How to Prep a Wall Like a Pro

ECOS 02/28/2014

Just like you can’t bake a cake without pre-heating the oven, you can’t paint a wall without preparing the surface. We know how exciting it is to finally choose your color and get home with your paint, but if you don’t take the time to make sure your wall is ready for the paint, you can end up with disastrous results. Bubbling paint, peeling paint, and a host of other eyesores can result from a rush job. Save yourself the headache – here’s how to prep a wall like a pro.

1. Wipe it down. The wall should be wiped down with a wet rag or sponge to clean off dust and debris. If the walls are more than just dusty, use a little soap and water or a non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner to get rid of any grime.

2. Patch cracks and holes. Small holes from nails and screws can be patched with spackle. This can be applied using a small putty knife or even just your finger. When using your finger you can feel it when you wipe the excess spackle away. You don’t want any more that what is necessary to patch the hole to be on your wall. Though, if you do end up with excess on the wall, it’s easy to wipe off with a sponge. Make sure you do this before you paint.

Larger holes will probably need joint compound to fill the hole in a way that it is not noticeable when the project is finished. If you are inexperienced with patching larger dents and holes you may want to hire a professional. What might be a very frustrating process for you will probably be a real quick fix for a pro.

If you do decide to repair the wall with joint compound make sure you spot prime the sanded area by painting over it with a primer after you’ve sanded the joint compound flush with the wall. Let this dry before rolling out your first coat of paint. This will help the patched area blend in with the rest of the wall.

3. Prime persistent stains. If there is smoke damage or any other type of persistent stain, cover over it with a non-toxic primer* like ECOS Paints zero-VOC Wall Primer** or else the stains might bleed through your paint. Things like crayon and marker might also need to be primed. You don’t need to do the whole wall just cover the areas where the stains or drawings are.

That’s it! Three easy steps and your wall is ready to be transformed.

Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

*Conforms to ASTMD-4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects. **Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 11, 12, & 14 days for classroom and office use). Learn more about VOCs and our commitment to healthier paints here.

CATEGORIES preparing a wall for paint|primer|spackle