Project Overview

Painting your walls can bring new life to a room. Just as important as choosing the right colour is preparing the walls. We’ll show you a quick way to clean and prepare your walls so that the paint goes on easier and the finished job looks better.

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This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to Paint
man stirring paint on laminate benchtop
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How to stir paint

To get the most out of your paint, give it a good stir before you start painting. You’ll find it mixes the pigment better – giving you a more consistent colour. Plus, you’ll make sure all the ingredients are well spread throughout the tin – giving you far greater product performance.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Clean your walls with sugar soap
2 Scrape cracked paint off the walls
3 Apply gap filler to any cracks
4 Seal the gaps in the corners
  • Step 1. Clean your walls with sugar soap

    Making sure your walls are properly clean will help the paint to stick better. A clean surface also stops stains and marks showing through the new paint. For a good clean you need to use sugar soap. Mix up the sugar soap in a bucket of water according to the instructions on the bottle. Put on your gloves and thoroughly wash the walls using the sugar soap mixture. Once you’ve cleaned the wall, dry the sugar soap off using a rag.
  • Step 2. Scrape cracked paint off the walls

    After your walls have been cleaned and are dry, put on your safety glasses and dust mask and lay down a drop sheet near the wall. Use a paint scraper to remove any flaky and cracked paint from the wall. Use the ladder to reach spots higher up on the wall.
  • Step 3. Apply gap filler to any cracks

    Mix the powdered gap filler in a bucket with some water until it is the consistency of toothpaste. Using your paint scraper, apply it to all of the cracks and chips on the wall, making sure to overfill them. When your gap filler is dry, use sandpaper on a hand sander for a smooth finish.

  • Step 4. Seal the gaps in the corners

    Use a multi-purpose gap sealer and a caulking gun to fill the gaps in the corners of the walls. After applying the gap sealer, use a damp cloth to wipe off any excess. This will also make it smooth and push the filler it into the corners. You may need a second layer of gap filler to finish off. Now your walls are now ready to paint.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Caulking gun
  • Gloves
  • Hand sander
  • Ladder
  • Paint scraper

Materials

  • Coveralls
  • Drop sheet
  • Gap fillers
  • Sandpaper
  • Sugar soap
  • Water

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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