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Old 02-10-2008, 01:38 AM   #1
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Cleaning Before Painting

How much cleaning is necessary before painting walls and ceilings before painting. What tips for doing it as fast and efficiently as possible? Especially walls with flat paint.


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Old 02-10-2008, 02:26 AM   #2
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Clean EVERYTHING. Seriously. Most of the time it's hard to tell just how dirty a surface is until you really clean it, because (assuming you've seen it clean in the first place) the dirt and grime build up slowly over time, so you don't notice. I just finished prepping a bedroom for painting, and before I started, I thought "Okay, here's a room with a white ceiling that's got a few marks on it." After scrubbing one section clean, and comparing it to the dirty section next to it... the dirty section clearly looked yellowish brown.

As for methods and materials, TSP is worth its weight in gold when it comes to prepping for paint. It usually comes in a plastic tub, in powder form, and you mix it with water. Use hot water, and wear gloves (if you mix a strong solution, it'll burn your skin). A big sponge or a clean rag both work pretty well, and be sure to follow the directions on the TSP about rinsing. If you have to do a ceiling, or walls that are tall enough that you can't reach the top without a ladder, it might be worth it to spend $10 on a sponge mop. Just don't use your mop/sponge/rag with another type of detergent and then the TSP... those other detergents are hard to get out, and then they're hard to get off the walls.


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Old 02-10-2008, 11:42 AM   #3
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I think a lot depends on your particular situation.

At one extreme, if the house has had a heavy smoker since the last paint job, everything will need to be TSP'd, and then sealed with a Shellac-based primer.

Also tough are bathrooms and kitchens. Bathrooms usually have moisture issues (murder on paint adhesion) and hairspray and cleaner residue also. Kitchens have a grease film. Both need to be thoroughly cleaned before painting.

As far as other rooms go? Personally, I don't scrub my ceiling, but I do scuff sand and tack the walls (may not be necessary with existing flat). However, washing a surface before painting with TSP is almost never a bad idea.

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Old 02-10-2008, 08:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dyier View Post
How much cleaning is necessary before painting walls and ceilings before painting.
As much as possible
Contrary to what some people do, it's not a good idea to "just paint over it"

Each project will be different, as a more recently painted, seldom used, flat painted room may not need any, just a quick scuff sand

Whereas a very used mucho-hairsprayed, mega-lysoled, and warehouse-sized bug-repellent-type-perfume coated bathroom may require an intense clean for the paint to stick

Originally Posted by dyier
What tips for doing it as fast and efficiently as possible? Especially walls with flat paint.
For the quick and easy cleans, the Mr. Clean mop pads (the wet ones, not the add water ones) are very quick and convenient
Flats are tough, and you may have to make a judgment call on switching to a more vigorous sanding (as opposed to just a scuff sanding) rather than a cleaning
It depends...
If there is crud though, you'll want to clean it

In general, it's a good idea to keep in mind that the prep is very important to the paint job
There are jobs where the prep can easily be 75% of the work
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:32 AM   #5
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try TSP...and yes its true, prep is and what makes the job, your job will only be as good as your prep work.
It all points back to the prep work
A drop cloth isen't to catch paint, It's to protect what is under so wipe the drips as you go and don't track.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:21 PM   #6
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You gotta clean it to make that there paint stick - no short cuts!!!!!



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