Prep Checklist for a Professional Painting Job

Posted on November 13, 2023

In professional painting jobs of all kinds – from major projects to quick fixes, interior and exterior alike – the largest expense for the client is labor. This means that taking steps to reduce time spent and make the painting crew’s job easier will also reduce the total cost of the project!

Today’s checklist focuses mostly on interior painting work because these are tasks that just about anyone can complete. Exterior preparation is likely a little more involved in terms of repairs, power washing, and so on… And can often be handled by the paint crew or another professional service for those without the experience to do it themselves. So, before we proceed with our interior checklist, know that for exterior painting work, you can examine your home during the planning and consultation phases, and work with the company representative to identify problem areas, potential issues, and ways you can help!

Now, on to the interior checklist…

While every interior painting job is a bit different, some basic preparation will apply to just about everything. If you can get these things done well before the painting crew arrives to start work, you’ll make their lives easier – and save some money in the process.

Before your next professional painting job begins, go through this checklist to make sure you set the crew up for success!

1. Furniture, Wall Hangings, Etc.

First and foremost, take down any wall hangings, move small furniture, put away electronics, and generally remove objects that you don’t want to risk getting paint on. This includes rugs, curtains, throws, and so on.

You should also cover larger furniture or other objects with drop cloths (or simply old sheets you don’t care much about), and if you can, move them away from the walls. The painting crew will also help cover and protect your belongings, but if you can get a head start by moving smaller things and covering others, you’ll help them get started more quickly.

You can go the extra mile by removing outlet covers too!

2. Cleaning

To make sure your new paint looks and performs at its best, thoroughly clean the walls you plan to have painted! For most rooms, a sponge with warm water will do the trick. For high traffic and high touch areas, or in the kitchen where oils might build up, incorporate a degreasing cleanser. If you use soap, make sure to wipe down the walls with a damp cloth after.

The most important part is letting the walls dry completely before the painting begins.

3. Declutter

Beyond removing furniture and other items from the room to be painted, it’s also a good idea to declutter the house in a more general way. Depending on where the room is in the house, the painting crew will need to carry equipment and move with ease throughout your home, so make it easy for them!

Make sure hallways are unobstructed, pathways are clear, and any stairs are safe to traverse.

4. Make a Plan to Vacate

You’ll obviously need to not use the room being painted. Depending on the scope of the project, you may need to avoid entire sections of your home or vacate the premises entirely. Be sure to ask for recommendations about this during the planning process, and make a plan for what to do while painting is in progress.

This may mean setting up a temporary family room, eating meals somewhere other than the dining room, having the kids share a room for a day or two, and so on. This is less for the painters’ convenience and more for your own – the better plan you have in place, the less disruptive the painting work will be for your day to day routines.

5. Assess and Inform

As you’re cleaning and moving furniture, keep an eye out for damage, water spots, gouges, and anything else that the paint crew might need to know about. Keep track of each spot as you find it, and inform the painting company about any issues as soon as you can.

Whether trouble spots can be quickly handled by the paint crew, or require a different solutions, keeping the company well informed before they show up to paint will make everyone’s lives easier!

6. Questions

Last but certainly not least, ask as many questions as you need to! If anything comes to mind, from how to best prepare for your unique project to questions about the day-of agenda, how to tackle repairs to what kind of paint to choose, or anything else at all… Don’t hesitate to ask!

Clear communication leads to aligned expectations and better outcomes. Everyone involved wants you to be satisfied with the work done, so ask plenty of questions, listen to professional recommendations, and do your best to understand how you can help!

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a great place to start. The more you can prepare for the arrival of a professional painting crew, the faster they’ll be able to get to work, and the more you’ll save on overall labor costs. If you have any questions at all, or want to get started on your next project, contact CertaPro today!


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