Preparing to Paint

Painting Supplies

The most important part of any painting project is the preparation. A little time spent emptying and masking a room will make painting quick and easy, and making sure the surface to be painted is clean, smooth, and properly primed will ensure a long lasting and beautiful finish.


All dirt, dust, mildew, oil and grease should be removed from the surfaces to be painted. Surface contaminants that are not removed may prevent proper adhesion and negatively affect the finished appearance.

Remove any loose dust, dirt, or cobwebs with a brush, broom, or microfiber cloth.

Warm, soapy water can be used to remove dirt and grease, while a second rinse of only water ensures that no cleaner or dirty residue is left behind. For removing mildew, use a ready-made mildew remover (following manufacturer’s suggestions), or a homemade solution of 1 part household bleach mixed with 4 parts water, and allow to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Extra attention may need to be given to high traffic areas in kitchens (especially around the stove, oven and sink), around air vents on ceilings, in bathrooms around sinks and showers, and on walls around switch plates and corners.

Washed and rinsed surfaces must be allowed to dry completely before painting.


Whether you intend to spray or brush, it is always best to remove as much furniture and décor from the room as possible. Everything in the room you don’t intend to paint should be covered with tape, plastic, paper, and/or drop cloths.  Although masking can be tedious, every minute spent masking will result in time saved when painting and cleaning up later.


To promote adhesion, glossy surfaces should be lightly sanded to a dull finish and dusted prior to painting.


Use a patching compound or spackling paste to fill any holes, cracks, or voids. Use just enough material to fill the imperfection and use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess material around the edges so the repair is as inconspicuous as possible. Once the patching compound has fully dried, sand it smooth, and dust it off.


All bare wood, drywall, texture, and patching compound should be coated with the appropriate primer prior to painting.  Paint generally covers in fewer coats and spreads farther over properly primed surfaces. Using a high-quality primer will also promote paint adhesion while making it easier to achieve a uniform color and sheen from your paint finish.  See the Technical Data Sheet (TDS) for the Kelly-Moore paint you will be using for specific primer recommendations.