Paint Preparation Guide

No matter what surface that is to be painted, the key to a perfect finish is the preparation. Wood, metalwork, masonry, and previously painted surfaces will need to be treated before painting. Our guide looks at the various methods of paint preparation from DIY users to commercial applications.

Advice: Before carrying out any preparation work please ensure that the paint you are rubbing isn’t toxic to you in any way. Old lead paint can give off dust or fumes that may be adverse to your health. Lead was used in older paints before a ban came into place. If you are dealing with old surfaces it is best to get advice or wear appropriate equipment whilst undertaking these tasks. We always advise on wearing PPE when sanding.

Paint Preparation by Tools and Materials

Paint Fillers

Paint fillers are designed to fill small holes, crack, and imperfections to a surface before painting.


The sandpaper is used to smooth a surface down before paint application takes place. The sandpaper can be provided in different coarse grits. Grits as low as 20 are coarse grit sandpaper and sandpaper as high as 1500 grit is ultra-fine sandpaper.

Mechanical Sanders

Where a lot of sanding is required, the use of mechanical sander will be preferred over hand sanding. The sandpaper can be applied to a spinning disc or moving plate to take the work out of sanding. A lot of sanding machines come with attachments so that they can be attached to vacuum cleaners. This takes a lot of the dust away that sanding creates.

Heat Strippers

Heat Strippers soften up paints to allow them to be scraped off by scraping tools. The Heat gun normally comes with different temperatures setting and comes with different connections to fit on the end which direct the heat.

Needle Scaler

Needle scalers are ideal for treating rust and corrosion on metal surfaces before painting takes place.

Blasting equipment

A specialist piece of equipment is a blasting machine. Different blast materials are available depending on the environments and surroundings. Different types include but not limited to sand, grit, soda, water or a mixture.

Paint Preparation by Surface

Bare Wood

Painted Wood


New Plaster Wall

Exterior and Interior Cements, blockwork, Concrete and Masonry

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