Painting is an easy DIY project to improve your living spaces. Choose a bright, bold color to liven up an area or opt for subtle, neutral tones that appeal to buyers if you’re listing your home for sale. Whether you’re painting a single room or tackling the entire house, here are a few tips on how to prepare walls for painting.

Prepare Walls for Painting: Fill in Holes

Before painting, make any needed repairs to the walls. Fill small holes with joint compound and smooth the area with a putty knife. For larger holes, use mesh joint tape. Adhere the tape to the wall to cover the damage and then use joint compound over the mesh tape. When the joint compound is dry, sand the area until it’s smooth and flush with the wall.

Sand Walls Smooth

Use fine-grit sandpaper and a drywall pole sander to smooth the walls. This will help the paint adhere and make sure the finished wall is silky smooth.

Choose Your Tools

A quality paint job starts with the products you purchase. Buy quality brushes and paint rollers. A good brush is worth the price and can be used again and again. Cheap brushes often result in a final paint job that is streaked or splotchy. It is also important to choose quality paint. You’ll use less product and get full, even coverage.

Use a Primer to Prepare Walls for Painting

Use a primer to cover the current wall color and to help the new paint adhere. Primer helps cover defects and prepares walls for painting. When you prime your walls first, you’ll use less paint to achieve the color and finish you want.

Prep Your Rollers

Wash brushes and rollers before you begin. Cleaning the tools removes lint and fibers from the paint rollers and brush bristles that aren’t well-attached. If you don’t take time to wash the tools, loose bristles and lint particles may end up in your paint.


After you’ve prepared your walls and tools, you’re ready to paint. Move furniture out or slide it all to the center of the room and cover it with plastic. Use canvas tarps on the floor to catch paint drips. Mask areas you are not planning to paint and you’re ready to apply the new color.

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