Repairing Walls

1. Carefully remove nails, screws, tape and any other material affixed to the wall or surface.

  • Materials: hammer, screwdriver, pliers

2. Clean off wall or surface.

  • Materials: white vinyl eraser, mild soap/water, clean rag or sponge
  • Erase pencil marks with white vinyl eraser
  • Wash charcoal and other marking with mild soap/warm water/cloth or sponge.

3. Remove any protrusions or textures from the wall or surface using a putty knife or sand paper.

  • Materials: putty knife, sandpaper, appropriate dust mask/respirator if sanding
  • Remove all textures and have a flat, smooth surface before painting
  • Keep in mind that painting over any textures on the surface will extenuate the imperfections even more and the paint will make the texture very difficult to remove after as it seals it in

4. Fill all holes and indentations with spackle. Let dry. Sand the surface until smooth. Reapply if needed.

  • Materials: spackle, putty knife, sandpaper, gloves, appropriate dust mask/particulate respirator if sanding, drop cloth for floor
  • Put down a drop cloth under the surface so that you do not get spackle on the floor
  • Apply spackle with putty knife over hole and with some coverage around it
  • Less is more here. Do not cake the spackle on. Thick applications will mean longer dry times and a lot more sanding which is not efficient.
  • Remember the aim here is to prepare a smooth surface for painting. For larger holes, it may take several thinner coats of spackle.
  • Always let a coat of spackle dry first. Then sand. Then reapply a new coat. Dry. Sand. Etc.
  • Remember, smooth

When the surface is dry, smooth and excellent:

5. Paint the wall white.

  • Materials: white paint, tray or cup, roller or paintbrush, gloves, drop cloth for floor, have some rags around too.
  • Put down a drop cloth under the surface so you do not get paint on the floor.
  • Many people can potentially share one tray and paint if you are all using it in the immediate area.
  • Minor Touch Ups. If you only have minor areas that require touch ups stipple paint on with a small brush, or try using a roller in a feathering technique. This means you cover the area that needs the painted but reduce pressure on the roller toward the edges as you lift off, thus feathering. This reduces the sharp edge otherwise left by the roller and blend the paint better with the existing finish.
  • Major Touch Ups. It is always easier to just paint out the whole wall if there are more than a handful of small holes. Paint rollers are a very fast way to paint a wall, and subtle differences between large disconnected blocks on a wall are very noticable. The difference in time and material is very small, as most of the time taken to paint is in the preparation and clean-up.

6. Clean Up

  • Always scrape and squeeze as much paint out of your rollers and brushes back into the tray before washing
  • Before washing, use a small brush to get all the paint out of a tray, and back into the paint container
  • Wash your brushes, trays and rollers only after ensuring they have had as much paint removed as possible
  • Wash your brushes, rollers in the sink, and scrape or squeeze or beat the water out of them as much as possible to shorten drying time
  • Please carefully close all the lids on spackle and paint containers.
  • Wipe down all putty knives and other tools with rags and water if needed + dry the tools so that these do not rust.