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How to Prep for an Interior Painting Project

The best indicator of how long an interior painting project will last and how good it looks is the amount of time spent preparing the walls. The walls are the canvas on which you put your color, and if you paint on a canvas that is dirty, cracked or has peeling paint, you will be repainting sooner than later.

Repair walls before beginning any interior painting project

The first thing you need to do to prepare your walls to be painted is to inspect your walls, looking for things like cracked plaster, chipped or bubbling paint, or popped nails. It is important to fix these problems rather than paint over them. Though painting over them seems quicker, repairing the walls before you paint will save you time repainting later. Cracked plaster can be repaired with plaster of Paris. Simply chip around the edge of the crack, use a vacuum to get rid of any dust and plaster pieces, then place the plaster over the hole. Two coats are optimum for patching plaster, and once the second coat has dried, it can be sanded, primed, and painted.

Cleaning is crucial for a successful interior painting project

After you've repaired everything needing repaired and any patching materials have dried, the walls need to be cleaned. Paint will not stick to dirty walls but it will stick to dirt, which leads to bubbling or rough spots in your finish. Using tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) is recommended for cleaning, but soap and water work just as well for normal dirt. TSP is really only necessary when the walls are very dirty, but even then, there may be a more eco-friendly alternative. Wash down the walls, and then rinse with clean water. After the walls have dried, you are ready to begin priming the walls.


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