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Step 2: Surface Preparation

Steps

2

5

Unless you really love to paint, you absolutely must prepare the surface properly before you paint.

TIP:
Allow plenty of time for preparing the surface. It will probably take longer than the actual painting.

WARNING:
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE PAINT IF YOU SUSPECT IT CONTAINS LEAD.

This can cause an extreme health hazard. Lead paint was common until 1950, but was not outlawed in the U.S.A. until 1978. If you think you may have lead paint, contact the EPA hotline for information: 1-800-424-LEAD or visit http://www.epa.gov/lead/.

What surfaces will you be painting?

  • Make a list of the surfaces you’ll be painting, such as wood, wall board and paneling. Also note the condition they are in – previously painted or new surface. Visit our Interior Prep, Prime and Paint section for details on these surfaces.
  • Repair damaged areas – go to the Interior Paint Problem Solver for details.

Caulk where needed

  • Most paint jobs can benefit from using caulk. Every home has some gaps – between walls and floors, where molding meets walls, floors or ceilings or around door or window frames. Top quality 100% acrylic caulk is the best material to fill these gaps to achieve optimal aesthetics and minimize drafts that reduce your home’s energy efficiency.
  • For help with the proper surface preparation go to Interior Prep, Prime and Paint or click on the topic below:
  • Get Rid of Mildew
    Prepare Glossy Surfaces
    Prepare Bare Wood
    New Wallboard, Plaster and Tile
    Stained and Discolored Surfaces
    Prepare Previously Painted Surfaces
    Wallpapered Surfaces
  • Add needed supplies to your purchase checklist

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