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Prepping before Painting is Paramount

An essential part of a painting project happens before you ever lay a brush or roller on the wall. The key is preparation.  Put in a little time and effort beforehand, and you’ll be rewarded with a professional looking finish afterwards.  Here are a few steps to ensure proper painting prep:
Patch & Repair
Fill small holes and hairline cracks with patching compound and sand when dry.  For larger holes, apply the compound in layers, making sure each layer is dry before applying the next.  For badly damaged plaster walls, apply a thin coat of plaster on top of the existing one by skimming, to achieve a nice, smooth finish.  Skimming is a bit of an art form, so don’t hesitate to get help from a professional plasterer.

A Clean “Canvas” is Critical
Just as you wouldn’t paint a picture on a dirty canvas, you don’t want to paint a room with dirty walls.  Remove dirt and marks by washing with mild detergent and water; grease marks with Trisodium phosphate (TSP); and floor wax build-up on baseboards with wax remover.  Mildew in damp areas such as bathrooms should be addressed and removed entirely.  Many find a solution of one part household bleach to three parts water works well.  Vacuum textured walls and ceilings to get rid of dust and cobwebs.

Prime the Walls
Paint primers help to ensure a professional-looking paint job. It increases the bond between the paint and the surface and it is particularly helpful to cover surfaces painted with semi-gloss or high gloss paints or bare surfaces such as wood, plaster or drywall. If you are painting with a deep colour, ask your local paint store to tint your primer with your paint colour. This technique will enable you to cover your walls quicker and with less paint.

Don’t Forget about the Outside!
Our outside walls don’t usually undergo the same scrutiny as our inside walls do, but spring is a great time to think outside the house!  Start by removing loose, peeling paint or dirt with a wire brush or power washer and repair and sand as needed.  Good quality surface preparation provides maximum durability, a must for outside paintwork.

A fresh coat of paint can really improve the curb appeal of your home, and proper preparation will ensure the best return on your investment.