Painter prepping area to be painted

Secrets of the Trade: Preparation Is Key

The Key To a Perfect Paint Job

A beautiful paint job starts before you ever even pick up a brush. Proper preparation is key to a perfect paint job, whether indoors or outdoors. In this blog, our experts will discuss why preparation is critical for a successful and beautiful paint job and will outline proper preparation tactics for indoor and outdoor surfaces, as well as the best equipment to get the job done right.

How to Prepare Your Indoor Surfaces Before You Paint

Clean Your Walls

First, clean your walls before applying any primer or paint; this will help to ensure that dirt or debris does not interfere with the adhesion of either product. Use a mild detergent, warm water solution, and lint-free cloth for cleaning.

Fill in Holes

Next, fill in any holes, cracks, or dents in the wall surface with spackling paste or joint compound. After filling them in, let them dry completely before sanding them down so they blend into the wall surface as much as possible.

Apply Tape

Apply painter's tape along edges where two colors meet, such as a window or door frame. Painters tape will help keep lines straight while painting and make cleanup more accessible after completion.


Once you have prepared your surfaces, select an appropriate primer for indoor painting jobs. Primer helps ensure better paint adhesion onto the wall surface and should be chosen depending on how porous the surface is (i.e., brick requires a different primer than drywall). We recommend using an oil-based primer on bare wood or metal surfaces before painting over them with latex paint.

How to Prepare Your Outdoor Spaces Before You Paint

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is the number one way of getting your outdoor space ready for a paint job. Not only does pressure washing help remove built-up dirt, but it also helps prepare the surface for paint by removing any roughness or unevenness on the wall. To ensure an even finish, all surfaces should be pressure washed before painting, including:

  • Wood
  • Concrete
  • Brick
  • Stucco
  • Siding


Sanding is essential if you're working with wood or metal surfaces—or if any areas of the wall are still rough after pressure washing. Sanding helps smooth out any bumps or ridges before painting so that the primer and paint will adhere properly. Use high-grit sandpaper (120–150 grit), and make sure to sand with the grain of the wood or metal surface to avoid scratching or gouging it unnecessarily.


Once all surfaces have been prepared via pressure washing and sanding, they should be primed before painting. Primer acts as an adhesive between the surface material and the topcoat of paint, helping ensure that your finish lasts longer without chipping or fading due to weather exposure or wear and tear from everyday use. Make sure you choose a primer specifically designed for exterior applications; interior primers sometimes offer inadequate protection against UV rays or temperature fluctuations from season to season in your area.

The Best Tools for Preparation Before Your Paint Job

Before you start your painting project, you may think that all you need is a brush and a can of paint. However, other tools make preparation easier, such as:

  • Sandpaper
  • Putty knives
  • Lint-free towels or cloths
  • Warm water
  • Power washer (if possible)
  • Painters tape
  • Wall spackle
  • Primer

Choosing the Best Paint Brush and Rollers For Your Paint Job

Synthetic Bristles

Once your walls have been appropriately prepared, it's time to choose your brushes and rollers! Choosing synthetic bristles is important because they won't absorb too much liquid, which can leave streaks on your wall after painting.

Natural Bristles

If you're working with oil-based paints, opt for natural bristles instead since they are more durable than synthetic ones when dealing with oil-based paints.


As far as rollers go, select one of medium thickness to provide an even coat of paint for large surfaces like walls or ceilings. Ensure your brush and roller come from trusted brands, so they last longer than cheaper alternatives!

With proper preparation, your tasks will be simplified significantly before even starting your paint job. Remembering these tips will ensure that no matter what kind of project you're doing, whether interior or exterior, everything goes smoothly from start to finish!

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Your Painting Experts

If you want to repaint areas of your home or business but need help knowing where to start, our experts at ALLBRiGHT PAINTING will ensure the best paint job possible. Contact us online or give us a call! (661) 464-0771