How To Repair Walls For Preparation Of Painting

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We have all been there, you want to remove your wallpaper and paint the wall instead so you steam the paper off only to find that the wall underneath has many defects, scratches, or scrapes on it.

But there are ways we can save time and create a nice smooth flat looking painted wall without too much hard work.

Correct sanding preparation

It’s really important to repair those marks because if you try to paint a wall that has defects and isn’t perfectly smooth you will never be able to obtain a good finish. Every mark or defect will show through the paint and it may even highlight them and make them appear even worse than before.

It can be slow and hard going if you have large areas to repair and sand, that is why it is important to use a hand held belt sander to remove some of the hard labour of sanding the walls down.

Filling holes, scratches, and defects in walls

First, you will need to fill any defects, scrapes, or holes in the wall with wall filler leaving the filler protruding out slightly. If you fill it level and then sand it to make it smooth, you will end up with it dipping in slightly and it will show up when you paint it.

You will want to give the filler enough time to dry and harden so you get the best finish.

Once you have filled all holes, scratches, or scrapes in the wall, it is time to get the sander out to smooth over all the filled parts and remove any scratches in the plaster wall.

Pay particular attention when you have nearly got the filler sanded level with the plaster wall because it is easy to go too far and take it down below the wall level.

Don’t worry too much if you do go too far on your first few attempts and end up with an indent in the wall as you can just reapply some wall filler and go again when it is dry and hardened.

Using electric sanders

One important tip for when you are using a handheld belt sander or a mouse sander is to attach any bags or dust extraction system because the fine dust from the sander gets in every small nook and cranny and it’s surprising how much mess can be created with a bit of sanding.

You should also wear a dust mask whenever you are sanding walls because the fine dust that is produced is very bad for your lungs and respiration system in general.

With the dust being so fine, it easily enters the lungs, so don’t take any risks even if it is just a little sanding task.

Goggles are also a wise move because the dust can scratch your eyes and cause irritation.

Now that you have protected yourself from the dust you can start to remove those nasty looking marks on the wall.

Hand held belt sander

If you have a large area to repair, you will be better off using a large sander like a belt sander because it will save you a lot of time and effort.

If you don’t own a belt sander or can’t borrow one from a friend or family, don’t worry because you can pick one up quite cheaply. A belt sander will be more than capable of completing these types of sanding tasks and even on much more demanding materials like hardwood or tough layers of paint.

If you are unsure, do some research on a power tool review site to find one in your budget and one that is a reliable, good performing sander.

To start with, you will want to use smooth grit sandpaper with the belt sander so you don’t take too much off the wall and have to repair more than when you started.

Because plaster and wall filler is a soft material you should start with high grit sandpaper which will gradually smooth over the wall filler or remove light scratches from the plaster wall without going over the top.

Don’t use coarse low grit sandpaper because it will make short work of the plaster and take far too much off, leaving you with more work.

Mouse sander

Mouse sanders are great for small sanding tasks and are designed with a pointed front so you can get into small and tight workspaces.

They are powerful little sanders that are good for sanding small to medium defects on walls but are also great for patterned wood or plaster.

These are also relatively low priced and you can get a decent one for around $30-$40 online or in your local hardware store.

The same rules apply for this and the belt sander when it comes to sandpaper choice. If you are sanding plaster walls or smoothing off wall filler, then go for a high grit smooth sandpaper because the mouse is still quite powerful and with coarse sandpaper, it will remove too much too quickly.

The same rules also apply for protecting yourself from dust as even the little mouse sander will produce a large amount of dust.

After completing all the sanding work you are ready to paint the wall and will be left with a nice smooth appearance. Once the paint is on, no-one will ever know the secret of the repairs you carried out hiding behind the lovely fresh paint.

We should also mention that if the wall is too badly damaged with plaster that has come off in big chunks or has large holes and big cracks, it may be better to have the wall re-plastered or skimmed by a professional because wall filler and even plaster repair has its limits.

The deeper the scrapes or holes in the walls the less effective wall filler will be and the more likely it will be a better option to have it resurfaced.

I hope these tips help you produce a nice finish for all your painting endeavours.