Prepping A Room Before Painting

  1. Remove everything removable from the room before you start painting. Remove as much furniture from the room as possible, and move the remaining furniture to the center of the room. Cover the remaining furniture with a drop cloth, and use removable masking tape around any moldings, doors and windows. Use drop cloths to protect the floors. 
  2. Turn off power to outlets or fixtures on surfaces that you will paint on. Remove all light fixtures, switch and outlet plates, heat registers, towel rods, drapes and drapery hardware. 
  3.  Do not unscrew a fixture from the electrical box or allow it to hang by its wires. Loosen the canopy or trim piece of a ceiling fixture or chandelier and slide it down the fixture away from the ceiling. Then wrap it with plastic trash bags or plastic wrap. 
  4. Protect switch plates and outlet plates with blue masking tape to shield them from paint and moisture. 
  5. Cover the smoke detector with a plastic bag, and turn off any heating or air conditioning to prepare for the sanding and painting. 
  6. Scrape or sand any loose or flaking paint using sandpaper or a paint scraper. Scrape down to the bare surface if needed. 
  7. Use a putty knife to fill any nail or screw holes with a good quality spackling compound. Fill any cracks with caulking. 
  8. If the woodwork is seriously damaged it may be necessary to apply epoxy filler, like the filler used on car bodies. 
  9. Wash all surfaces thoroughly to remove any remaining dirt or grease. 
  10. Rinse all surfaces thoroughly with water and allow them to dry before proceeding. 

    Tip: As you disassemble the switch plates and outlet plates, place them in re-sealable bags that you can label. Drop all the switch plates and screws into these bags and separate hardware for each window, door and curtain into individual bags with their location written on the bags. You can then keep these into a large bag and stick the whole bag on the windowpane or somewhere visible where you won’t lose them or accidentally step on.

    1. Have a work table outside the work area where you will place solvents for oil-base paints. 
    2. Have a large, lined trash can in the room to discard debris in as you work. Its better to keep your workplace clean and uncluttered as this can be hazardous and slow work down. This also makes cleanup at the end of your project easier, as you would have done them all along throughout your paint work.