Two things you should do before you have your home painted

If you have hired a team of painters to repaint your home, there are a few things you will need to do before they can begin the painting process. Read on to learn more.

Clean the walls

A week or two before your painting team arrives, you should spend a bit of time cleaning the walls of your home, as any dust, grime, marks or cigarette smoke on them could affect both the texture and the colour of the paint that is applied to them.

This, in turn, could lead to your painters having to apply extra coats to achieve the finish you desire which will, of course, cost you more money (both in terms of labour and materials).

For this task, you will need an extendable feather duster, micro-fibre cloths, a stepladder, a sponge, a bucket of warm water and some sugar soap (this product is highly effective at removing the yellowish tinge caused by the nicotine in cigarette smoke).

Start off by using the feather duster to dust the walls, crown moulding and the ceiling. Then, use the micro-fibre cloths to remove dust and grime from the skirting boards, as well as from any shelves, windowsills and mantelpieces in the room.

Once these tasks are finished, squirt some of the sugar soap into the bucket of water and use a sponge soaked in the solution to scrub any areas of the walls that have been exposed to cigarette smoke. Following this, wipe a damp cloth along these parts of the walls, to remove the residue left behind by the sugar soap.

This cleaning process should be carried out at least a week or so before the painters are due to arrive, as it will take some time for the walls to fully dry out after being washed, and oil-based paints will not adhere to damp walls.

Protect fixtures and fittings.

Professional painters will do their best to avoid leaving paint splatters on a room's fixtures and fittings. However, accidental splatters can sometimes occur.

As such, it's sensible to take precautions to prevent immovable items in the room from being damaged by paint. There are a number of ways to do this.

Begin by unscrewing the light switch covers and taking the lampshade off the main ceiling light. Then, cover any plug sockets in the room with masking tape to protect them.

If you have any inbuilt shelves or mantelpieces, cover them with clingfilm. Secure the clingfilm in place with masking tape (do not use normal sticky tape for this task, as it could peel off the item's varnish when you eventually take it off).