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How to prepare walls for painting

There is no doubt that the more preparation that goes into your DIY project, the better the outcome will be. Preparation is, by far, the most important part of painting, so pop down to your local Mighty Helpful Mitre 10 where our knowledgeable team will make sure you find everything you need for your job.

Your Painting Preparation Shopping List

  • Selleys Sugar soap
  • Selleys Spakfilla Rapid
  • Selleys No More Gaps – or No More Gaps Tube
  • Fine sandpaper and sanding block
  • Soft clean cloth and drop sheets
  • Gloves

For all those keen DIY house painters out there, we’ve broken it down into four easy steps that you can follow to make sure your walls are fit for a brand new lick of paint.

Step 1: Get ready

Sometimes accidents happen, especially when wet paint is involved. Better to be safe than sorry, so protect your flooring, furniture and other precious belongings by laying down a drop sheet to catch any dust or spills. Carefully remove any nails or pins that may still be in wall surfaces to ensure you have a safe surface to work on.

drop sheets are essential for interior paintingdrop sheets are essential for interior painting

Step 2: Sand & wash

Give the wall a good once over with the sandpaper on the sanding block. This will remove any of the old dry flakey paint and flatten any uneven surfaces on the wall. Add Selleys Sugar Soap to a bucket of water and wash down the wall with a sponge, this will remove any leftover dust or old paint. The great thing about Selleys Sugar Soap is, you don’t have to rinse off, just let it dry and you and the wall are good to go.

sand wall with sandpapersand wall with sandpaper
use sugar soapuse sugar soap

Step 3: Patch & fill

To see the best outcome for this kind of project, the wall surface that you are painting will need to be blemish free. Fill any cracks, dents, nail or screw holes with Selleys Spakfilla Rapid. Using the plastic scraper supplied, scoop a small amount and draw it across each imperfection. Do this in both directions to really work the filler into the crack or hole, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Remove any excess filler.

Allow it to dry, then sand lightly once more and remove any dust. If needed, you can apply a second coat of Selleys Spakfilla Rapid.

use spakfilla to patch holesuse spakfilla to patch holes
smooth patched surfacessmooth patched surfaces

Step 4: Fill any gaps

Fill any gaps between the skirting boards with Selleys No More Gaps or No More Gaps Ezi Press. With NMG Ezi Press, the tube is pressurised, meaning there is no need for a caulking gun. Cut the nozzle at a 45-degree angle and then tilt the tube when applying. Make sure you force enough filler into the gaps so that the gaps are properly filled. 

Use a wet finger to smooth the filler, clean it up with a rag and then let it skin. This will take approx. 3 hours for water based paint, but allow longer for oil based paint or if you are in cold or humid conditions.

Once you’ve successfully filled any gaps and fully prepared your surfaces, you’re ready to get stuck into the fun part - the painting!

fill gaps around edgesfill gaps around edges
smooth edges and cornerssmooth edges and corners

For more Mighty Helpful service and advice, speak to the team at your local Mighty Helpful Mitre 10.