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How to Prep a Room for Painting

by | Apr 6, 2023 | Interior Painting

If you are considering doing some interior painting in your home you might want to learn how to prep the room first.  As we say in the painting business “It is all about the prep work,” Many homeowners tend to forget some steps when doing DIY projects at home and that can either cause a mess or make the job not look as good in the end.  Here are some steps everyone should take to get the job done right!

How to Prep a Room for Painting in 8 Steps 

1. Move all items out of the room that are in your way.  If you are painting walls only you may be able to put everything in the middle of the room but if you need to do ceilings it is best to remove everything.

2. Mask off all surfaces that are not getting painted. You will need tape, paper, and plastic to cover most items or you can use tarps to cover floors and furniture. You should learn about what types of tape work best on different surfaces. Some tapes can be left for a day or two and not leave residue and some can be left on for many days and not cause problems. Better quality tape is very important on wood floors and other delicate surfaces.

3. Check to see if you have any dirty surfaces that need to be cleaned before painting.  If you have dirt, grease, or mildew you should make sure to clean the surface well.

4. Complete any needed wall or ceiling repairs such as filling nail holes, sanding, adding texture, or caulking to get the surfaces looking perfect.

5. Prime any surfaces that need to be primed.  You may be covering over a dark paint color, water stains, old smoke, or ink damage that needs to be primed.  Prime any new texture you added for best results.  Make sure you understand what type of primer or primers you will need as they all have different uses.

6. Make sure you purchase high-quality paint for your project.  Using low-grade paint can make the project much harder and messy.

7. We recommend purchasing high-quality tools for your job including good roller handles, covers, and brushes.  We don’t recommend trying to spray the surfaces unless you have a lot of experience with a sprayer.  Brushes and rollers are much easier to use and less likely to cause a mess.

8. If you are painting doors or millwork you will likely need to sand them down, clean them well, and use a different type of paint on them.  

Key Considerations Before Prepping a Room for Painting

Make sure you have the right tools and equipment.  Will you need a ladder or multiple ladders to do the work?  Are you comfortable masking off so you don’t make a mess?  Is it worth you buying all the right sundries and tools or is it cheaper and easier to hire professional interior painters to come do the work?  Are you comfortable knowing what products to use?  Walls and ceilings are likely going to be a different paint than your doors and millwork so make sure you know what you are doing.

How to Prep a Room for Painting: Materials Needed

We recommend the following items be on hand if you are prepping a room for painting:

  • Ladder
  • Tape
  • Masking Paper or Plastic
  • Tarps
  • Spackle
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper
  • Caulk
  • Cleaning Materials
  • Brushes and Rollers
  • Roller Covers

how to prep for painting a room


How to Prep a Room for Painting with a Sprayer

If you decide to spray something in your home we recommend having a lot of experience or you could end up with a large mess.  Paint can fly a long way if run through a sprayer so you need to cover everything!  Mask off everything in the room completely so paint does not get on it.  Cover air vents so it does not go all over the house and make sure light fixtures are fully covered.  
how to prep a room for painting with a sprayer

Professional Painter Vs. DIY on How to Prep a Room for Painting

Many homeowners can prep a room and do a great job.  If you don’t have all the equipment or if you have never done this it is much easier to call a professional to come and do the work for you.  The wrong prep work can make for problems that are not easy to fix and might drive you crazy for many years.

Absolute Painting’s Approach 

Absolute Painting always goes above and beyond when it comes to prep work. We take great pride in protecting customers’ homes and valuables.  It takes us more time but you will see the difference when we are done.  

If you’re in Hillsboro or the Portland, OR area please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team and see how we can help with your next project. Happy prepping!

prepping a room for painting

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