Renovation 101: How to prepare walls for painting

Get tips for preparing walls for plastering and washing walls before painting for your next project.

Updated 22 March 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Everybody loves a bit of DIY around the house, and when you are trying to make your house a home, renovating rooms to your own personal taste is a great way to start. One great way to give your home a fresh look is to paint your walls with a bold new colour, but you will need to prepare the walls before adding that new paint. Here are some great tips from preparing walls for plastering to washing walls before painting.

When you are preparing walls for painting, keep your area well-ventilated and use products like Cif to clean your tools and home surfaces before and after any DIY project.

Tips for preparing walls for plastering

Preparing walls for plastering is important to ensure that you get the best finish, whether you decide to use wallpaper or paint to finish. Follow these six steps to get the prep part right:

  1. 1

    Ensure the wall is free of any wallpaper.

  2. 2

    Wash the walls down to remove any unwanted grease and grime on them.

  3. 3

    Check your walls for cracked or peeling plaster and be sure to scrape these areas to clear them.

  4. 4

    Once you have scraped the walls clear, apply scrim tape (a thin mesh that sticks to the wall) to any cracks which will prevent the cracks showing in your new plaster layer.

  5. 5

    Use PVA glue or blue grit as a primer for the wall.

  6. 6

    If in doubt, ask a professional plasterer for advice, as they will know the best conditions for plastering your walls.

How to prepare walls for painting

Understanding how to clean walls before painting is easier than you think, and can be done in six easy steps.

  1. 1

    Move all the furniture out of the room, or away from the walls if it is too difficult to remove.

  2. 2

    Fill any visible holes and cracks to allow for a cleaner finish.

  3. 3

    Clean and treat any areas that show signs of mould or mildew to prevent this coming back over your new paint.

  4. 4

    At this stage it can be easy to want to get stuck in with your DIY project, but washing walls before painting will ensure that you remove any unwanted grease and grime that may affect how the paint adheres to the wall.

    • Always lay down a waterproof sheet to protect the floor and any surrounding furniture when washing the walls.

    • Always work from the top to the bottom, so the clean area does not end up having dirty drips over it.

    • Be careful in areas with light fittings and plug sockets, as water and electronics do not mix well!

  5. 5

    Sanding walls before painting will allow you to get a much smoother finish to your paint job.

  6. 6

    Use a primer to prepare stained areas or walls which have not been painted before.

Now you have some easy steps for preparing walls for plastering as well as cleaning walls before painting, your next DIY project should go off without a hitch!    

  • Always take care when using tools and chemicals like paint stripper to avoid hurting yourself.

  • Preparing walls for painting and plastering can take time. Be patient, that way you will get the best finish.

  • Use products like Cif to clean up once the project is finished.

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