Prepping walls for painting

So… we’re painting the entire interior of the house, did I mention that? Putting a nicer colour palette on a house can make a huge difference for quite a small outlay. Paint for the entire house has cost us roughly $600, and that’s using good Dulux Wash & Wear stuff as we’ll be buggered if we’re going to have a wall ruined by one of the kids leaving a hand print on it or something equally mischievous.

Now, you could pay someone to then do the painting, but that costs thousands of dollars. If you have that money, all well and good, but we don’t… so it’s a job that’s fallen to us plus friends/family to do ourselves. Painting is not as easy as just covering a roller in paint and going to town, there are a number of steps to get a good result, and first of those is cleaning the walls.

You may look at the walls in a house and think ‘hey, they look pretty clean as is, surely paint will just go over that and it’ll all be good to go’, and you may be right for the most part…

However, what about portions of walls like this?

Loungeroom corner before clean

Loungeroom corner before cleaning

Delightful stains on the walls caused by… well… um… any number of things I guess, but it’s pretty darn ugly looking, and if it contains a lot of oil or grease or other such materials in it then it can make it very hard for paint to adhere to the wall properly. Also it may bleed through the paint over time, which would just be unpleasant for all.

And this is not the only case of course, what about this delightful corner area?

Bedroom corner before clean

Bedroom corner before cleaning

And then we get to the truly scary bits like this, which as well as being ugly, is also concern for water issues, although it feels very dry now and it’s been raining a lot, so we can but hope it’s an old issue that is gone now (fingers crossed).

Bedroom mould before clean

Bedroom mould before cleaning

So, we have these horrendous crimes against nature on our walls, what do we do about it? We clean them of course, and it would seem the thing to use is good old sugar soap, and then clean water to clean off the sugar soap you just introduced to the wall (and they were getting on so well). For portions like the moulded area above, I also did some scrubbing down with a bleach solution after the sugar soap and before the water, in an effort to kill off any remaining mouldy meanies.

So, how did it go? See for yourself:

Loungeroom corner after clean

Loungeroom corner after cleaning

Oooh

Bedroom corner after clean

Bedroom corner after cleaning

Ahhh

Bedroom mould after clean

Bedroom mould after cleaning

Ooooooh… oh… hey, there’s still some there.

Yup, try as I might, and with an awful lot of hard scrubbing, I still could not completely get rid of all traces of this mould area. One hopes it will not cause issues down the track.

And speaking of mould, look what was in the wardrobe of the boy’s room:

Wardrobe mould

Wardrobe mould... urgh

Isn’t that lovely?

Wardrobe mould again

Wardrobe mould again, still urgh

It’s like some kind of shabby chic decorating gone far, far too into the ‘shabby’ area. I have given it a darn good drenching and scrub down with bleach, and again, it was all dry to the touch before that, so we pray to the god of fungus spores that it is a problem long gone. But this wardrobe will need some serious tarting up, that’s for sure. So, this took me a couple of hours, and that’s just one bedroom and one end of the lounge room, much more wall cleaning to go!

  • Vanessa Lanaway

    Egads! You cleaned the skirting boards right off! Now that’s what I call elbow grease … impressive.

    • Ha! 😀 I thought someone might think that… and after re-reading it I thought I probably should mention it… but no, I ripped them off prior to going to town on them with cleaning, all ready for painting the walls and putting on our new, shiny skirting boards

  • Wendy

    Simon, when on earth did you get time to do this? You put us all to shame 🙂

  • Sherrian O’Connor

    Oh errgh -that wardrobe does look scary. Indeed hope it is ‘old problems’. If it doesn’t feel/smell damp then fingers crossed all is now okay. It’s all going to be worth it in the end.