Painting Preparation Tips For Renovations and New Construction

Painting Preparation Tips For Renovations and New Construction

In a renovation or new construction setting preparation starts long before Paint is ever applied. Good preparation for painting includes selecting high quality framers, drywallers and finishing carpenters who will provide a quality product for a painter to paint over.

Before the drywallers begin their work an important step in painting preparation must be completed. Colour and Finish selection. A quality painter will want to provide a customer with drawdown or sprays out samples of any colours, paints and finishes being used prior to commencement of work, that includes priming; painter will want to prime with half strength of the final colour for two reasons. To ensure good Paint coverage in two finish coats, and to allow the drywall error to effectively do drywall touch-up (as they will be able to see drywall flaws much easier).

A paint job is only as good as the surface (substrate) it is going over. If drywall is not smooth it will show once it is painted. This is not the painters fault, his work maybe flawless but the drywall error have not completed their works correctly (depending what level of drywall the customer has selected). We recommend level 4 or 5 drywall finish for a superb Paint job.

When it comes to finishing carpentry mitered joints should be glued, tight and flush, sanded if necessary. Nail holes should be small and few. Approx. 20 nail holes error casing per side or less depending on the profile. Nails should be placed in the flats of a profiled moulding not in the grooves, ensure that they can be filled and sanded flush. Wood used should be considered Paint ready, planed and/or sanded to be flush without grain undulations. A carpenter should never fill or Caulk their own wood work, as in most cases it will need to be redone at extra expense and time.

Once millwork is installed and drywall touch-up is complete and sanded a painter can begin their work.

The procedure outlined below is not how all painters complete their work, and present many opportunities for “optimization” or cutting corners. This process is what is necessary for painting/finishing to be considered high quality:


1. Clean out electrical gang boxes of drywall dust and debris
2. Scrape any drips or lumps off of drywall
3. Brush and roll one coat of primer/sealer (1/2 strength of final colour)


1. Remove doors and hinges from doorways
2. Attach a 3’ length of lumber to top of doors to prop them off the walls
3. Shim bottom of doors so they are elevated off of the ground
4. Spray one coat of primer/surfacer
5. Spot fill where required with two-part polyester filler
6. Spot sand filler
7. Dust off
8. Spray second coat of primer
9. Sand complete with 320 grit sand paper
10. Dust off
11. Spray two thinned finish coats of paint


1. Flush fill nail holes with wood filler
2. Sand filler
3. Dust off
4. Caulking where separate pieces of millwork meet (excluding mitres) and where millwork meets wall
5. Wipe excess caulking off to leave smooth bead
6. Spray one coat of primer/surfacer
7. Spot fill where required with red glaze spot filler
8. Spot sand filler
9. Dust off
10. Spray second coat of primer
11. Sand complete with 320 grit sand paper
12. Dust off
13. Spray two thinned finish coats of paint
14. Pre-spray baseboards yet to be installed
15. Re-hang doors and clean-up


1. This process takes place after millwork gets installed and drywall touch-up is completed and prior to floors being installed
2. Mask tops of baseboard where installed
3. Patch out closets
4. Spot sand patches
5. Spot prime patches
6. Poll sand walls
7. Brush and roll one coat through-out
8. Brush and roll second coats in closets and laundry rooms
9. Clean-Up


1. Fill nail holes
2. Spot sand nail holes
3. Vacuum dust
4. Caulking where baseboard meets wall and mitres
5. Brush and roll one coat of finish


1. Mask baseboards
2. Tape and paper 12” perimeter of hard floor surfaces
3. Drop sheet all areas
4. Cover counter tops, railings etc.
5. Patch out drywall
6. Spot sand patches
7. Spot prime patches
8. Poll sand complete
9. Strain paint
10. Brush and roll final coat
11. Remove masking and paper
12. Clean-up

It is clear from this layout that a lot of work goes into a high quality paint job. Companies who provide this level of quality and finish will charge more for it. In the end it is well worth it, since a poorly painted home doesn’t feel or look new. Companies can lower the cost by not following all of the steps but the results will not be the same. It is important to realize not everyone is capable of performing high quality work either, they may lack the skill, knowledge, or desire to do what is considered by industry “quality work”.

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