Interior Paint Preparation Tips – Repair and Prime

Not every room is ready to paint immediately. Some rooms need repairs. Doing repairs the correct way is the best insurance that a paint job will look new for years to come. You want to repair and prime using these professional interior paint preparation tips.

Examine Walls and Ceilings.

Take a careful look at all the walls and ceilings. You want to identify problems such as stains, holes, cracks, and peeling paint before you slap on a new coat of paint.

Some Stains Are a Warning.

Water stain from roof leak on acoustic textured ceiling.When you see water, rust or mildew stains, it’s an indication that the house has issues that must be dealt with.

  • The room may be leaking.
  • You may have plumbing problems.
  • Ventilation may be poor.


It’s critical that the cause of the stain be addressed. Otherwise, the problem will recur and ruin your new paint job. If there is mold or mildew, you will need to clean it off. Then prime the area with stain-killing primer. Learn more about dealing with mold or mildew.

Once you have resolved the cause of the stain, you can move forward with covering the evidence hiding that the problem existed.

Other Difficult Stains Require Elbow Grease and Primer.

If a room has nicotine stains, smoke damage, permanent marker or makeup stains, your first step will be to remove as much of the stain as possible. Flat paint absorbs these materials, so you may not be able to wash much away. If this is the case, expect to apply two or three coats of stain-killing primer. Otherwise the stains will pop right through your new paint job. Check out recommended interior primers for more information.

Deal With Any Peeling Paint.

If your home is older than 1978, peeling paint must be handled carefully. It may contain lead. Practice lead paint safety as you do the necessary scraping or sanding that is required.

After all the loose paint has been removed, you will want to smooth everything out with some thin coats of drywall compound. Use a drywall sanding block to smooth out any ridges. Vacuum up the dust. Then wipe down the wall with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust. Paint with primer to seal the drywall compound. Learn more about interior peeling paint.

One of the things you must always remember is that paint never covers a flaw in the surface. It only makes it look worse.

Patch Any Holes.

If the holes in your drywall are small, you can usually patch them with spackling paste or drywall compound. But any larger holes should be repaired using a drywall patch. If there are cracks in corners, you can fill them with paintable caulking. Just smooth the caulk out.

Caulk All Painted Base and Casing.

Gaps between painted baseboards and casings create havens for ants, cockroaches, silverfish and other pests. Plus it just looks good to have these gaps filled. Use paintable caulking to seal up any gaps between the wall and trim.

Prime All Repairs.

Make sure that you have primed any area that has been repaired. You also want to be sure you prime raw wood if you’ve replaced damaged trim.

Make sure you have completed all necessary repairs and prime them properly before you move on to applying the finish paint. Be sure you use high-quality materials at every stage. Take your time and do your prep work right. Doing it right will save you time and hassle in the long run. And your careful work will produce results you can be proud of!

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