When considering painting over existing wall paint, keep in mind that the steps you take to remove old wall paint will depend on the condition of the paint on the walls. Such thoughts also apply to exterior wall paint or old paint on fencing or decking.
A number of methods are effective in removing old paint but each will depend on specific scenarios. Before attempting to strip off old wall paint, be aware of the possibility of lead-based paints. Lead-based paints were banned in residential painting in 1978, but older homes may still have lead-based paint. In such cases, you may opt to contact a professional painter who has the equipment and tools to ensure that the paint is safely removed prior to your repainting the room or home.
Removing old wall paint from interior walls
To remove old wall paint from interior walls, simply start by cleaning the wall with a damp rag and allowing it to dry. If the surface looks good, then you’re good to go. If old paint is chipping or peeling from the wall, removing the old paint may require use of a scraper to remove damaged areas such as bubbling or flaking.
Different techniques are recommended for different wall surfaces such as wood, drywall or sheet rock, or plaster, depending on the age of the home. When it comes to plaster walls, fill any cracks, from a hairline crack to a larger crack with patching compound.
When is sanding necessary?
Sanding surfaces where old paint is being covered over is always recommended to ensure a professional looking result. Hand-held fine grit sandpaper or use with a pad center is effective in removing slight chips or bubbled paint. Feel the area with your fingers to gauge the surface. If you still feel lumps, bumps, grooves, or areas that don’t feel even, you may need to fill them with drywall mud or spackling.
The use of drywall mud (also known as joint compound) in patching drywall enables easier spread and sanding, although it may require more applications than use of spackling. At the other end of the spectrum, some homeowners find that spackling dries quite hard and can be challenging to achieve the smooth surface you want.
Tip: In addition to feeling the wall with your hand, look at it from different angles and in different lighting to find imperfections. For some, this may require you to place the side of your head against the wall and critically eye the surface.
Use of paint strippers
Chemical paint strippers are often a go-to for first time painters, but be aware that they can be quite stringent. Wear protective clothing, gloves, and eyewear during use. Make sure the area is well ventilated. Paint strippers are typically applied to the wall with a paintbrush but use a roller for large areas. Paint strippers have specific drying times depending on manufacturer. As it dries, the old paint will bubble, which can make scraping easier.
Preparation is key to removing old wall paint. Call All Pro Painting in Indianapolis for all of your painting needs.