Get Organized


Always start with a clear working space for any project. It’s best to work at least three feet from each wall.

  • Remove small items (pictures, mirrors, lamps) from the project area.
  • Remove small rugs and unattached floor coverings.
  • Remove large pieces of furniture like sofas and tables if possible.
  • Cover pieces you can’t move with a drop cloth.
  • Cover the floor with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Avoid using sheets or newspapers, as paint can soak through.
  • Maintain proper ventilation during painting and while paint dries by opening doors or windows as weather permits.
Remove These from the Project Area
  • Ceiling hooks
  • Doorknobs and drawer pulls
  • Door stops
  • Mounted light fixtures (if possible)
  • Pictures
  • Outlet covers and switch plates
  • Vents and cooling ducts
  • Blinds, shades and accessories


When removing items with screws, tape screws to the back; for example, tape screws to the back of a switch plate. Place doorknobs and switch plates in a storage container or zipper bag. This helps keep the items together for when you need them later.

Painter's Tip

When painting walls, use painter's tape to keep paint off the trim and windows. This saves time in the long run and results in clean, straight paint lines. Be sure to press the tape down well along the edge so paint won’t bleed under the tape. Remove the tape before paint has a chance to dry completely to avoid lifting the fresh paint film with the tape. If the paint has dried, score lightly along the edge of the tape with a utility knife or razor blade before removing.

A woman happily removes a piece of framed art from a white wall in preparation of painting that wall.

How To's

A hand applies putty to a damaged wall using a Purdy putty knife.
How To Repair
A woman uses a hand sander to sand and smooth drywall.
How To Sand
A woman uses her hand and a sponge to clean debris of remaining drywall residue.
How To Clean