How to preparation

For Interior

Many of the basic preparation steps are the same, no matter what condition the room is in. The room should be as empty as possible; this will save you a lot of cleanup at the end.
Remove as much of the furniture as possible. If some large items remain, move them to the center of the room.
Put down drop cloths. For furniture, use lightweight plastic; on floors, butyl-backed drop cloths are best. Paint has a way of finding its way to uncovered surfaces, no matter how careful you think you're being. It's better to be safe than sorry!
Remove pictures, clocks, and anything else you have hanging on your walls. You can leave nails in place if you'll be putting everything back in the same place. Otherwise, remove the nails and fill the holes with sparkle.
Clean the surface. Light soil can be removed with mild soap and a damp cloth. For heavily soiled or greasy areas, like the kitchen, use trisodium phosphate to quickly remove dirt and residues.
Remove switchplates, outlet covers, and light fixtures. Replace the screws so they don't get lost.
Mask off trim, windows, doors, and fixtures that cannot be removed. Blue painter's tape will help you get a clean edge and won't leave adhesive behind.

Interior Paint Preparation For
A Room in Good Condition and Previously Painted

The easiest rooms to paint are in good condition needing only minor wall preparation for painting. Covering and protecting non-painted surfaces is always a good place to begin.

This includes moving the furniture away from the walls toward the center of the room. If possible, remove as much furniture from the room. The less obsticles the easier the room is to paint.

Repair can be pulling a few nails no longer needed for hanging pictures and filling small holes with light weight spackle. Minor cracks in the walls can be filled with the same spackle.

Now is a good time to check the caulking around windows and where the trim meets the wall, this includes all of the base and casing. If the trim is painted recaulk with a good siliconized acrylic caulk or elastomeric caulk.

Minor stains on the surfaces needing paint should be washed with mild soap and water or primed with a stain blocking primer if they can't be removed by washing. Now the interior painting can start. Apply the same type of paint that is on the surface or choose a good interior primer that is compatible with the finish paint.

New Construction/Unfinished Rooms

If your room has never been painted before, or has recently been re-textured, very little additional prep work is necessary. Just prime the ceiling and walls (make sure your primer is compatible with the paint you plan to use!) and allow it to dry. Pre-finishing your trim pieces, before installing them, will save you time at the end of the project. You can do this while you wait for the primer to dry.

Previously Painted Rooms: Good Condition

Previously painted rooms in good condition are the next easiest to deal with. In rooms that already have one or more coats of paint, it's important to identify what type of paint was used in the original paint job.

Use a clean white cloth, painters rag, and denatured alcohol. Apply the alcohol to the cloth and gently rub the surface. If any paint is softened or removed then the finish is an acrylic or latex paint. If no color is on the rag and the finish is still unaffected then it is an oil base.

Acrylic/latex paints cannot be applied over alkyd/oil- based finishes without being primed first. Alkyd/oil based paints, however, can be applied over acrylic/latex finishes with no additional preparation.

Check the caulking around windows and where the trim meets the wall. If it's in poor condition (or nonexistent!) you should replace it with a good siliconized acrylic caulk or elastomeric caulk.

Repair minor cracks or dings with a light spackle, allow it to dry, and sand it smooth. Check for stains; if they can't be removed by light scrubbing, you'll need to prime the area with a stain blocking primer, such as Kilz.

If you're painting a light color over a darker one, you may want to prime the whole wall at this point.

Previously Painted Rooms: In Need of Repair

Not all paint jobs are simple and straightforward. Occasionally you'll encounter a room that has peeling or flaking paint, damaged walls, or other sins that must be dealt with. Don't skimp here; surface imperfections will show through the paint and even make it less durable. In fact, there's a good chance that the damaged finish you're dealing with now is the result of poor prep work.

Repair and Prime
The Second Part of Interior Paint Preparation

Now it's time to examine all the walls and ceilings for paint problems, such as stains, holes, cracks, peeling and other imperfections. Interior paint preparation is providing a perfect backgroung for the finish paint.

Stains; water, rust, or mildew stains are an indication of bigger problems- a leaking room, plumbing problems, or poor ventilation. It's critical that the cause of the stain be addressed; otherwise, the problem will recur and ruin your new paint job. Clean off any mold or mildew, then prime the area with a stain-killing primer.

For difficult stains, like nicotine, smoke damage, permanent marker, or makeup, you may need two coats of primer to keep the damage from showing through the new paint. Check out recommended interior primers for more info.

Peeling paint must be scraped or sanded smooth before the project can proceed. This is common in older homes; it's important, if your home was built before 1978, to practice lead paint safety.

Patch any holes in the drywall; small imperfections can be sealed with spackle, but for large openings, a drywall patch may be necessary. If corners are cracking, apply a paintable caulking to smooth the area. Paintable caulking should also be applied along the painted base and casing.

Prime all repairs and any raw wood before painting.

All repairs need to be fully accomplished and primed before proceeding with the application of the finish paint. Priming drywall repairs or raw wood is necessary before painting.

Whatever your situation, make sure that you use high quality materials, and don't be afraid to take your time with prep work. After all, doing it right will save you time and hassle in the long run- and produce more beautiful results!

For Exterior

Next to using top quality paint, exterior paint preparation is the most important house painting technique. Inadequate or incomplete painting preparation is the major reason for failures of the finish.

Often the exterior needs the most time and effort to prepare due to the many surfaces exposed to the harsh weather and intense sunlight.

The preparation can amount to 50% or more of the time it takes to paint a house.

You will want to know the extent of the surface preparation needed to be done to your home. A thorough and complete examination of the entire home is in order.Take your time and pay special attention to the areas that need to be fixed.

Typical areas of concern are fascia boards, wood trim and windows or doors. Severely split or rotten wood should be replaced. Light damage can be repaired with epoxy wood filler or for light rot you can use bonding glue.

Avoid Future Repairs

Exterior Peeling Paint

Many houses I work on are missing key metal flashings that could have offered protection from rain and ice damage. Instead these homes rely on the caulking and some good luck. Fascia boards should have metal flashing that extends from under the roof over the fascias. This is especially important for directing water into the gutters. This flashing can be installed if it is missing.

Windows and doors should also have flashing, called drip edge, and is installed during the initial construction. Many older homes are missing this flashing and rely on the caulking to create a water proof seal.

The condition of the paint can indicate where possible problems are. Peeling orblistering can point to water leaks are and could also show up as discolored areas. The existence of persistent moisture will cause peeling and can involve mold and mildew. Fully remove the mold and mildew then repair any sources of moisture before applying primer.

After repairs are made, prevent the mold and mildew from recurring.

Common Exterior Preparation Steps

Power washing stained siding.

A good place to start is with pressure washing. Pressure washing is the best method for removing chalk deposits on paint. A clean surface is a crucial exterior painting preparation step that needs to be done at the beginning.

Although washing a painted surface is rather straight forward, pressure washing stained siding requires a different mind set. Washing a home with stain, instead of paint, is the most crucial step when restaining a home.

The next step is scraping and sanding. The scraping and sanding should be combined as each can find loose paint the other technique missed.

For rough wood, such as rough sawn cedar, your only choice is to use a wire brush. Wire paint stripper attachments for power drills can also be used.

This is the most labor intensive part of exterior painting, but the most important. All of the loose paint must be found and then removed; this forms the foundation for the entire paint job.

There are environmental concerns with any scraping and sanding of the existing finish. If your home was built before 1978 the exterior finish might contain lead based paint. Lead paint safety is a major concern when painting. Many painted or finished surfaces can contain lead and protecting yourself and your family needs to be a first priority. You need to know what to do and not to do.

The other aspects of this process are caulking, masking and priming. Top quality products are required in the beginning in order for the final look to be its best. After all preparation is finished choose the best exterior paint and exterior painting techniques for your project.

The stage is set here for the entire paint job.
Take your time and do it right.

Sanded Window Frame

If you choose a professional painting contractor, proper exterior paint preparation should be included in the proposal. Also many repairs can be included. This will make your life easier, not having to find another contractor for repairs.

The qualifications to do the repairs will depend on the painter. These repairs could require the need for a building permit and inspection. In the USA you can contact your local building authority for more information.

The bottom line, with proper and complete exterior paint preparation it is possible for your house paint to last 10 years or more.

Surface Preparation Tools
Preparation of the surface is the most important part of the job.

Surface preparation can and often will be more work than the actual painting. Using a quality tool can reduce your effort and produce a better, soother, surface ready for paint.