Preparing for painting and decorating is probably one of the most important blogs that i will do on the decorating trade, I’ve said many many times that the trade should be called “Preparation and Decorating” – Not “Painting and Decorating”, preparing for painting and decorating is something that needs thinking about as there is so much that can go wrong, you must understand that NO AMOUNT of preparation can turn bad plasterwork or joinery into great surfaces for paint (or wallpaper)
However I’m going to assume for the while that the walls and woodwork in the area that you are going to decorate are sound areas, with good plaster and wood work. The 1st thing is always do is to use a sanding stick to sand down all of the wall areas, this is without doubt one of the best tools when preparing for painting and decorating and this will take any nibs or bits or plaster off the wall, however, make sure that there are no nails protruding from the walls area as your sanding stick may get damaged, you can use sandpaper by hand but once again be careful here in case your hands get damaged by nails.
Once I’ve sanded the walls and they are relatively smooth, then it depends whether you are applying paint or wallpaper, if paint then apply a 1st mist coat (e.g.: mix at least 25% water to the paint) and apply (usually with a roller, then cut in with a brush) Now, you may be wondering (Hang on a bit, what about the filling) this is a very important point that many people outside of the trade don’t understand, NEVER ever fill the walls before applying a coat of paint, once the paint has been applied this will show all of the defects on the wall, and will be so much easier to fill after the 1st coat.
Now if I’m wallpapering, this is not entirely necessary as the paper will simply cover smaller defects, and you can see the larger defects to fill, I personally don’t always line the walls (50% of cases i do) but i ALWAYS size the wall with a good glue size, you never want to get into a situation where the paper will not move on the wall and matching becomes almost impossible, you might as well start all over again.
You’ll also need several good filling knives (not scrapers) and a filling gun (for caulk) for your walls, but these can be bought easily from and decent decorating centre. Many DIY people forget that preparing for painting and decorating is one of the most important tasks when refurbishing your home – Don’t forget it.