In my mind prepping a room for decorating is the one big thing that separates a professional decorator from an amateur. While an amateur is prepared to cut corners to rush to get a job finished I will always take my time to get it absolutely right.
Here are some of my tried and tested prepping methods.
1. Remove the furniture. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people leave furniture in a room and try and paint round it. You are virtually guaranteed a disaster. If you do have a piece of furniture that just will not fit through the door, place it in the centre of the room and ensure it is properly covered up and protected.
2. Protect floor coverings. If you are leaving your carpet or floor covering in the room whilst the work is being done then make sure it is properly protected. I don’t mean putting a few sheets of newspaper round the outside of the room either. Professionals always use specialist drop-cloths, either canvas or butyl-backed. Plastic sheeting is cheaper but watch out for tears and splits.
3. Take items down from walls. The curtains need to come down for a start, but too often amateurs are tempted to leave items such as paintings or wall clocks in place and attempt to paint round them. Chances are it won’t work and in any case the cutting in is likely to be time consuming.
4. Clean the walls and surfaces to be painted. Why bother when you are going to paint them anyway? Because clean, smooth surfaces will provide a professional finish.
5. Remove switch plates and the like. Trying to cut in round switch plates or similar outlet covers will inevitably leave visible clumsy brush strokes or paint on the covers. Professionals always remove them.
6. Use good masking tape. There will be mouldings and trim that you cannot remove. Make sure you tape off any such areas before you think about opening a tin of paint. Use professional painter’s tape rather than the household variety. It may take more time but the result will be worth it.
7. Create a staging area. You really don’t want to be lugging gallons of paint around a room. That is asking for trouble. Set up an area in the centre of the room or even just outside it to pour paint, keep open cans and store and clean brushes and rollers.
I can guarantee that good prep helps me provide an excellent service and I have the testimonials to prove it!