Interior painting preparation

Nothing beats a great paint job, especially one you’ve done yourself. Give yourself the best chance at success by following the instructions. Using poor quality tools or incorrect techniques can result in added time, more costs and a lot of frustration.

Interior painting preparation

Before starting, get the basics sorted with:

  • the recommended paint roller sleeve
  • matching roller frame
  • matching paint tray and tray liners
  • synthetic paint brush 60mm
  • synthetic paint edger 38mm
  • drop cloths
  • quality masking tape
  • flat paddle for mixing paints
  • filler and filling knife
  • sand paper

Interior – Mould

No matter the season, mould is not a good look.

Remove it from your walls and ceilings with Selleys Rapid Mould Killer by by scrubbing the wall with bleach solution (1 part household bleach with 3 parts water). Ensure your eyes, skin and clothing are well protected then apply the solution to the mould with a thick scouring pad.

Ensure the mould doesn’t come back by improving ventilation if it is possible. Repaint areas at risk of mould with Diamond Ace Kitchen and Bathroom which offers a 10 year guarantee against mould growth.

Interior – Previously Painted or Varnished Surfaces

The preparation required for previously painted surfaces is determined by the condition of the previous coating. If the surface is intact and in good condition, it can generally be painted with only a little preparation.

Low sheen or matt surfaces in good condition can be painted over after they have been cleaned with Selley’s Sugar Soap to remove any dirt, grease or grime that may affect adhesion.

Glossy surfaces need to be cleaned with Selley’s Sugar Soap and then sanded to a dull finish with a medium grit (P80) sandpaper. There’s no need to sand back to bare timber, just enough to rough-up the surface so the next coat of paint will have something to grab onto.


Interior – Removing Wallpaper

What goes up must come down and wallpaper is no different.

Some people choose a remover solution such as Polypaper Peel, while others choose to hire a steaming machine. Most vinyl wall coverings can be peeled off by hand when dry. They may leave a backing paper residue, but don’t worry. Simply sponge on a little warm water to soften it. You can then peel or scrape it off with a broad-bladed scraper.

Dealing with some uncooperative wallpaper? Try scratching it with a very coarse sand paper to help the steam or remover solution get through.


Interior – Water Based Paints

Before you cover that water based Paints you need to know where it came from. Once the leak is contained, do an adhesion test to check the integrity of the existing paint. If the paint is sound, clean the surface then apply Diamond 1 Step Oil Based Primer Sealer & Undercoat before applying your topcoat.

Interior – Filling and Patching

Every wall has a story through its cracks, scratches and holes. Before you turn over a new page with a fresh coat of paint, you’ll need to fill them in.

For interior wood, there are a number of fillers you can like Selleys Plastic Wood and Polyfilla Ready to use Interior Timber.

Before you begin, make sure the area to be filled is clean. Apply the filler with a spatula or putty knife. A flexible filler like Selleys No More Gaps is recommended for places like the joins between architraves and walls, where movement is likely to occur.

Filling holes in plasterboard or hard plaster is easy. Simply scrape away any loose paint and plaster, and fill the hole using Selleys Spakfilla Rapid. If the hole’s edges are cracked and unstable, a self-adhesive patch will make the job easier. Larger plasterboard holes will need a patch inserted such as Polyfilla Patching tape. To do this, cut away the damaged section and use contact adhesive to put in wood or plasterboard backing strips, before fixing the patch onto the strips.

Pro tip: A quick wipe with a damp sponge before the filler sets will smooth out small ridges and save on sanding time later.

Interior – Bare Plasterboard

Before painting your new plasterboard it’s important to get the base right.

Remove all dust from the surface by wiping it down with a damp cloth. Once dry, prime the surface to provide a sealed and stable base for your top coat. Use Diamond 1 Step Acrylic Primer Sealer Undercoat.

Interior – Bare Set Plaster

Remove all dust from the surface by wiping it down with a damp cloth. Once dry, seal the plaster with Diamond Sealer Binder.

Interior – New Timber

For woodwork, sand with a medium grade sandpaper in the direction of the grain and then prime with one coat of Diamond 1 Step Acrylic Primer Sealer Undercoat. This prevents tannin staining and provides excellent adhesion for the paint.

Interior – Covering Dark or Bright Colors

To cover dark colors with a minimum of fuss, undercoats can provide better hiding power than applying extra coats of the final finish. Apply one coat of Diamond 1 Step Primer Sealer Undercoat to cover dark colors. If you are painting with some light colors, a tinted undercoat will also improve the covering power. The requirement for a tinted undercoat will be identified when tinting the top coat.

Interior – A Final Check

Whatever preparation regime you use, it’s critical that prior to painting, the surface is clean and free from any oils, grease or dust. Brush or vacuum the surface to remove any dust and then clean the walls with Selley’s Sugar Soap, rinse and allow to dry before painting.

Interior – Masking Tape for Preparation

Masking before you paint makes the job faster and cleaner. Push the edges of the tape down firmly to ensure straight edges.

Ensure the masking tape is removed before the paint dries completely. If the paint is too dry, the masking tape can rip the paint film when it is removed. If the paint dries before the tape is removed, using a sharp blade, score the edge of the tape before removing so that it doesn’t pull paint away from the wall.

Interior – Clear Out The Room

Start with a blank canvas.

Before painting, clear the space. Take down any curtains, mirrors and pictures. Move lightweight furniture out of the room and cover larger items with plastic sheets or drop cloths. Tape plastic around pendant light fittings. If you’re painting outside, it’s handy to tie back surrounding plants so you have clear access to the areas you want to paint.

As for fixtures and fittings, always remove as many as you can before painting. Carefully scrape old paint out of screw slots before you try to unscrew them.

Interior – Clean The Walls Before Painting

Thoroughly washing walls with Selleys Sugar Soap will remove grease and dirt, providing a clean surface that ensures the best possible performance from your finish coats.