Step 2: Sand all surfaces

Always sand and paint the ceiling completely (following these same steps) before addressing the walls.

Using a pole sander fitted with 120-grit paper, sand the walls (make sure to wear a dust mask). Sweep the sander side to side as you work your way from the top down. Apply medium pressure, and take care that the head doesn’t flop and gouge the wall. Change the paper whenever the grit gets clogged with dust.

Remove bumps or drips on painted molding with a scraper. Then, using a dampened coarse-grit sanding sponge, rough up the surface. Keep a bucket of warm water nearby, and continually rinse the sponge. Finish with a dampened fine-grit sponge.

Using a wet/dry vacuum, clear all the dust from the walls and trim. Wash the walls with a sponge, using warm water and dish soap. Scrub greasy or waxy spots. Wipe everything down one last time with clean water
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Cordless drill, for removing and replacing door and window hardware
    • paintroller
      Paint roller for painting walls and ceilings
    • paint pan
      Paint pan, for loading roller with paint
    • telescoping extension pole
      Telescoping extension pole with pole sanding head for reaching ceilings and the tops of walls without using a ladder
    • caulk gun
      Caulking gun, for filling gaps between the woodwork and wall
    • wire brush
      Brush, roller spinner, and wire brush, for cleaning brushes
    • nailset
      Hammer and nail set, for recessing nail heads
    • synthetic brush
      Synthetic-bristle brushes (2 ½-inch blunt, 1 ½-inch angled sash, "throwaways" for touch-ups), for painting molding, doors, and windows
    • putty knife
      Putty knife for applying spackling compound
    • five-in-one tool
      5-in-1 pinter's tool for cleaning roller covers
    • utility knife
      Utility knife,
      for cutting tip of caulk gun
    • window scraper
      Window scraper and razor blades, for removing paint from window glass
    • drywall sander
      Drywall sander, attaches to shop vacuum for sanding joint-compound patches
    • paint strainer
      Paint strainer, for removing impurities when paint is poured from can into pot
    • bucket
      Bucket, to fit with liners and hold paint
    • wetdry vac
      Wet/Dry Vaccum with broom attachment

    Shopping List

    1. Paint A gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet. To figure how much you need, add up the lengths of all your walls, then multiply that sum by the room's height. Subtract 20 square feet for each door and 15 for each window. Divide the result by 400 to get the number of gallons you'll need for one coat. Most walls will need two coats.

    For the trim in most rooms, one or two quarts should suffice. If your room has a lot of molding, you may need more. If you think you'll need more than two quarts, it is almost always more cost-effective to buy a gallon.

    2. 120-Grit silicon-carbide sandpaper Get about a dozen sheets and cut them to fit the pole sander or fold them for hand sanding.

    3. Sanding sponges Get three coarse-grit and three fine-grit sponges.

    4. Large cleaning sponge

    5. latex painter's caulk Get one tube per room.

    6. Patching compound To fill holes.

    7. Primer One quart will cover patches, but you'll need more to prime entire walls.

    8. Painter's tape or blue tape for protecting hardware and trim.

    9. Bucket and tray liners

    10. Roller covers Use a shorter nap inch) for latex paint on smooth walls; a longer nap (½-inch and up) is best for rougher surfaces.