How To Prepare New Drywall for Paint

If you’ve recently made renovations to your home or repaired a portion of your walls, you likely have some exposed drywall that needs to be painted. Before painting, drywall needs to be properly prepared for best results. Interior painting without preparing the surface could lead to a variety of problems that will most likely result in the need for repainting. 

Follow these steps to prepare your new drywall for paint: 

  1. Inspect your drywall. Start by closely examining the drywall. Look for any divots, holes, or scratches in the drywall surface. Mark them with a pencil. 
  2. Fill all holes and scratches. Using a drywall filling material like spackle, fill all holes and smooth the surface with a putty knife. You may need to apply multiple coats for a smooth surface. 
  3. Sand the walls. A small surface can be sanded by hand, but a full wall or larger area needs an electric sander. Sand the drywall until smooth. 
  4. Vacuum the dust. Use a vacuum cleaner to get all of the dust off of the wall, baseboard, and floor. You want to avoid any dust contamination before, during, and after the wall is painted, so it needs to be out of the room entirely. 
  5. Do the black towel test. Rub a black or dark colored towel over the drywall to see if any dust remains on the wall. If the towel shows dust, repeat the vacuuming process a second time and test again with the clean side of the towel. 
  6. Clean with vinegar water mix. Mix one cup of vinegar with one gallon of water. Dip a sponge in the solution and wring it out thoroughly. Wipe down the drywall with the sponge, occasionally rinsing it out in the vinegar and water solution. If the solution becomes too dirty, pour it out and make a new solution to complete the job. 
  7. Let the wall dry completely. The drywall must be completely dry before primer and paint are applied. You can accelerate drying time by using a fan blowing directly on the drywall. 
  8. Apply primer to the drywall. Once the walls are completely dry you can apply a coat of primer. Primer will help the paint look more even once it is applied and reduce the number of coats that may be needed. It also helps the paint last longer on the drywall without being affected by temperature changes. Once the primer is completely dry your walls are ready to be painted. 

What Can Go Wrong if I Don’t Prep My Drywall? 

Failing to prepare drywall before painting can lead to a variety of problems, such as: 

  • Peeling paint. The paint is more likely to peel when drywall is not prepared properly and primed. 
  • Cracked paint. Paint may not adhere to the drywall and is more susceptible to changing temperatures, meaning it could crack as the walls expand and contract. 
  • Difficult to clean. Daily life leaves smudges and stains on the walls of your home. If your drywall was not prepared properly before it was painted, you’ll find that the paint comes off when you try to clean your walls. 
  • Patchy color. Without primer your paint could look patchy on the walls. Some places may look darker than others and the original color of the drywall and spackle places could show through. 
  • Incorrect color appearance. You chose the color you wanted for the room. However, when your drywall isn’t properly prepared the color could look vastly different than what you had in mind. It could be lighter or darker depending on the situation. 
  • Multiple coats of paint. Unprimed drywall will soak up your paint, meaning you may need multiple coats of paint to achieve an even color. Primer is less expensive than multiple coats of paint. 

Hire Professional Painters for Best Results 

If you want your walls to look their best, consider hiring professional painters. You could purchase everything you need to prep your drywall for painting and do the work yourself. Or you could hire a painting service and have the prep work as well as the painting done easily with professional looking results. 
TRICO PAINTING Co. is a residential painting company providing interior and exterior painting services in Roseville, California and the surrounding areas. Call (916) 550-9648 or contact us today for a free estimate.

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