Prepping a Room for Paint: It’s Easier Than You Think

I have always loved the almost instant makeover paint can give a room. But before the painting, there’s always the part that we tend to dread–the prep work.  It reminds me of gardening, all we really want to do is plant pretty flowers, but if we don’t prepare the soil first, chances are the flowers are not going to look pretty for very long.

I used to be intimidated by the idea of repairing a hole or a gouge in a wall. The products I had used in the past didn’t work very well and often ended up cracking. I totally came to terms with repairing walls when I was creating my home office.

Pottery Barn Office with Bedford Furniture and the Airgo Desk Chair

If you’ve been following BNOTP for a while, I know you remember my whiny wallpaper removal woes. I may have mentioned how much I disliked removing the wall paper in this room once or a dozen times over the couple of weeks I worked on it.

Wallpaper Removal Battle

Apparently, the walls were not primed prior to the wallpaper being hung and it fought me every step of the way during the removal process.  Eventually, I found a way to wrestle it off the wall (you can read about that HERE) but not before damaging one wall pretty badly during my initial attempts.

Damage from Wallpaper Removal

Once I found a way to remove the paper and began the process on the other walls, thoughts of repairing that badly damaged wall hung over me like a big ole albatross. All that dread was for naught because in the end the repairs were not hard, a bit time-consuming, yes. Hard, no.

My product of choice for repairing damaged walls is this stuff: Wallboard Joint Compound. Spackle works well if the hole is relatively small but for big whopping spots like I had, joint compound is my go-to product.

Wallboard Joint Compound for Repairing Walls

I had just applied it in this photo below and was letting it dry before beginning the sanding process. It was so satisfying to see all those damaged areas repaired.

Repaired Wall

If you’ve been putting off painting a room because you were worried about the preparation, take a deep breath, smile and relax.  Really!  If I can do it, you definitely can!

Glidden® has created a number of videos to take you through the whole painting process from choosing your paint, to the best methods for cutting in, to the actual process for applying the paint. I really wish these “How-to” videos had been around when I was fretting over how I was going to fix all those  holes.

The video below outlines step-by-step the process for repairing damaged walls, even down to the size grit sand paper you’ll need. It also covers those final preparations you’ll want to take before starting the actual painting process. So if you’re in the prep stage of your painting project, or will be soon, this short video will guide you through the process.


In addition to how-to videos with great painting tips, Glidden® has another helpful site called My Colortopia.  The Before and After section is a great place to get inspiration. It will fire you up and definitely motivate you to crack open a can of paint.  So much fun seeing a great room transformation!   There’s also an “Advice” category at My Colortopia where you’ll find answers to questions about color, style and painting.

Before and After Painting

So, if preparing your walls for painting is what’s standing in the way of creating a space you’ll love, just remember the walls in my office that once looked like this…

Damaged Walls


…came out looking like this!  Don’t over-think it, just check out the “How-to” videos by Glidden® and then go for it!

You’re going to love your new room!

File Organizer for the Home Office


I have been sponsored by the Glidden® brand paint for PPG to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. Great advice. Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful projects, tips and ideas. I love your blog and really enjoy hearing from you each day.

  2. I know this will be helpful to many. And, the reward of the great looking room makes the hard work worthy.

    I would love it if you would visit my blog sometime.

  3. For a couple of years I felt like the painting queen and that I should write a book on how to paint. LOL, but it is good to get a reminder and other tips that I hadn’t thought of. I appreciate any and all advice. πŸ™‚

    My patio renovation is at a stand still, we have rain most of yesterday and now ALL day today.

    Hope it is pretty at your house.

  4. Claudette Flanigan says

    Just wanted to tell you that after all this time loving your Duron Sugar Cookie painted rooms, we finally painted our entire hallway from the foyer all the way up the stairs and I just love it! So happy that you posted the formula which my husband took to our local Home Depot so they could mix up a couple cans. LOVE IT! It looks great with our white trim. So THANK YOU!

  5. Just noticed that you changed the top of your webpage to a Fall/Autumn scene. I love it!

  6. Margo Kuhn says

    Susan, thank you for sharing this. I too have a situation on a wall that is badly gouged, into the dry wall and it needs to be repaired and painted, however, I have textured walls. Do you have any idea on how to repair that? If I do it flat, it will look like an eye sore. Also my daughter’s dog knocked some plaster off a rounded corner at the bottom of my stairwell, which also has textured walls. It would be so nice to be able to fix these myself. Any ideas?

  7. Linda Louise S. says

    Wish I had this info when my son was painting his first house.
    Any tips for an older painter who is hesitating because of aches and pains?

  8. Peggy Thal says

    Such great advice Susan!! I have a room to redo and this will make the job easier. Thank you. Love your great blogs and I really look forward to them. You make my day!

  9. Susan, I just have to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I have learned so much from you. Love your home. Love all the pretty tablescapes and dishes. Keep them coming. Enjoy so very much. God Bless.

  10. are you desk units custom, or are they pottery barn. they look amazing!

  11. I have popped in to view your blog on many occasions over the past couple of years. We bought a small 1960’s ranch-style home when hubby retired and spent a couple of years slowly remodeling. (A process I love and he hates! LOL) We finally finished and I am now in “decorating mode”. Think I will check out the Havery’s thing you mentioned. My comment has to do with the removal of wallpaper you struggled with when you created your office. My daughter is having me repaint her navy blue bathroom but the top of the walls have a wallpaper border. We have tested it with a couple of products and have decided it was WELDED on. I had a similar experience in the house we remodeled and after trying EVERYTHING, decided I had nothing to lose and literally SCRUBBED it off with hot soapy water and A WIRE BRUSH! (No lie!!) The amazing thing was that the walls beneath the border had been painted with a GLOSS paint and the worse damage I did with the wire brush was knock the paint off the bumps and ridges of the gentle texture on the wall in just a very few places! AMAZING….what in the WORLD had that paper been glued on with??? Well, I think it was glued on with the same stuff used at my daughter’s house! I remembered your post and your discovery of Safe and Simple. So I went to their web site to order a 16oz. bottle for the current price of $8.50 only to learn that the least expensive shipping costs were UPS ground for $11.63. I’m so cheap, I backed out. So…any ideas out there? I hate to pull out my wire brush again!!!

    • Carolyn, Call them at 1-800-648-8585 and ask them if there’s a cheaper way to ship it or if it’s available anywhere else, yet. Maybe they’ll know a cheaper way to ship it. I tell ya, it’s totally worth whatever it costs to ship though. It was the only thing that removed my impossible-to-remove paper.

  12. I forgot to mention that I have DROOLED over your office. I have a similar sized room with a large window and white plantation blinds and the same color of walls!!! I could picture the Pottery Barn desk in this room but even on sale they were beyond my budget. I’m still working on a solution. I mentioned in my earlier comment that I visit your blog occasionally, and I love love love it! Thanks!

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