My office, a.k.a., the former sewing room, needs a paint job. The drab, white walls with “textured” paint, holes from previous owners and tenants, and spots where spackling was slapped on and painted over is finally getting on my nerves.
I want smooth walls that look as though they were just built.
I have a lot of work to do.
Begin with the ceiling and work your way down.
You will need:
• Sandpaper, medium and fine grits or a drywall wet-sander
• An orbital sander, optional
• Spackling and applicator
• TSP- Trisodium phosphate to wash walls, or TSP substitute
• Safety goggles and gloves
• Plastic sheets to protect the floors
• Disposable coveralls to protect your clothing or clothing you plan to discard.
• Stepladder or scaffolding to work on the top of the walls and ceiling safely
• Screwdriver to remove outlet covers and light fixtures.
• Dust mask or respirator
• Buckets, sponges and clean rags
• For popped out nails, a hammer
• For tacks, staples and other items, the appropriate tools for their removal.
• Vacuum cleaner
• Tack rags for removing dust
• Green scrubber pads
• Latex or Oil based stain-blocking primer
• Painter’s tape
Take everything off the walls, out of the closets, and move all the furniture to another room.
If the floor isn’t going to be replaced, prepare to protect it with plastic. My floor is going, so I’m not worried about stains or drips.
If wallpaper has been removed, make certain all of the glue has been removed. Paint won’t stick to it, and your paint job will blister, crack and crumble. New wallpaper will fail. For my book, that’s not only too much money to waste, I’ll have a “I-Love-Lucy” fit.
Wearing the appropriate safety gear, begin by repairing all holes, cracks and dents in the drywall. Remove or drive in any popped out nails, remove any staples, tacks, etc., that have been stuck in the wall.
This step cannot be skipped if you want a professional look to the room and a paint job you don’t have to repeat.
This is the “not-fun” part. Sanding. All of the spackling used to repair holes, dings and dents, all of the ridges caused by drywall tape and fiberglass repair tape needs to be sanded smooth. No tremendous amount of pressure is needed.
Reduce dust by using the drywall wet-sanding block. It is a sponge with heavy abrasive on one side and a finer grit on the other. Get the high ridges down, flip and smooth out. Don’t forget to wear the respirator or dust mask.
If removing textured paint is desired, a LOT of sanding is in order. The only other way is to replace the drywall. It is far cheaper to sand it.
With tongue in cheek, here’s where having teenagers in trouble comes in handy- a ready labor source.
Vacuum well to remove any dust from the ceiling, walls and floors.
Now its time to clean. Begin by treating stains and mildew in the room. A bleach solution of 3 cups water to 1-cup bleach will clean mildew. Don’t forget to use gloves. This solution also works on water stains. Primer will cover the stains temporarily; the stains will come through eventually. Have a window open and a fan blowing. The fumes will be intense, so don’t mix a lot of this at once.
NEVER mix bleach with any other household cleaner. The toxic fumes created can be deadly.
It’s noteworthy that if water stains are present, the problem has to be addressed first.
It may take more than one treatment with the bleach solution. Be sure to rinse with plain water and allow the wall to dry completely before the next step.
If, in the course of removing a stain, damage happens to the drywall-covering, repeat step two.
The entire room now needs to be scrubbed with TSP or a substitute and a green scrubber pad. Rinse with clear water several times and allow the wall to dry completely.
Primer and paint won’t bond to TSP, so it must be removed.
Begin with a latex stain-blocking primer. Spot priming all of the areas you make repairs to. Prime the areas you treated for stains. Allow the areas to dry completely.
If the stains are bleeding through, go over them again with an oil based stain-blocking primer. Again, allow to dry completely. When the stains no longer bleed through, then proceed.
Prime the entire room beginning with the ceiling. Be sure the window trim and floor trim (if not being replaced or painted the same), is taped off with painter’s tape.
I know this is a lot of hard work. But the result is a professional- quality paint job you can be proud of. If the walls are covered with textured (bumpy) paint, and wallpaper is desired, the texture has to go or the wallpaper will look horrendous.
Source: Jeff Day (2003). “Home Improvement 1-2-3,” Des Moines, IA, Meredith Publishing Group