Commercial contractors use various techniques learned from decades of preparing surfaces for painting, and here are a few of the most commonly used:

  • Sanding: Sanding the area for paint feathers out chipped paint and provides a better surface for the subsequent coat of paint. Pros like to use a sanding sponge instead of sandpaper to mold the shape of the trim, and it lasts longer than paper. Some painters like to follow the hand-sanding with liquid sandpaper when applying latex over alkyd paint.
  • Sponge bath: Painting over dust will just lead to textured walls that don’t leave a good impression. Pros use trisodium phosphate (TSP) to wash walls. If your premises has smoke-stained walls, a solution with a 1:1 ratio of bleach to water will provide a thorough clean.
  • Cracks: Using paintable acrylic-latex caulk to fill gaps can make the trim look new. When using caulk, professionals cut the tip smaller than they think it should be, as too much caulk is messy. The inner seal should be broken with a nail instead of wire to ensure the nozzle is not stretched out, and experts use a dripless caulk gun to ensure there is no unwanted oozing.