Interior: how to get the “best possible surface” for painting – creates a “flawless finish”

Painting the walls is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to change the look of a room. Whether the change is positive or negative depends on how well Britons understand what they need to do to achieve professional results. Rob Abrahams, co-founder of COAT Paints, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about how to prep a wall for painting.

He explained, “Preparation is key when it comes to painting.

“The object of the game is to give you the best possible surface for all that beautiful paint to stick on and to make sure the finish is flawless.”

The first step is to organize all the items needed for the task. These include:

● Sugar soap (or mild dishwashing liquid), bucket and sponge.
● Scraper and wall plaster
● Stepladder
● Screwdriver (to loosen sockets and fasteners)
● 180 grit sandpaper (check sandpaper package)

READ MORE: ‘The right order’ for painting a room to make the process ‘easier’

“Once it’s dry, use a piece of 180-grit sandpaper to rub the area down to a smooth finish. Be a little careful if your current paint is a gloss or silk finish.

“If this is the case we recommend scrubbing the wall to ‘touch down’ the surface or using a specialist primer to ensure your topcoat adheres properly, painting over glossy materials is not ideal.”

Those with new plaster, it’s a little different story. Painting a newly coated wall requires more preparation because it must be sealed to provide a stable surface for the finish coat, according to the painting professional.

He advised: “Allow the plaster to dry to an even color and finish, paying particular attention to the corners.

“Now apply a mist coat of good quality emulsion with water ratio (according to manufacturer’s instructions) or paint thinned 10% with water.

“This mist coat will soak into the plaster, sealing the surface and preparing it for top coats ensuring the surface has the same finish.”

Now that you’ve finished preparing for a smooth, stable surface, it’s time to clean up the dust and dirt.

Rob said: “Take a bucket with lukewarm water and sugar soap (or a touch of mild washing up liquid) and clean the walls from top to bottom.

“This step is another key step, don’t paint cobwebs, they don’t look good!”

The expert explained that there is no need to soak the wall, just a light cleaning then once dry, do the same again with cold water and you are good to go.

This process will also highlight any final lumps or areas that may be causing aggravation.

Owners can always give them another sand “to finish prepping like a boss,” says Rob.

He continued: “Best advice too, most people leave the radiator in place and have a hard time cleaning and painting behind it.

“For many newer properties, the radiators are usually set on two brackets, so it’s very simple to lift them up and place them lightly on the floor or box while still attached.

“Just make sure you’ve double-checked before trying, but it can save you a lot of time.”

With good quality paint, Brits shouldn’t need a primer, but if the surface is shiny or silky or the household is damp or stained, they will need a specialist primer, says the expert.

To achieve the cleanest lines, the last step is to glue along baseboards, door frames and any edges or details.

Rob suggested: “You can use our eco decorating tape or a good quality tape, don’t skimp or you’ll pay for it when you lift it up and the paint gets under it.”

“Once you’ve taped it on, just run your finger along the top edge to make sure it’s in place, straight.”

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