How to prep your surface for painting

Is your Fear of Mucking Up getting the best of you before you’ve even started? Perfect preparation is the key to any successful fight against FOMU. Remember, paint shouldn’t be used to cover holes and cracks. Our simple step-by-step process will help you get your project done right.

First, protect unpainted surfaces and furniture.

  • Move all furniture out of the room. If you don’t have much space, move it to the middle of the room and cover it up with a drop sheet.

  • Lay down another drop sheet to protect your floors. Try not to use old bed sheets, since they’re too absorbent and let the paint soak right through.

  • Mask skirting boards and trims with quality masking tape.

  • Mask electrical switches, instead of removing them. It’s far safer and easier.

  • Mask corners when painting adjacent walls with different colours. This will protect both, and make it much easier to cut in.

Next, prepare the surfaces to be painted.

  • Remove any loose, flaking or powdery paint from previously painted surfaces with a scraper.

  • Wash all surfaces with Selley’s Sugar Soap. That’ll get rid of any dust and dirt.

  • Patch any cracks and holes with a suitable filler or sealant. We recommend Selley’s Spakfilla.

  • Sand down your patches to a smooth finish, and wipe them clean.

  • For bare surfaces, apply a coat of British Paints PREP 4 in 1 Undercoat. Remember to use either oil or acrylic based PREP 4 in 1, depending on the surface you’re painting. The product label should fill you in on that.

And that’s it. Your surfaces are perfectly prepped and ready to paint. Go on, show FOMU who the boss is.


Need a few more tips on proper preparation? We’ll show you how to get the job done right.