When it comes to getting amazing results from your painting project, the devil’s in the details. And in this case, the devil goes by the name preparation.

You can choose the perfect colors, buy the best paint and have the best tools, but if you don’t prepare your space well, your results will suffer. Preparation isn’t fun. It’s not glamorous. But it’s extremely important (and it beats clean-up!).

Follow these 6 essential tips for great painting results to deliver wow results that stand the test of time.

  • Step 1:
    Empty your space and use drop cloths to cover any items that are too big to remove. If you aren’t putting in a new floor, be sure and protect the one you have with vinyl drop cloths that won’t allow paint to seep through. If you are replacing your floor, it’s painting first, flooring last.
  •  Step 2:
    Remove any nails, screws or other fasteners from your walls, then fill the holes and repair any other existing cracks or imperfections using nail filler, wall putty, or a drywall patch kit. Be sure and follow manufacturer’s instructions, which will tell you drying times, etc. For more tips, read
    Top Five Easy Wall Repairs.

  • Step 3:
    Sand the surfaces where you made repairs or filled holes. Make sure your filler is completely dry before you do this step or you’ll end up with a mess.

  • Step 4:
    Wipe down all your wall surfaces with a damp cloth, paying special attention to corners and where the wall meets the ceiling—any spots cobwebs are likely to hide. This will prevent those annoying dust and cobweb clumps from getting in your wet paint and ruining your finish.

  • Step 5:
    Remove all outlet covers, switch plates and any other hardware.

    Tip: This is a great time to replace them or at least clean them up to add extra sparkle and style to your finished space.

  • Step 6:
    If you’re painting doors, window trim and baseboards, paint these first and allow them to dry thoroughly so that you can use painter’s tape and tape them off before painting your walls.

    If it’s practical, remove baseboards, molding, and door and window hardware, and paint them separately, if needed). This may seem like a hassle but it delivers great results, saves money (painter’s tape isn’t cheap), and save time—you won’t spend the next several weeks trying to scrape paint off your doorknobs.

I know it’s hard. Spending time on these 6 steps can be difficult when you want to jump in and get to the fun stuff—the painting! Bottom line: suck it up; do your prep and keep that devil in check. I promise you’ll find it time well spent when you see how beautiful your newly painted space turns out.

For more tips on painting and choosing the right colors for you space, check out Basic Color Theory for Your Home Improvement Projects and Three Simple Tricks for Choosing the Right Paint Color.

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?

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