How To Prepare A Room for Painting 

In this article, we are going to offer you some great tips and tricks, on how to best prepare a room for painting. If you have done this before, then you may already know, that it can be a long and drawn out task.

Hopefully the suggestions we have made below, will make the task both faster and easier to accomplish.

Getting Organised to Paint A Room

The best tip that we can give you is to get properly organised right from the start. In our opinion it takes two days to accomplish this task. At the end of those two days, you will have a perfectly finished room, that looks like a professional painter has done it.

The first day should be spent simply preparing the room for the coats of paint. That means doing a number of preparation techniques, that ensures the actual painting job, is the easiest thing to do. Below we will list those tasks, and if you follow them, you will see that, being organised makes life a great deal easier.

Stage 1 - Initial Room Preparation

Move the Furniture Out of the Room

This might sound obvious, but many people will move the furniture to one side, and then try to work around it. That is not a good idea, and it is always better to have the room empty.

It is not only easier to work like that, but it is also a great deal safer as well. It will help avoid tripping, or damaging the furniture. If you can not fully clear the room, then move it into the centre of the room.

Then cover it completely with a drop cloth. Don't forget to tape the edges of the drop cloth to the floor. That will avoid getting paint on the furniture. Place a second old sheet over the drop cloth.

Remove All of the Hardware

A mistake many beginners make is to try and paint around hinges, door handles etc. Never do that as it looks awful, and does not create a professional look.

It is a simple job to screw off door handles and remove ceiling lights. No matter how careful you are, it is inevitable that paint will drip. That is hard to remove from door knobs, door hinges, light switch plates, outlet covers, light fixtures, etc.

If you are replacing the hardware, it will all need to be removed anyway. If not, it is the perfect opportunity to remove it and clean it up.

A great tip is when you remove something, to place it into a plastic bag, so as you can keep all the bits together.

Never attach any hardware, until the paint is fully dry. Remember gloss paint used on doors and skirting boards, takes much longer to dry, than emulsion paint that is used on walls and ceilings.

Cover the Floor

If you are keeping your existing floor, be that tiles, carpet or wooden floor, then make sure you use some ground sheets, and fully cover the floor.

Tape those down as well, otherwise they will move around. Then we would recommend that you use "blue painter’s tape" to tape the edges of all windows and around doors.

That ensures that you don't paint the windows, and that you are left with a nice neat edge. It makes it highly professional looking.

painting a room

This type of preparation work can take a couple of hours to get it done. Ideally two people can do it faster, and also help with any heavy lifting. The bottom line is that the room is now empty, the floor is covered, and all the edges have been protected. That leaves you free to get to the next stage.

Stage 2 - Get Everything Ready for Painting

Now is the time to gather everything that you will need to prepare the room, and then to paint it. Place all of that somewhere in the middle of the room. This will of course include paint, brushes, rollers, mixing paddle and paint trays.

We would also recommend having some white spirits, rags, and drop cloths, which will be on hand to clean up any spills or drips.

You will also need a few tools like a small ladder, or set of steps, a hammer, and a few screwdrivers.

preparing your paint brushes

In addition you may also need painter’s tape, masking tape, plastic bags, stirring sticks, wall filler for patches or holes in walls, a filler trowel, and some sandpaper to smooth out the filler.

It is also a really good idea to buy yourself a set of overalls, that will help you keep your clothes clean. These are cheap to buy, and you can get these at most DIY stores.

We also recommend wearing those tight fitting latex gloves. Those are also sold there, and they really help keep paint off your hands.


Wear slip on shoes. That way you can step out of them to leave the room when you need to go to other parts of the house. This way there will be no paint trailed into the rest of the house.

When painting high up, such as a ceiling, wear a hat or shower cap on your head. If you wear glasses, put some plastic wrap over the lenses.

Stage 3 - Prepare the Walls and Ceilings

You will be glad to know that you are almost ready. The final stage of preparation is to fix any cracks, or holes in the walls or ceilings. Never be tempted to paint over these, as it will eventually show through. When it does it looks terrible.

It doesn’t take much time to fix a hole or a crack. All you need is some fast drying filler, a small trowel or scraper to apply it, and a little sandpaper to smooth it off.

For wider cracks you can buy a textured filler which works a treat. Its likely that you might need a wallpaper scraper or filling knife to help you with this type  fo prep work. I also think its wise to use a wallpaper steamer if you are having to remove old wallpaper.

Video Showing You How to Prep a Room for Interior Painting

Room Preparation for Painting Completed

You should be able to manage all of the above in one day. On the second day, you can then get started on painting, knowing that you are fully prepared.

Most people paint the ceiling first as that is the most awkward to do. Then they paint the walls and cut those in. Most skirting boards and doors are then painted with gloss paint to finish off.

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