Repairing walls and ceilings

Preparing and repairing walls and ceilings to create a flawless and smooth finish is a science of its own.

 

When it comes to fixing and preparing walls and ceilings before repainting, good preparation is key to a successful job. Follow these tips to achieve a perfect finish.

 

Dirt

Thoroughly washing, rinsing and sanding your walls and ceilings before priming will guarantee a long-lasting finish. 

Use a trisodium phosphate solution and a sponge to cut through grease and remove dirt.

 

Remember to wear rubber gloves and wash walls from the bottom up with a damp sponge to avoid streaks. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

 

After drying, sand the surface lightly.

 

Wall stains

Stains can be difficult to remove and you may feel the urge to just paint over them, but it is advisable to remove them first.

 

Apply stain remover to a clean cloth and rub lightly to remove the stain.

 

If the stain is impossible to remove, seal the stained area with white pigmented shellac.

 

Pigmented shellac prevents stains from bleeding through the new paint.

 

Water or rust stains may indicate water damage.

 

Check for any leaking pipes and soft plaster, then make the needed repairs and cover the area with a stain killer sealer.

 

Ceiling stains

There are few things in a home as unsightly as brown stains on a ceiling, generally caused by damp. 

 

These ugly marks can be caused by a range of issues, making it is vital to establish the reason behind the damage.

 

Damage as a result of humidity occurs from within the room.

 

However, more often than not the trouble comes from above the ceiling boards; burst geysers, leaking waterproofing or broken roof tiles are all causes of water damage.

 

Once you have identified the cause of the problem, focus your initial efforts on solving it.

 

Check if the ceiling boards are warped. If they are warped, they will have to be replaced. If not, allow them to dry.

 

Once dry, use a universal undercoat as a barrier to prevent the stain leaching through, and then coat with the appropriate product for the environment.

 

If it is a bathroom or kitchen ceiling, choose a paint designed to stand up to humidity; if in a living room or bedroom, you can coat it with a standard acrylic PVA.

 

Remove mildew 

Test for mildew by washing with water, a sponge and a detergent.

 

Mildew stains will not wash out. Wearing rubber gloves and eye protection, wash the walls with bleach, which kills mildew spores.

 

After the bleach treatment, wash the mildew away with a trisodium phosphate solution and then rinse with clean water.

 

Patch peeling paint

For a professional appearance, carefully check for damage and repair the wall or plaster as needed.

 

Pre-gummed fibreglass repair tapes and premix patching compounds reduce drying time and let you patch and paint a wall the same day.

 

Scrape away any loose paint with a putty knife or paint scraper.

 

Next, apply spackle to the edges of the chipped paint with a putty knife or flexible wallboard knife.

 

Wait for it to dry and sand the patch area with 150-grit sandpaper.

 

The area should now feel smooth to the touch.

 

Fill nail holes

To fill holes, apply a little filler with a putty knife or your fingertip.

 

Don’t mess with it too much, let it dry properly and then sand the area lightly until the fixed hole is smooth with the wall surface.

 

Be careful not to sand too much and create a dent again.

 

Wipe away the dust with a damp cloth and prime the spot with a PVA primer.

 

Following this preparation, the choice of paint will have a substantial impact on just how good the final job will look.