How to Prepare for Painting – Filling & Sanding

How to Prepare for Painting a Wall

You work out prep backwards. What do you want it to look like in the end? If you want walls that look like the side panels of a Ferrari you better be prepared to spend a lot of dough. That requires a plasterer to skim all the walls first to a mirror finish.

Filling and Sanding

Normally you just want to fill in the nail holes and nicks and spots where tape was ripped off the walls. You use a filler or ‘mud’ available at the Paint or Building Supply store. Get ‘Lite’ filler or products that say “sands easily”. You mix it up to a consistency that spreads smoothly but not too thin. You use a knife or spreader that is wide enough to cover the whole area.

When you first start, like everything else in life, you will not do your best job. If it is terrible when it is dry then sand it off and try again. Ideally you want the least amount of excess filler since sanding is messy and the dust flies. (It also kills your vacuum cleaner if you don’t use a filter bag specified for drywall dust.)

Wear a dust mask when sanding. Be prepared to vacuum every nook and cranny. Keep the door closed when sanding and keep the window open. Remove everything possible from the room. Especially all clothes or bedding in a bedroom. Plastic off the mattresses. You will learn the wisdom of being “frugal with filler”.

Various sandpapers are good from fine to coarse. It depends on how much excess filler you need to remove. I like those little disposable sponge blocks – one side is fine and one side coarse. They cost about a buck or so.