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Levels of Wall Prep Before Painting

Written by David | January 2, 2024

So you have a place your living or working that you are looking to have painted. Your not sure what to expect for what gets fixed or not. There are nail holes in your walls, cracks in the walls and areas that look aweful. How much repair do you want, should you have done. Today we look at Levels of wall prep before painting!

hello Everyone.. David here at Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper in Huntley, IL, and today we talk about wall prep before painting. This is a common and recurring issue that happens while painting homes. Lets see if we can help with this issue!

What is wall prep?

When any surface is going to be painted, there is a level of prep work that needs to be taken. If you are painting a canvas- it may need primer, a base coat or paint and the area around you covered. Painting the exterior of a home need repairs, power washing. Painting the interior of a home means that you need to get those walls ready for paint!

Walls- especially those made with drywall are going to have dents, nics, scrapes, holes, cracks or dirt on them. These issues need to be fixed! To what level you are going to fix is what we are getting into today. If you really want to get into this.. take some time to review Paint Contractors Association in-depth definitions here

Level 1 Standard wall prep

So we are going to review the Levels of wall prep before painting, as described by Dfranco Paintin, and what is in our estimate or scope of work.

Standard Prep-included in basic painting package

• Cleaning of surfaces (wiping off excessive dust), to create optimal adhesion
• Filling and sanding of any minor knicks, nail holes, or other noticeable imperfections that are smaller than a 1/8 of an inch . (example: nail holes, minor scratches from hands/paws) This process is about 15 min.
• Walls are pole sanded
• Spot-priming of drywall patches
• Taping off and covering items when necessary

small hole repairs are part of basic wall prep included in our standard pricing

• Filling/sanding minor imperfections with woodfiller, or wood putty is not part of the basic pep or repairs
• Caulking open cracks where work is being done, with the excpetion of when staining and/or varnishing. These cracks will most-likely not be flush with the substrate. The purpose is to fill gaps.
• Spot-priming any bare wood areas
• Taping off and covering items when necessary

Intermediate wall prep -Level 2

Level 2 Prep- this is time and material based

• Standard Prep Included
• Filling & sanding of larger holes (sizes ranging from a quarter dollar to a baseball), excessive nail pops, excessive scratch marks
• Minor repairs onn corner bead, seams etc
• Rough guess is 90 minutes to 2 hours for these type os repairs..

this is a repair that is time and material based

• Standard Prep Included
• Filling minor holes and imperfections with wood filler or wood bondo to create a flush profile with the substrate
• Light sanding with only sanding blocks and paper to all trimwork to create a uniform texture (however, the build-up of previous paint creates ridges too thick to make the profile uniformly smooth, in which case, you will still see the profile of where the old paint meets bare wood or less paint, but the overall texture should be uniform)
• All joint cracks to be caulked

Level 3 – High level wall repairs

• Standard Prep & Level 2 Prep Included
• Corner bead and inside seam/drywall seam replacement
• Minor skim coating and sanding of uneven areas or uneven profiles
• Fairly labor-intensive figure at least 4-6 hours..

drywall seams and corner bead to be repaired

• Standard Prep & Level 2 Prep Included
• Power sanding the trim to create a uniform profile if needed
• Using bondo to fill minor imperfections – imperfections should end up almost invisible
• Using Bondo to skim over larger profile diferences to create a uniform and smooth profile

Other wall prep Questions?

Im sure you might, but this should get you started.. If you do have other questions.. let us know!

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