Methods For Prepping Painting Surfaces

Before you paint, it’s important to be sure the surface is properly prepped so you get the best results. Poor paint jobs are often caused by not prepping the surface before painting. Exactly how you need to prep the surface varies, depending on the surface you plan to paint.

Remove Paint or Wallpaper

If you are going to paint a surface that has been painted before, the first step is to remove the existing paint. You can do this with a paint scrapper and sandpaper. If you plan to paint a wall that has wallpaper, you will need to remove the wallpaper. You can use a chemical remover or a steamer to accomplish this.

Make Any Needed Repairs

You’ll need to fill in any holes or cracks in the surface. If you are painting wood, you can use wood filler. For plaster or drywall, use joint compound. For large cracks or holes, use mesh tape, and then cover them with joint compounds. Once the compound or wood filler has dried, sand it until the surface is smooth.

Smooth the Surface

If you are painting unpainted wood or a rough surface, you’ll need to sand it before painting. If there are imperfections, the paint will highlight them. Ideally, the surface should be completely smooth before painting.

Get it Clean

Dirt, dust, or chemical residue can severely affect the quality of your paint job. If they aren’t removed, these nuisances can stick to your paint, creating poor results. The best way to avoid this is to clean the surface well. Add a small amount of dish detergent to a bucket of water. Wash the surface. Then, use clean water to rinse away any residue. Be sure that the surface is completely dry before painting or applying primer.


Priming a surface before painting is always recommended, but there are some situations when it is a nonnegotiable for a job well done. If you’ve removed old wallpaper, a coat or two of primer will prevent any remaining residue from ruining your paint job. You should also apply primer to any area that has a joint compound because the compound soaks up paint, which can cause discoloration. 

If you are painting unpainted wood or new drywall, you should use a primer first. Like joint compounds, these surfaces are porous and will absorb paint. Because wood has natural variations, some areas will absorb more paint than others, creating an uneven finish primer solves this issue and gives you a smooth even finish to paint.

Painting Done Right with First Place Painting

Painting can be hard work. There are several steps to complete before you even pick up a paintbrush. However, you can get the job done without getting your hands dirty by hiring a professional painting company. Are you searching for interior painters in Harleysville? Contact us at First Place Painting. We offer professional interior and exterior painting for residential and commercial customers. We also provide specialty services, including handrail enamel painting in Skippack! Get in touch with us today!