How to Prepare Interior Walls for a Home Improvement Painting Project

The hardest part of a re-painting interior walls does not involve paint. It’s all about the preparation. Proper preparation will make the painting process go more smoothly and easier. By having all of the preparation work done ahead of time, when it’s time to paint you will not be distracted by the little things. It can be hard not to get anxious about painting the walls. Take the time to make these preparations first.

Supply List for Interior Wall Preparation

Make yourself a wall preparation box which can be carried into any room you are renovating. The box should include the following items:

Cleaning Products for Interior Walls

Spray bottle containing a bleach-based cleanser
Roll of paper towels
Trash bag


Flat-head screwdriver
Nail remover or wood hammer
Philips head screwdriver
Small bag or storage container for re-usable loose screws and nails
Another storage container for unusable metal that can be recycled or sold
Gallon-sized or quart-sized bag for outlet covers and light switches

Interior Wall Repair Preparation Supplies

Small container of Spackling paste
WIde putty knife
Sand paper

Go into any room which will be painted during the home improvement project and use this guide.

How to Prepare Interior Walls for a Home Improvement Painting Project

Clear the Room

Before you do anything, remove all of the furniture from the room. This includes curtains, big pieces of furniture and throw rugs. If you cannot remove the furniture before painting the walls during your home improvement project, at least move all of the furniture to the center of the room.

Protect Your Valuables

If the furniture is in the center of the room, cover it with a tarp or an old sheet. For rooms with good carpeting and flooring, cover the entire floor with a tarp as well.

Remove the Metal Before Painting

Remove any and all screws, nail, wall hooks, tacks and any other pieces of non-structural metals from the interior walls. Keep any reusable item in a small bag or container for future use. Saving even a couple of cents on a home improvement project by reusing old materials can help the home owner.

Store broken nails or hooks in another container. They can be donated or sold to a metal scrap recycling location near you. This works especially well for large projects.

Remember to remove window treatment hardware from the interior window frame and the visible part of the frame.

Out, Out, Darn Spots

It may seem counter-intuitive to wash the walls before you prime or paint. However, if there are any water stains, moisture spots or scuff marks on the walls it’s best to try to remove them first with a cleanser before painting. At the very least cleaning them may minimize their appearance.

Spray the area with the bleach-based cleanser. Let it set for about 10 minutes. Use paper towels or a rag to remove the bleach and hopefully some or all of the stain or mark.

Even Stevens: The Walls

There may be strange seams or small inconsistencies in the wall texture. If you or a professional have not determined they are caused by structural issues they can be visually repaired with the Spackling paste.

Use the spackling paste to even out any dents in the wall and to fill the holes left when you removed the nails and metals.

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