Be Prepared – Pro Tips To Prep For a Paint Job


You’ve probably heard the five P’s from a well-meaning teacher, coach, or boss before. The phrase may be trite, but the message is on point. Preparation is important for almost any endeavor, including painting your home. 

Hiring the best painter in your local area is the first step. Once you’ve checked that off the list, it’s time to think about preparation. Your painter will spend a lot of time prepping the surfaces in your home before they start painting. But the preparation doesn’t start there. A little prep work on your end before the painters arrive will go a long way towards ensuring a successful project. You’ll end up with a gorgeous paint job and a great relationship with your painter.  Win-win.


Planning is a key element of preparation when it comes to painting your home. Painting is a big job, and you’ll need to be prepared to stay out of the affected rooms for at least a day, maybe longer.  A little bit of prior planning will make everything go smoother. If you have small children, decide how you will keep them out of the rooms being painted until everything is dry. Sometimes it’s as simple as closing a door, but in an open floorplan, things can get tricky. If you’re painting the kitchen, plan ahead for meals during the paint job, and don’t forget things like packing school lunches if you have children. 


Painting can be tricky if pets create trouble.
Pets plus paint can be an equation for trouble. Curious cats and meddlesome mutts can derail your paint job if you don’t plan ahead.

Consider pets as well – you will want to make sure you can keep your pets completely away from the affected rooms during the job. An enthusiastic dog can wreak havoc with his tail, and nobody wants pet fur wafting into the fresh paint. 

You should also consider pets when undertaking an exterior paint job. Most painters are perfectly happy to work with pets in the area, as long as you can keep them away from the wet paint. If your pet is likely to be anxious around the painting crew, or create a nuisance with barking or aggressive behavior, you’ll want to make arrangements for them during the paint job. Consider asking a neighbor to take your pet for the day or check out local pet day cares and/or boarding facilities.


Plan ahead for sleeping arrangements. If you opt to use a low- or no-VOC paint, you may be able to sleep in freshly painted rooms that night. But if your project needs require an oil-based paint, or you are extra sensitive to odors, you’ll want to make alternate sleeping arrangements for at least a night. 


Move the furniture to the middle of the room, ensuring that painters have good access to all the wall and trim surfaces. If ceilings will be painted, it’s best to move the furniture completely out of the room if possible. Any furniture left in the room should be covered with old sheets or drop-cloths; many painters will cover the furniture for you, but be sure to discuss that up front with your contractor before the job starts. 

Don’t forget to move and/or protect electronics as well. In most cases, wall-mounted televisions and speakers will need to be removed from their brackets. Find a safe place to store them until the job is complete. Again, discuss these issues up front with your painter before they begin to make sure the job goes smoothly. 

Remove everything hanging on the walls, and if you’re having closets painted, remove everything from inside. 


If you’re painting the exterior of your home, most painters will ask that you trim any bushes or trees that are close to your home. Make sure the painters are able to freely access all areas of the exterior. If you have small and/or extremely delicate plants near the foundation of your home, consider relocating them temporarily. A short stay in a pot that is located away from the foundation will help your tender plants survive and thrive. Ladders, scaffolding, and heavy work boots can crush fragile specimen plants; although a good painter will take reasonable precautions to protect your landscaping, smaller plants are harder to avoid. On the flip side, if you have large heavily overgrown shrubs that encroach on the house, consider calling a local landscaping contractor before you schedule your paint job to get things trim and tidy.


A great paint job will give your home new life. Start fresh by cleaning surfaces before the painters arrive. Vacuum the floors and wipe down trim boards with a damp cloth to remove dust, pet hair, and grime. Even if you’re only painting the wall surfaces, cleaning the trim is a good idea. Having a pristine surface where the wall meets the trim will enable your painter to get a nice clean line. Areas that typically hide behind furniture may need a little more elbow grease, but avoid using cleaning products if possible. Any residue that remains on the surface will affect paint adhesion. In most cases, a damp microfiber cloth should do the trick.


On the outside, you’ll also want to make sure all the exterior surfaces are clean and smooth. In coastal areas, salt and mildew buildup can wreak havoc with a paint job. Here in Florida, it’s especially important to strip away any residue before applying paint. Talk with your contractor – many painters will include this preparation work in their bid, but you’ll want to get specifics when you get the estimate. For more information about exterior painting here on the Emerald Coast of Florida, check out our pro tips on exterior painting on the coast.

With a little preparation and planning, you and your home will be ready when the painters arrive. Communication is key – talk with your painting contractor before they arrive to set expectations and avoid unpleasant surprises. For more pro tips on getting the best paint job in the Emerald Coast, visit our knowledge center. Ready to find the best local painter? Click here!

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