In our previous article we gave you a great overview of all the different aspects when it comes to doing interior painting. We also got some understanding of tools that are required for painting. We touched on some details like colours, furniture painting and prices.

In this article, we will discuss where to start and answer some common questions. Because if you are thinking to do interior painting, there is more to it than just putting paint on the walls!

How do you prepare a house for painting?

First thing you want to think about is getting access to the areas you want to paint and protecting all your belongings you do not want paint on. It is always best to remove all furniture and decor where possible, otherwise move it into the centre of the room and cover it with drop sheets. Make sure though that you have left enough space to access everywhere!

Do I need to wash interior walls before painting?

Over time walls inside your home collect dirt! Whether it is dirty hands, cooking residue, pets, or normal life, it is important to remove it all and create a fresh surface for the paint to stick. So yes! The next thing you want to do is clean all the walls. This means wiping all areas down with a damp soapy cloth. Use a product such as sugar soap, many other detergents may have waxes or residue that may prevent the paint from sticking as well as it should. It is also important to let any areas you have cleaned, dry thoroughly.

Should I sand the walls before painting the interior?

Yes, sanding is an important part of the preparation process. However, you do not need to sand the surface back to the base, instead ‘scuff’ the surface with a light sand. We recommend a 120-grit sandpaper. Also, before you start sanding, you might want to use a filler on any little imperfections first. This way you can sand them when you are sanding everywhere else. It is also a good time to go around the room and use a gap filling product in any cracks you can find. Just remember, even if you are not a great painter, if you fill all holes and gap all gaps, the end result will look good!

Also do not forget to sand into the corners of walls and ceilings, etc. You can use a sponge sander for this purpose, as it will make it much easier.

Do I need to use a primer or sealer before painting?

New surfaces

If you are painting over new gib, plaster, or lots of filler then yes you do need a primer or sealer. If you do not, the painting may still look good when you finish but most likely it will not bond properly. This means it will not last very long.

Previously painted walls

In this case, it is important to consult the manufacturer specifications. In most cases you will not need to prime, however if you have used any filler, you will need to seal these spots. Another thing to watch out for is oil-based paints. These days you do not need to use oil-based paints, they are smelly, hard to clean up and slow to dry. Acrylic enamels have come a long way and I would recommend using these whenever possible. In saying that, you cannot paint a water-based paint over oil-based! Our company gets called to fix this problem too often, and it is labour intensive to fix, meaning expensive! I would recommend sealing any oil-based surface with an appropriate paint to enable the acrylic enamel to stick. Things such as a pigmented sealer are popular, but still oil-based. Dulux has the Precision range of products which are water-based and suitable for this purpose.

What is the best way to test if paint is acrylic or oil-based?

One of the easiest ways to check if the existing paint is oil or acrylic is to put some methylated spirits on a cloth and rub the paint. If you get a white residue on the cloth, it is acrylic. If it just makes the paint look shiny, then the paint is oil-based.

Well with this all done, you should now be ready to think about applying paint! But don’t be in a hurry, the reason we founded our company on the ‘3 Ps of painting: preparation, preparation and painting’, is because the most important thing in doing a good quality job, is to ensure that the preparation is done well!!

In our next article we will discuss painting the ceilings and walls, what are the best paints to use and the best way to go about it.

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