How to Prepare A Room for Painting

Before you start painting, here’s how to prepare the room:

1. Lighter furnishings and furniture should be removed from the room.

2. Move the heavy furniture to the center of the room, and cover it with a plastic sheet or canvas drop cloth. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to secure the drop cloth or plastic sheet.

3. You may wish to remove the doors to gain better access for painting the trim, or you may want to leave the door in place, this way you can gain full access all the way around.

4. Remove photographs and artwork, and the hardware used to hang them.

5. Remove window coverings, drapes, blinds, curtains, or other window coverings.

6. If you have a fireplace, cover it with clear plastic sheeting or a drop cloth and then secure it with painter’s tape.

For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.

7. Remove all electrical outlet covers and switch plates, placing all the fittings in a designated container.

8. Cover exposed electrical outlets and switches with painter’s tape.

9. Light fixtures should be removed or loosened enough to paint behind them, or masked with painter’s tape.

10. Cover the entire floor with drop cloths or dust sheets, using a wide painter’s tape to adhere it to the floor. Make sure that half the tape is affixed to the drop cloth and the other half to the floor, tight against the baseboard. Rub the tape down tight, to prevent paint from seeping beneath it.

11. For carpeted floors, the same instructions apply. However, more of the tape surface goes against the baseboard, so you can tuck it down with a scraper blade to protect the carpet edge.