Prepping New and Old Walls for Paint

By Robert Robillard on Dealing With Dust, Interior Repairs

How To Paint New Plaster and Old Painted Walls In Same Room

Many folks think that prepping new and old walls for paint is the same process, it’s not!Prepping New and Old Walls for Paint

New plaster or drywall should not be treated the same as old walls.  Often times during a remodel you will come across new walls butting into and blending with old painted walls.  This article will prepare you properly with the knowledge to be able to apply a proper and long lasting paint job to both surfaces.

Prepping Walls for Painting

  • Before prepping a room for painting, protect the furniture and flooring from dust, and paint splatter.    If possible it’s best to empty the room.
  • Plan and have a dust control strategy in place.   Follow Best Practices for job site dust control.
  • Remove light fixtures and wall plates, store loose parts in a large freezer bagPrepping New and Old Walls for Paint
  • Cover the outlets and switches with blue tape
  • Sand all new plaster
  • Wash all old painted walls or better yet, lightly sand them with 150 grit sandpaper
  • Feather sand all new to old wall seams
  • Dust and clean all of the the walls. For most surfaces, use a damp sponge, towel or a vacuum cleaner.
  • If painting a bathroom or kitchen, wash the walls with a solution of approximately three teaspoons of  trisodium phosphate [TSP] or  laundry detergent to one gallon of water.
  • Scrape any cracked or flaking paint with a paint scraper. For other small imperfections on the wall such as plaster bumps, smooth them away with sandpaper. An electric sander with a dust extraction vacuum attachment works extremely well and provide an almost dust free sanding environment by preventing airborne dust.
  • Repair any large wall damage or holes.
  • Prime the walls and allow to dry.    Use a good oil-based primer for all wall surfaces especially if you have new plaster and old painted walls or if the old walls are stained from water or smoke damage.
  • After priming go back and fill any small wall imperfections with wall patch or drywall compound.

Preparing Walls For Paint Video:

Materials Needed:

  • Sand paper – 150 grit
  • Oil primer
  • paint-can opener
  • stir sticks
  • roller and covers
  • extension pole for the roller
  • paintbrushes (one for latex paint and one for oil-based paint),
  • paint tray
  • gloves
  • drop cloth
  • Painters tape
  • Slotted and Phillip screw driver to remove light fixtures and wall plates.

Priming Procedure:

  •  Start in the corners of the wall and up near the ceiling, “cut in” the paint with an angle brush at all wall edges and around all trim and and light and electrical receptacles.
  • When priming with a paint roller try to work in 3 by 3 areas at a time.
  • Start in a corner and roll the primer in a “W” pattern to start and to evenly apply paint, then fill in the rest of the area without lifting the roller off the wall to avoid seams in the paint.
  • Apply one coat primer and two top coats.
  • Tip – if painting the walls a different color have the paint store tint your primer for better color coverage.
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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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