How to Prepare A House For Painting (2023)

When people hire us to paint their house, they often ask what they need to do to prepare.  Preparation depends on the type of project.  In this post, we’ll look at what sets us up for success based on project type.

Interior Painting

An ideal setup for interior is the house is empty.  If that’s at all possible, that is the best setup.  We understand this is often not possible.  When the house can’t be empty, we look at project complexity.

Interior painting projects range in complexity.  A simple interior project is painting walls only.  A complex interior project is painting walls / ceilings / and trim.

Simple Interiors

For a simple wall only interior project we can create a minimal disturbance.  The following items are all that is necessary to set us up for success:

  • remove all small items from the tops of tables / dressers / shelves
  • remove all wall hangings
    • leave nails or anchors in walls for wall hangings that are going back to that place
    • remove nails / mark anchors and we’ll fill those holes before we paint
  • move what furniture you can to the middle of the rooms we are painting

This allows us to come in on start day and cover everything we want to protect with drop cloths or plastic.  We’ll then prepare painted surfaces, mask off non-painted ones, and get to work.

We limit handling people’s furniture as much as possible, to limit our liability.  We understand that there may be large items you are unable to move.  We are happy to help move those items to the middle of the rooms.

Complex Interiors

If we’re painting more than walls, the projects get complex.  If we’re painting lots of ceilings or lots of trim and need to spray, we have to cover EVERYTHING in those rooms.  This makes that area unlivable during the process.

If you are considering a complete repaint (walls / ceilings / and trim), keep this in mind.  Some customers choose to stay with friends or family while we’re painting.  The house isn’t livable with couches/televisions/beds covered, doors all taken off the rooms, etc…

If we’re doing any drywall work such as patching cracks or holes, we will create dust from sanding.  We’ll cut this as much as possible, but there’s always some dust.

To set us up for success on a complex project, we need the same things as a simple project, and also:

  • strip beds of linens and pillows
  • remove cushions from couches
  • empty cabinets if we’re painting cabinets
  • put as much stuff as you can in an area where no painting is occurring (garage / basement)

For a complex project, we want to cover everything.  Red rosin paper or floor shell on the floors.  Plastic over all the furniture.  Paper or plastic and tape on all the windows and other non-painted surfaces.  Your home becomes a construction zone at that point.

Exterior Repaints

Exteriors are simpler than interiors.  Exterior decorations that are fragile or sensitive, we request you move those before our arrival.  Otherwise, we’ll move planters, cover your Kansas City deck and patio furniture, grills, etc… away from the house.  Other things we request are:

  • keep cars in the garage or parked on the street
  • make sure we have working electrical outlets on the exterior to run our equipment with
    • if not homeowners have run an extension cord out of the garage for us
  • make sure we have a working water spigot for pressure washing

Large Carpentry or Residing Projects

For projects requiring considerable carpentry or full resides, the house once again becomes more of a construction zone.  We park a slide off dumpster in the driveway (these have to be in the driveway per city ordinances) for trash.

Other things that help us for a reside or lots of wood repair are:

  • a staging area where we can store materials
    • driveway or garage works well so we don’t damage your lawn
  • on a residing project, remove all exterior decor and store somewhere safe
  • patio furniture moved to a far corner of the back yard or the garage

Our Goal

We strive to deliver the highest quality project we can within the budget, scope, and timeframe constraints.  A good setup helps with our achievement of that goal.  This is especially true on interior projects, which are more complex and require the customer to prepare their house before we paint.

We appreciate it when our customers understand the importance of and prepare for a good setup which can help us achieve it when we paint their house.

If your project has unique constraints (you have to live there during construction, you need extra help moving things, etc…) let us know and we can help.