Step 4: Fill holes

painting a room
Photo: David Carmack
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Use lightweight spackling compound and a putty knife to fill small holes or cracks. Push spackling compound in, then smooth the patch. Once the compound is dry, spot prime the patch or completely re-prime the walls, depending on size of the repair.

On new woodwork, overfill nail holes with a water-based wood filler to allow for shrinkage, then allow it to dry before sanding.

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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