Repainting? Here’s How to Prep Your Walls

We list everything you need to know before starting your repainting project.

Repainting? Here’s How to Prep Your Walls

We list everything you need to know before starting your repainting project.
Photo by Jess Valdez Panajon

Repainting sounds fun on paper, but we can’t deny na sobrang dami talagang iisipin na technicalities regarding the painting process. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying your repainting project, Kapitbahay! Here’s a quick overview of what to prepare before you start. 

Prepping Your Walls Before Repainting

Para sa mga fellow kikays diyan, alam natin na makeup lovers prep their skin and apply a primer before their foundation para flawless and long-wearing ang awra. The same concept applies to paint: We need to prep and prime our walls for smooth application and a quality finish that lasts.  

Essential Tools for Prepping Your Walls

Before you get started on anything, make sure you have the following: 

  • Soap or a wall-cleaning solution
  • Protective gloves and goggles
  • Buckets
  • Soft sponges or microfiber cloths
  • Scrapers
  • Filler and filling knife
  • Protective sheets 
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper

These items are relatively easy to find in trusted hardware stores. Still, if you’d like convenient options for home delivery, you can try shops like Everest Store, Gazelle Building Supplies, and Arrow Hardware on the orange app.

Game ka na ba with your prepping tools? Game na! Now, the next step is to ensure you clear your space. Put away any paintings or wall hangings and cover any heavy furniture that is difficult to move around with protective sheets para safe lahat ng valuables mo. Of course, don’t forget to lay protective sheets on your floor, too. 

Inspect Your Walls

Before tayo dumating sa exciting part, kailangan muna natin tingnan kung ok pa ba ang ating mga pader. Look at the surfaces of your walls and check for any holes, gaps, and cracks. It’s essential to ensure you’re working on a nice, hole-free surface to keep your paint smooth, as a fresh coat can make even the most minor imperfections look more halata than before. 

This is where wall fillers come in. But how do you know what to use? Firstly, it depends on the material of your wall. If you have wooden walls, you’d need a wood filler — same idea with concrete.

Determine the Type of Wall Filler Needed

Wood fillers can fill in nail holes, gouges, cracks, gaps, and other imperfections on the wood surface. However, you may also come across a material called wood putty that may sound like it does the same thing on paper — and no, hindi po sila interchangeable!

The key difference here is that wood filler is sandable and hardens once dry, which means ok na ok siya for typical wall repairs, whereas wood putty is not sandable and does not harden. Wood filler is also often not recommended for outdoor use as it is prone to shrinking and cracking, whereas wood putty can be used outdoors because it stays pliable. However, remember that wood putty is not recommended for significant repairs as it only works best for surface-level damage.

Conversely, concrete walls must use a concrete filler (a.k.a. masilya or spackle). Spackle comes in lightweight (for smaller holes and dents) or heavy (to thicken walls or fill larger holes) options to suit your needs and is generally more recommended for small repair jobs — a.k.a. itong maligayang repainting adventures natin — than similar materials like joint compounds, which are typically more suitable for drywall installation. 

You may have also heard of caulk. While this material also fills in gaps, it’s better for sealing joints, seams, and corners from water, bugs, or air — basically, parang sealant na ginagamit natin sa sink or faucet. Ensure you’re not using caulk to repair damage on your wall before your repainting project, as it is not sandable and is more likely to shrink over time. 

Repair Damage

Ready to repair? Sand down the perimeters of the damaged areas and prepare your wall filler of choice. Load up your putty knife and apply downward to fill the gap. Once you’ve filled the hole, level the area off with your putty knife and allow it to dry. You may need to check whether the spackle or filler has shrunk slightly — if it did, ok lang yan! Simply fill the hole again and allow it to dry.

Smooth the Surface by Sanding

If you had any excess spackle or filler from the previous step, now’s the time to smooth it down. Standard spackling paste generals call for medium-grit sandpaper (“grit” refers to how abrasive the material is), which ranges from approximately 80 to 120 grit.

Now is also an excellent time to check for cracked or peeling paint. If you spot any, remove it with your scraper or sand it down with sandpaper. You can use heavier grits (less than 80) for more damaged paint.

Whether or not the area was damaged, sanding your walls is a good idea to ensure your fresh, new paint adheres properly. For surfaces previously painted with water-based paint, sand with fine-grit sandpaper (from 100 to 120). Sand down walls painted with oil-based paint using medium grit sandpaper. 

Make Sure Your Walls are Clean

Kapag malinis ang surface ng ating walls, our primer and paint will apply smoother — with better kapit pa.  We recommend vacuuming and dusting first to remove any unwanted debris, pet hair, or stubborn dust bunnies para di kayo mahirapan down the line as you rinse and wipe the surfaces. 

Power washing is recommended for thoroughly cleaning exterior surfaces, whereas you can simply use soap and sponges for interiors. Architectural Digest says you can create a DIY cleaning solution with dish soap and warm water. However, they advise to stay on the safe side by using only a few drops of dish soap mixed into a big bowl of warm water. 

Ready your rinsing bucket (warm water lang dito!) and spot test on a small area to ensure your solution is not causing damage. If you see any adverse effects, we recommend lessening your ratio of dish soap. 

If you’re all clear, it’s time to tackle the wall. Start from the top down, gently going over the surface with your soapy sponge or cloth in light circular motions, then use a clean, damp cloth to rinse any residual cleaning agent. To protect electrical sockets, we recommend covering them with painter’s tape to avoid any dangerous mishaps. 

We’re Home Buddies — of course, we love a good home makeover! Don’t miss out on incredible home transformations from our Kapitbahays on the Home Buddies Facebook group.

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