One of the most important steps in painting is surface preparation and priming. Unfortunately it’s also the step that people often leave out or don’t do properly.
Proper surface preparation makes the finished job look better and last longer.
There is a very strong chance there could be lead-based paint on your walls if you repaint a house that was built in the late 1950s or earlier. Don’t attempt to scrape or remove the paint.
If you suspect lead-based paint, call the Environmental Protection Agency hotline for information: 1-800-424-LEAD. You also can visit http://www.epa.gov/lead/.
Kill any mold or mildew with a mold/mildew remover that can be found at a paint or hardware store. Carefully follow the label directions.
Prime any bare wood or new sheetrock before proceeding to the finish coat. A latex primer works well on sheetrock. For wood or trim, use an oil-based or alcohol-based primer. Any water spots should be addressed using a stain-blocking primer.
There are two options for painting wallpaper. You can strip the wallpaper and glue-backing before priming the wall and finishing it with a top coat. If the wallpaper is adhered to the wall really well, just prime and paint it. If you choose to go this route, you may see some texture in your final coat, depending on the texture of the wallpaper.
Here’s a time-saving tip about primers. Most primers are white or off-white. Ask your paint store to tint the primer ½ formula of your top coat. This will help the top coat hide better. By using a 1/2 formula, you’ll see a slight difference in the color and be better able to keep up with your painting progress.
Source: Tim Small, a retired paint and coatings salesman and consultant with Sylvia Small Communications & Marketing