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    How to: Prepare surfaces for DIY painting jobs

    Published on 5 February 2015, Thursday, 2:27 AM

    Every home renovation project benefits from solid preparation, but one of the areas this is most evident is DIY painting jobs. If you're looking at renovating your bathroom or installing a new kitchen, chances are you're taking the time to refresh your colour scheme.

    However, it's not as easy as picking a colour and and grabbing a paint brush. Without sufficient preparation, painted or wallpapered surfaces can show through even minor imperfections. To avoid having a wall with rough patches, paint runs or raised wallpaper, have a read of this brief guide on surface preparation.

    Safety in surface preparation

    Most houses which are candidates for renovations are older homes in need of some TLC. If you're working on a home that was built in the 1970's or earlier, there could be lead present in the paint or other fixtures, according to government website YourHome.

    In these cases it's important to wear appropriate safety gear, as lead is a danger in small particles that can be ingested or inhaled. Aside from wearing a dust mask, you should try and complete this task with as little abrading, blasting or sanding as possible.

    The Department of the Environment produces a guide to painting your home which alerts you to the correct lead-inhalation prevention gear to use, and also how to seal off a room to avoid spreading dust throughout the house. The booklet also suggests sealing your paint job before applying the top coat of new paint.

    Removing paint

    Make sure you have everything you need for the task ahead before you start the job - it could be difficult to run out and hire a ladder or trestle halfway through.

    Oftentimes walls can be painted over without too much remedial work. Filling imperfections and giving the whole wall an even sanding will usually produce an ideal painting surface. However, when it comes to a cornice or skirting board, there could be more work ahead. 

    A good way to remove paint from wood surfaces is to use a remover. Apply these with disposable paint brushes and not the fine ones passed down to you by your grandfather.

    Removers should be applied thickly, not layered on like you would a finishing coat of paint. Steel wool is great for getting into tight areas to remove stubborn bits of shellac or paint, while a power sander is perfect for getting rid of large areas of varnish.

    After sanding or using steel wool to remove paint or other finishes, make sure to remove all the dust from the area using a vacuum and a wipe down with a solvent.

    Now you're ready to pick a paint colour and dip your brush!

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.