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How to Prepare for Painting

October 25th, 2011 Bed and Bath

Before you get started painting the walls of your house a new color, it's important to prep the area to avoid making a mess and ensure that your paint job looks good. Here are some tips from MarthaStewart.com.

1. Protect your furniture and floors. Remove any special objects from the room so you don't get paint on them. Move all of the large pieces of furniture into the center of the room, away from the walls, then cover it all with a tarp. Protect the floors with tarps or taped-down paper. Remove any pictures or paintings from the wall.

2. Take off the outlet face plates so you don't get paint on them. You could also cover them with tape or paper.

3. Use painter's tape to outline the windows, ceiling and base molding so you don't have to worry about being too precise when you're painting.

4. Fill in any holes in the wall with spackling paste, then use sandpaper to smooth the area when it's dry. MarthaStewart.com suggests using a bit more than necessary, as it tends to shrink when it's drying.

5. Repair any cracks in the wall with fiberglass-mesh joint tape, then use joint compound over it before sanding the area.

6. Fill in any cracks between the wall and the baseboard or trim using latex caulk, then smooth it out and wipe off any extra with a damp sponge. If you wait until it dries to do this, you'll have a lot of trouble.

7. Wash walls with a sponge and warm water.

8. Remove the hardware from the windows to avoid paint splatters.

9. Gather up your painting supplies and make sure you have everything you need. This includes paint brushes, rags and paint rollers.

10. Put on a pair of old clothes so you won't have to worry about stray paint.