Step 1: Sand flat woodwork

sanding before painting a room
Photos by: David Carmack
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After wiping down any dirty woodwork with a household cleaner, sand the trim, doors, and windows with 120-grit silicon-carbide sandpaper. Sand old paint so new paint can adhere. Sand bare wood to remove raised grain, level off wood filler, and ease over sharp edges.

When sanding flat surfaces, hold the sandpaper in your hand to get into any slight depressions that a rigid sanding block would miss.

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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

    one gallon typically covers about 350 square feet



    2. MASKING TAPE (1 1/2-INCH WIDE)

    for securing rosin paper to floor and protecting baseboard



    3. SILICON-CARBIDE SANDPAPER

    120-grit for bare wood or old paint; 220-grit for primer or between-coat smoothing



    4. LIGHTWEIGHT SPACKLING COMPOUND

    for filling holes and cracks in drywall and plaster



    5. DUST MASK

    for protecting lungs when sanding