You’re all fired up and ready to get that brush whipping up a great new colour sensation in your house. You’ve picked your shades and tones and you can’t wait to see the transformation. But wait, the planning and preparation isn’t over yet! By taking the time NOW to properly prep your room, you’ll be making an investment in quality results you can be proud of – while saving a fortune in time, money and effort.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on what to do before you begin painting:

Step 1 – Move!

As much as possible, clear all furniture, decorations, lights and outlet covers from the room. This way you’ll find it easier to move around without things in your way – and you won’t risk ruining precious décor with paint.

Step 2 – Centralise!

Some items will just be too big or cumbersome to remove – such as large wall units or sofas. The best plan is to move them to the centre of the room and cover them completely in plastic. Then you can move freely around the perimeter of the room.

Step 3 – Clean!

Painting a room that is coated with dust is looking for problems. So give the room its best and most thorough clean ever! This includes vacuuming, mopping floors and wiping down all woodwork and surfaces with a damp cloth. Look out for cobwebs too and remove them.

Step 4 – Cover!

To ensure you don’t get splashes or drips of paint on the floor or carpet – cover up! And trust us – a few sheets of newspaper under your roller tray won’t do the job! It’s better to use professional-style drop cloths throughout the room instead. Plastic sheeting is cheaper, but it can be punctured quite easily and also moves around under your feet, leaving open areas of flooring.  A heavy canvas drop cloth will best protect against spills and stop paint from being tracked through the rest of your house – should it get on to the soles of shoes.

A good tip!  Many painters work bare foot so they know when they have stepped in paint!

Step 5 – Fill!

Ensure a perfect, smooth and well-finished wall surface by filling in any nail holes, hairline cracks, dents or crevices. Use a lightweight spackle to do this then let the surface dry for about 2 to 4 hours before sanding to make the mends flush with the wall. You can apply a second coat if needed.

Step 6 – Clean and Scrub!

Clean the walls and surfaces you are going to paint, using a solution of dish-soap and water or sugar-soap – together with a sponge-headed mop for scrubbing. Then rinse down the walls with plain water. This cleaning and scrubbing step is especially important in kitchens, where food residue can build up.

Step 7 – Prime!

If you are painting over oil-based paint, priming is important – using a good quality primer. You can normally only avoid this step if your walls are already covered in low-gloss, water-based paint. If you are not priming a wall, be sure to at least prime the areas you’ve filled/spackled to avoid them showing up as shiny patches.

Step 8 – Cut-in!

About an inch down from the ceiling and up from baseboard, cut in with a matching colour. Then, if your tape line doesn’t exactly match your old line when masking-off, the old colour won’t show through. It’s important to not skimp on this stage by relying on cheap household tape – using professional painter’s tape will deliver the right results.

Step 9 – Mask-off!

Tape off all woodwork, light switches and adjacent walls to protect them from paint. To make sure it sticks well, ‘burnish’ or rub-down the edge of the tape that will be painted.

At the same time, be sure to remove all door knobs, electrical plug covers and switches.

And with that, you’re off! All set to paint like a pro!