The Secrets of Pro Painters
After spending hours poring over paint chips, you're finally ready to start getting some color on the walls. Read on for This Old House's best tips for a professional-looking paint job.
Preparing the Surfaces
Find, then fix, cracks and dents. Use painter's putty or a lightweight spackle for minor patches. Next, do the sanding two-step. Sanding not only feathers out chipped paint but also provides "tooth" for the next coat of paint. For glossy trim, use a sanding sponge rather than sandpaper. Finally, unless you like textured walls, don't paint over dust. Wash the walls with trisodium phosphate (TSP) or a mild cleaner, like Jasco's TSP No-Rinse Substitute. For smoke-stained walls, Toto uses a 50/50 solution of bleach and water.