Painting Drywall the FAST, CORRECT Way

In this post, we’ll list the steps you will need to know how to prepare for painting drywall from the start of a brand new wall up to the finished product. Check my post on painting tools if you have not already.

How to prepare drywall for painting the FAST, CORRECT way

Your new walls are (finally) finished.  Now to paint.  If the monkey crew did not sand it to your satisfaction, you’ll need some 150 or even 200 grit sandpaper. Look closely holding a light in one hand and sandpaper in the other: what you see now is what you get later. For your home, go all out. For your rental property, we usually let it go as they left it.

Now you’ll need to remove the dust from the walls. If you don’t do this, your walls will have a rough feel and look because the dust clumps up into grit in your primer later. Start with a wide dry broom on the ceiling if it is new (even if not, clean it!), and let the dust settle a bit. You’ll want to have a dust mask on.  I just use my respirator but take out the chemical filters as they are expensive and there is no need for them.  The dust filters are cheap and save you lungs for your old age when you will probably need them.

Next, broom the walls and let the dust settle. This is a good time to vacuum or to mop, but don’t use your good vacuum as this dust will kill the unit. If you do not have a shop-vac, use the broom. Important: we do this vacuum/mop now because we don’t want to be kicking that up during the work.

Next, you want to give the walls a final dusting with a cloth or sponge that is not wet, but just barely damp. This will pick up everything. If the wall gets wet at this point, it will cause a time-sucking problem.  Yes, you must go floor to ceiling because if you don’t, the paint roller will pick up the dust and create a wall finish that is rough like sandpaper.

For a primer, you’ll need to use actual drywall primer, which is a bit cheaper than most primers. It may be cheaper if you have a local store as shipping liquid is not going to be cheap. Please don’t buy paint-and-primer-in-one: here is why.

If you try to use regular paint as a primer, the seams (where the tape was covered with mud) will show through every coat of paint! No need for Kilz or other stain blockers although it is something you will always want to have around (I just leave a small brush in the can).  Just look for a “VOC -free” primer.*  Be sure to prime right to the corners (not like I described how to prime a pre-painted wall (when changing colors)). So you see painting drywall is a bit involved, but there really is no other way.  There is no “fastest” way when you are painting drywall.

Now you are parked on the downhill.  You have picked your colors** and you will apply 2 coats.

Summary: Steps on How to prepare for painting drywall

  1. Make sure the wall is sanded to your satisfaction, you’ll need some 150 or even 200 grit sandpaper
  2. Broom the walls and let the dust settle
  3. Mop/vacuum the floor of the dust – don’t ruin your good vacuum
  4. Give the walls a final dusting with a cloth or sponge that is not wet, but just barely damp
  5. Primer on all the walls right to the corners and you are ready to apply 2 coats, yes two.  One is never enough on new walls!

*See my other post on VOC’s: What Are VOC’s? Will They Kill Me? Yes. Yes, they Will.

**See my post on Picking Colors Part 1: Why You Should Hire A Professional Designer

ready for painting drywall ceiling
ready for painting drywall ceiling Photo by crimfants

Photo by Kheiligh

Photo by dalazzarato

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