Preparing the surface

When you decide that you want to freshen up or redecorate the interior of your home, it is important that you carry out the preparation correctly. The finished result will only ever be as good as the condition of the surface underneath. For this reason it goes without saying that the more time and effort spent preparing this prior to painting, will not only show at the finish but also save time and wasted money by not having to do it a second time.

What tools do I need?

Every decorators toolbox should include some basic but important tools which cannot be ignored. These are the very building blocks of each and every painting and decorating project and can make or break the whole job.

  • Dust mask – paper or replaceable filters
  • Eye protectors – goggles or safety glasses
  • Dust sheets – old duvet covers or woven cotton sheets
  • Bowl or bucket – to catch water from any radiators
  • Scraper – flat blade
  • Triangular scraper – usually has a curved edge as well for pipes
  • Wire wool – ideal for metal work
  • Sandpaper – carry various grits
  • Wire brush – for more stubborn metal work
  • Soft dusting brush – for cleaning the debris away
  • Blowtorch – use this on old stubborn paint
  • Screwdrivers – a mixture of pozi-drive and flat blade
  • Pipe wrench – adjustable for various sizes

What do I do first?

The first thing to do is lay down any dust sheets you may have. This will catch and trap any debris you may loosen or remove and stop it being retuned back to the area once you have finished. Put on your dust mask to stop any harmful dust being breathed in and put on your eye protectors in case any debris should flick up and in to your eyes. At Mark Rogers Decorating we provide all of our Leicester painter and decorators with dust free sanding equipment which is expensive but absolutely beneficial in more ways that one. Not only does it look after your health by stopping foreign bodies entering your lungs but it also gives a perfectly smooth finish in the end which is exactly what we are trying to achieve.

Now look around the room and decide if you need to remove any doors or radiators prior to painting. If anything will be in your way or make it harder to carry out your interior painting then consider removing them. Door hinges can simply be unscrewed but radiators will need draining so its a good idea to either have a friendly plumber on board or at least know how to turn off the supply prior to removing them. Use your bowl or bucket to catch any water as you start to undo the pipes and then remove the radiator completely once it stops dripping.

Using the flat scraper, loosen and remove any old paint or uneven produce on the surface to be painted. For trickier areas the triangular scraper can be used to get into awkward places or cleaning pipework with its curved opposite face.

Once you are happy that all surfaces are relatively smooth you can begin to use the sandpaper to key the area and make sure they are all the same level. Wire wool can be used as a less abrasive option and is especially good for removing any corrosion from metal surfaces such as radiators, pipes or hinges. For more stubborn items the wire brush offers a no messing approach and will soon bring those items up to scratch. For old stubborn paint, a gas blow torch can be used to burn it off and then the scraper will simply lift it straight off. Using your soft bristled brush you can now gently brush the area free of any dust and debris on to your dust sheet.


Why do two colours, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.
Pablo Picasso