It is important to prepare all surfaces before painting. This preparation ensures the final result is the best it can be.
Firstly you want to ensure the surface is ready to paint. This requires repairing any dents or damage to the walls or joins. For new walls there should not be any damage but older walls being repainted may need some patch work first.
Next you need to start painting. But before applying the final paint you must first apply a primer. This ensures the final paint adheres well.
Interiors Drywall Primer
Most interior building walls are made from drywall, also known as Gyprock. This surface will soak up normal paint unless there is a primer layer applied first.
Furthermore, the plaster where the sections of drywall are joined together will have a different texture to the rest of the wall surface. So primer is essential.
Once primer is applied and left to dry the walls can be painted the final colour.
These days most final paint is matt or eggshell finish, because this gives pleasing results in most lighting conditions. Gloss paint is sometime still used, but this tends to show any imperfection in the surface, meaning that the preparation, the primer and any repairs must be impeccable.
Walls do not need any primer if they are being repainted as the original primer and paint will provide a suitable surface. However, the walls will need to be very thoroughly cleaned as even a small amount of grease or oil will compromise the final paint results.
Before repainting walls it is best to perform a general clean with sugar soap. This removes almost all types of general grease, including the smudges from hand and fingerprints that inevitably occur on all interior walls.
Where interior surfaces have been exposed to heavy grease or other pollutants such as near stoves, cook tops and fireplaces, the walls many need more extreme cleaning methods. Citrus cleaners such as De-Solv-It, turpentine or acetone will remove stubborn grease problems. However always read the label and be mindful what surface you are using the cleaner on to prevent damage.
Protecting Skirting boards and Windowsills
Some skiting boards and windowsills are left unpainted as the timber is often given an appropriate stain. Some other skirting boards and room trim are painted a colour that complements the general colour of the walls.
The skiting boards are almost never given the same colour as the walls. So it is important to protect these walls from accidental paint.
Masking tape is excellent for protecting window sills, skirting boards and door frames from paint splashes. The rest of the floor can be protected with drop-sheets.