Photo credit: with permission for David Cleveland via http://davidcleveland.co.uk/homeplace-for-grazia-magazine/

When we’re redecorating, it can be easy to get swept up in the excitement of a new, refreshed living space, can’t it? But, too often, we put the leg work into picking the perfect shade of paint, crack open the tin and arm ourselves with a brush before we’ve done the groundwork… So, here’s how to properly prepare a room for painting so that you can be sure that everything goes smoothly.

Clear the decks

I know… clearing out a room before painting can be such a drag. But, it’s well worth doing. You might need to use a bathroom or random spare room to accommodate for everything while you’re shifting furniture, removing shelving and unscrewing lightbulbs.

Sand and fill

Next up, sand back the walls and fill holes and gaps with caulk and filler. This is particularly important if you have a gap between your walls and trims, but it’s also a job that’s likely to need doing if you’re updating a room that’s previously been wallpapered or had stickers plastered everywhere (looking at you, childhood bedroom!).

Here's how to prep a room for painting.

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Wash the walls

I know… really. This is a thing. Take some hot soapy water and a large sponge. Dip it in, wring it out well and gently wipe every wall, trim, window frame and door. It can be such a drag to prepare your surfaces like this, but it’s important that your walls are smooth, clean and dust-free. You’ll thank yourself for it later when you’re not mopping fluff and dust around with your paint brush.

Protect the floor

Use large dust sheets (or old blankets and duvet covers if you have any) to protect the floor below. And (here’s a top tip for you), you will definitely need more layers than you think as paint tends to seep through fabric. If you end up getting paint on your tiles or floorboards anyway (don’t worry, it happens to me all the time), hot soapy water, white spirit or even nail polish remover will get it off. Also, you might want to consider carefully taking off your sockets and switches, or simply taping around them to keep the edges sharp and neat.

Keep necessities nearby

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt the hard way, it’s that it’s a good idea to keep bottles of water on hand while you’re painting. Also, keep a pack of makeup wipes ready for paint splatters that sting your eyes, and hope that a friend or family member brings you a cup of tea once in a while! Music or radio helps to pass the time, but be sure to use a device you don’t mind getting covered in specks of paint. Finally, keep a clean pair of shoes on the other side of the door, a bucket of water to dip your feet into with a scrubby sponge if you’re going barefoot. Or, remember to take off your socks before you leave: you don’t want to traipse wet paint up and down the carpet.

Is there anything else you’d recommend doing to prepare a room for a repaint? Any bad experiences I can learn from? I’m all ears…

p.s foolproof ways to pick the perfect paint colour (honest to god, these tips work). And how inspirational is this home?

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Here's how to prep a room for painting so you don't mess up