If you have professional painters scheduled to paint your home, you can save some money and get a better paint job by prepping the space beforehand.
Painters work best in a room that’s clean, decluttered and covered to protect from paint spills. Doing this before they arrive takes some of the workload off of them so that all they have to do when they get there is drape, tape and paint.
Paint Job 101: Clear the Decks
As a homeowner, you can save them time and yourself money by prepping the room up front. First, remove anything hanging on the walls that you don’t want to be painted around, like art, hanging shelves or bulletin boards. Also remove anything breakable, including lamps (assuming they’re not your only light source) from the surfaces of the room, packing it away or moving it to another space to keep it safe during painting.
Once that’s done, move the furniture away from the area being painted. In some cases, you can move it to the middle of the room, but if the room is small, has a lot of furniture, or if the ceiling is being painted, you may want to take it to another room entirely. Not only do you want to make room for ladders and paint supplies, but the painters also need room to work safely. After you move the furniture, cover anything left in the room with a drop cloth, tarp or plastic to protect it from splatters and spills.
Prep the Walls
When the decks are cleared, it’s time to prep the walls. First, *fill nail holes and small dings with spackling compound. Then lightly sand the area to smooth it out. When the repairs are done, vacuum the walls using your extension hose and a wide brush too, or wipe down the walls with a sponge and damp water. If the walls are greasy or extra dirty, wash them with a solution made of grease-cutting detergent and water. Then rinse with clean water to remove any remaining detergent. Let the walls dry completely (24 hours) before painting.*
If possible, schedule your paint job during a time when the humidity is low, and the temperature is 60-80 degrees. Not only does this let you keep the windows open to air the space, it also is the best temperature range for paint to dry.* If the weather doesn’t cooperate, keep the house cool and dry by running the fan. This will help paint dry and keep odors down.*
Clean Up Spills
What if you find paint splatters somewhere after the painters are gone? Most professional painters take care not to splatter and clean up any spilled paint. But if some misses inspection, it’s easy enough to clean.
Wipe up as much of the paint as you can with a cloth or putty knife. Then mix one-half teaspoon of dish soap and a cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Squirt the stain over the spill and then wipe until it’s gone. If it’s a serious spill, wet vac it away, then squirt with soapy water and wipe the rest up.
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*Please refer to the manufacturer’s product label, Technical Data Sheet (TDS) or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for safety and detailed application instructions
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