Prepping Ceilings and Walls
Project Checklist
  • Wide blade scraper
  • Light-weight patching compound
  • Painter's tape
  • Sponge mop on a broom pole
  • Sandpaper —medium and fine
  • Putty knife
  • Drop cloths
  • Trisodium phosphate or substitute
  • Disposable gloves
  • Hat, goggles and dust mask


Remove All Loose Paint and Debris

Use your scraper to remove flaking paint. Wear goggles to prevent falling paint chips from getting into your eyes. Then clean out any holes or cracks with a dry paint brush or a vacuum with a brush attachment. Wash all surfaces with a solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and water. Rinse with water and let dry thoroughly.

Fix All Flaws and Cracks

First fill in the crack or flaw with light-weight patching compound using your putty knife—cover a little past the edges. Then use your putty knife to smooth the surface. Let it all dry thoroughly. If more smoothing is desired, sand with fine 200—grit sandpaper. Repeat these steps—being careful to let each layer of compound dry—until you've achieved a perfectly smooth surface. For large areas, traditional drywall patching techniques are recommended.

Clean and Dry surfaces

Use an ordinary sponge mop to clean your ceiling and walls thoroughly with TSP and water. Rinse well and let dry. Moving from top to bottom, clean walls and moldings with sponges or rags.
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