • Repair any holes. Use putty or spackle and sand it smooth afterwards.
  • Prep the surface. Use fine sandpaper to smooth out bumps in plaster.
  • Remove outlet and switch covers. Cover the openings with tape and put the covers and screws into baggies so you don’t lose anything.
  • Check for oil-based paint, if you are covering an old paint job. Latex paint will not adhere to oil so you need to know this before you start. Lowe’s suggests applying an alcohol-soaked cotton swab to a small part of the surface. The alcohol will remove latex paint but not oil.

After You’re Finished
  • Wrap your roller. Use plastic bags or cling wrap to keep paint from drying on the roller if you plan on resuming your paint job the next day.
  • Clean up splatters before they dry. How Stuff Works recommends a damp cloth with a solution of warm water and dish detergent.
  • Clean your equipment. When you are finished your project, wash roller covers, brushes, and pans right away. Latex-based paints will come out with warm water and detergent. Oil-based paints will require solvent to clean, so refer to the manufacturer’s directions. How Stuff Works suggests that you replace inexpensive roller covers between painting jobs rather than trying to clean them.


41 Calderstone Rd

Brampton, ON

L6P 2L2

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