Painting an interior wall requires a bit of paint prep. Interior painting may tempt you to skimp on some of the steps, but peeling wall paint will most likely inspire you to do better next time. Eliminate the learning curve and do it right the first time.
Remove Outlet and Switch Plates

If I had a dollar for each painted-on wall plate I had to remove in my career of painting rooms, I might be a rich woman today. Painting walls, especially interior wall space, appears to invite the practice of cutting corner. Paint prep for interior painting starts with the removal of switch plates, outlet covers, thermostat covers, and any other covers and plates you may have on your wall.

Other frequently forgotten items are window treatments and blinds. To ensure the most perfect paint coverage for your interior walls, remove the blinds and anything else that bars your paint brushes’ access.

Painter’s Tape is a Must

Mask off trim, the ceiling, baseboards and the innards of light switches and outlets. You do not want to get primer or paint into these areas, and the painter’s tape works when you get too close with the roller or paint brush.

Scrape and Patch the Walls

Paint prep continues with removing peeling paint or wallpaper. Use a scraper to remove the loose chips, and don’t forget to put on some goggles to avoid paint chips from making painful contact with your eyes. If there are nail holes, dings or holes in your walls, you need to fix them before you proceed with interior painting.

Wash Off Dust, Debris and Grease

Wash your interior wall with trisodium phosphate (TSP), which removes grease and stains. Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle with respect to rinsing and drying time. Use a sponge mop and bucket for the process. This is a lot easier than trying to clean up your interior wall with a regular sponge.

Apply Primer

There is more to painting walls than picking out a pretty color and running with it. Instead, interior painting demands the use of primer. Fail to apply it prior to the wall paint, and all of the wall’s flaws and faults will shine through. Moreover, a properly primed wall can save you money! Primer seals the wall and reduces the amount of interior wall paint you need to apply to achieve good coverage.


Do your paint prep by the light of bare bulbs. This kind of lighting is sure to make each and every wall flaw glaringly obvious, and you know where you need to sand, patch, employ the scraper, or work extra hard with TSP. Repeat this procedure after applying your final coat of primer to be absolutely certain that nothing is bleeding through.