Wall Preparation to Save Money and Time
Preparing the walls ready for a commercial painting company can really help you to speed up the decorating process and save you money. If you're under a tight deadline then spending a bit of time cleaning the walls and making sure they are free from grease, dirt and uneven surfaces will make all the difference. All you need is some sanding paper with a sanding block, polyfilla with scraper, a bucket and sponge, some sugar soap and some old plastic sheets or blankets. This means the painters and decorators will be able to just walk in, set up and start working straight away with minimal fuss.
Preparing the Flooring
When preparing the walls using liquids such as paint, try to cover the floor with thick fabric, paper or plastic sheets. Clearly, the thicker the material is, the better, as it will limit the amount of liquid being absorbed and reduce the chance of staining the flooring. This can be a big issue if you have wooden floors which can become water damaged, or carpets, which can be difficult to clean. Plastic sheets secured with masking tape work the best as they are waterproof, and the tape won't leave sticky residue. Thick decorating paper is your second best option; it can be bought in large rolls and cut to size in odd shaped rooms, and the paper is so thick that water will rarely penetrate right through.
Flatten the Walls
Making sure the walls are smooth and flat is important before decorating, as slight raises can create obvious shadows that will look unsightly. If you have any raised areas simply sand down with course sandpaper then finish with a finer grade to give it a sleek finish. Filling gaps left by wall plugs takes slightly more time but is just as easy. Sand around the recess and fill the hole with Polyfilla using a scraper. Try to really pack it in, and don't worry if it bulges out; the paste will shrink and dry so you may need to do this a couple of times. The second time you should drag the scraper over the wall to smooth out the mixture as much as possible before leaving to dry, then sand as normal.
De-grease the Surface
Sugar soap is a de-greaser and often comes in a pink liquid form that needs to be diluted according to the packet instructions. It's mildly abrasive too, which is great for increasing the surface area of the wall to allow the paint to stick better. Mix up a batch according to the bottle, and while wearing some rubber gloves wash the wall down using a sponge before leaving to dry. This will remove dirt and grease as well as thick nicotine tar stains.