Do I Need To Sand Walls Before Painting Exterior?

Repairing Drywall Holes Nicks Before Painting

Patching any holes, nicks, and other imperfections is one of the most important steps in preparing your walls for painting. You can either buy the premixed type of spackling paste in plastic containers such as {this} or one that you mix yourself such as Sheetrock’s Easy Sand Joint Compound:

The plus of using the pre-prepared type is that it

The plus of using the pre-prepared type is that it’s easy! I personally like the type that you mix yourself – it only takes a minute or two to mix and I don’t bother with any measuring but instead just add a little bit of water at a time until it gets to the consistency that I want. In exchange for spending just a few minutes mixing, you get to reap all of the benefits of using this type of joint compound over the premixed kind – it’s much less expensive, you can mix as much or as little as you need, it goes on nice and smoothly (you have no small dried pieces like I sometimes get when using joint compound from a container), it dries faster, and (most importantly) I think it’s much easier and quicker to sand.

It comes in five different grades which are based on the average setting and working time for the joint compound.  The lower the grade, the faster it will dry (both on the wall and in your mixed batch) – there is a chart on the back of each bag that shows you the approximate setting times and working times for each different grade. Unless you’re patching just a spot or two, don’t use a very low grade like 20 or your joint compound will start drying up on you before you’re done using it.  I usually use grade 90 of Easy Sand that’s available {here}. It sets within 85-130 minutes (meaning it’s ready to sand and paint after this time) and has a working time of one hour (meaning that you have an hour before your mixed joint compound begins to dry up).  

Does Sherwin Williams sell Ralph Lauren paint?

Formerly available at Home Depot store, it is no longer carried there. RLP paint can be purchased at a Ralph Lauren Home store, though. Unlike huge paint manufacturers like Valspar, Sherwin Williams, or Benjamin Moore, you will not find every color under the sun.


Can I use Dawn to wash walls before painting

Answered By: Jayden Martin Date: created: Oct 18 2020

Most wall surfaces that appear to be in good condition don’t need very much in the way of cleaning. Then mix up a bucket of cleaning solution comprised of one to two cups white vinegar and a half-tablespoon of a good grease-cutting dish soap like Dawn®. Use at least two gallons of water.

Asked By: Diego Sanchez Date: created: Dec 06 2020

How long do you wait to paint after washing the walls

Answered By: Nathan Jackson Date: created: Oct 13 2021

If you do, it may pull the paint away from the surface. With latex paint, you only need to wait a half hour or so before peeling off the tape. With alkyds, two or three hours is enough. The paint can’s label will tell you how long it takes for the paint to set completely.

Asked By: Gerld Lee Date: created: Jan 01 2022

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What happens if you don’t sand before painting?

Sanding also removes any bumps and impurities from the wood which would make it look uneven and messy. If you don’t sand before painting you will likely end up with an uneven finish and a paint job that will likely end up peeling after a few months.

Tools Needed For The Job

Without the right tools to handle the sanding, it will be difficult to properly get it done. Having the right tools will increase your chances of doing a good job without spending unnecessary time trying to make do with what you have.

Your toolbox should include the following:

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  • A small paintbrush that will be useful for dampening cracks in the surface prior to filling the cracks.
  • Sponge for cleaning necessary surfaces prior to painting.
  • Bucket: You need this to make the cleaning solution and paint.
  • Sanding block.
  • Scraper or filling knife to get rid of small bumps in the wall.
  • Dusters for cleaning the wall.


Materials needed

The materials you need for the sanding and prepping are:

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  • A basecoat for a damaged or stained surface
  • Medium sandpaper: You need this as well. Since there are different types of this material, check the packaging for any indication that it is suitable for plastered surfaces
  • Plaster sealant is a necessity for freshly plastered walls
  • Retractable knife
  • Filler for filling cracks and holes in the wall
  • Masking tape


Safety tools

You should make your safety a priority while working. For your own safety, you need the following tools:

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  • Safety goggles to protect your face and eyes
  • Rubber gloves to protect your hands against exposure to harmful chemicals while working


Tools Materials

  • Cordless drill/driver

    Cordless drill/driver

  • Paint tray

    Paint tray

  • Paint roller

    Paint roller

  • Sanding head

    Sanding head

  • Paint roller with extension

    Paint roller with extension

  • Brush and roller spinner

    Brush and roller spinner

  • Wire brush

    Wire brush

  • Paint brushes

    Paint brushes

  • Putty knife

    Putty knife

  • 5-In-1 Painter's Tool

    5-In-1 Painter’s Tool

  • Utility knife

    Utility knife

  • Paint scraper

    Paint scraper

  • Drywall sander

    Drywall sander

  • Caulk gun

    Caulk gun

  • Plastic bucket

    Plastic bucket

  • Wet/dry vacuum

    Wet/dry vacuum

  • Hammer


  • Nailset


How to Sand Laminate Furniture

For laminate furniture, I’d sand over the piece a couple of times with very rough sandpaper, like a 60 or 80 grit.  Laminate is very smooth and you want to make sure the paint sticks to it.

Then use a good primer before painting.  In my post, How to Paint Laminate Furniture, I share the full process and some tips to make laminate look like painted wood.

You can also check out my BEST tips for painting furniture below.  They will save you a ton of time and give your furniture piece a beautifully smooth finish.

See my favorite diy furniture makeovers HERE including before and after photos.

If you have any other questions about sanding furniture, feel free to ask in the comments question!  I’d love to help in any way I can.


If your walls have dents, cracks, or holes, then it is important to seal up any open crevices before beginning the painting process. Paint is incapable of filling in these spaces due to its thin texture, so painting over them will just leave them exposed. You can easily and quickly fill in holes and cracks with spackle. Spackle is a type of paste that you can smooth over holes and cracks, filling them in and ensuring that they are sealed. 

True Value states, “Spackling paste or spackling compound is made of gypsum powder and binders and is used to patch small holes, cracks and other imperfections like dents in drywall, plaster walls, and sometimes in wood.” This way, when you begin painting, the final look will result in a smooth, clean wall.

Most spackles these days can dry within 10 minutes, so they won’t set you back on schedule if there is a last-minute hole that you need to fill in. Some are designed to change color from pink to white, so you know when it is dry and safe to sand down. It is important to sand the wall after spackling in order to ensure a flat and smooth surface for your paint. 

Step #2: Removing Mildew

No matter which room you’re preparing to paint, make sure you address any mildew first. Never paint over mildew—it will grow through new paint, which will make subsequent cleaning and maintenance even more difficult. You can clean mildew with a sponge and a solution that is three-to-four parts water to one part bleach. Apply the solution, allow it to set for a few minutes, scrub the affected surface with a soft brush, and rinse the area with clean water. Make sure you wear gloves and goggles and allow time to dry.

Step #4: Priming Walls Before Painting

If paint and paint color make a home, then primer is that home’s foundation. Use a primer to get the most out of your paint, especially if your walls are porous or have surface stains that need covering up. Primers disguise imperfections, create a smooth surface for your paint to lock onto, and ensure a uniform finish no matter what you’re painting. There is a primer for every project and substrate. Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start® line of premium interior primers offer products that provide excellent hide on nearly any surface, even for projects with a significant color change.

How to Paint a Room in 8 Steps

Carl Wiens

A poorly executed paint job is easy to spot, with its drips and slips and uneven lines. More often than not, haste is the culprit. But with some thorough preparation up front, many of the possible pitfalls will be eliminated—and the actual painting will be much easier, as well. So before you crack your first paint can, schedule in a full day for prep.

Three essential surface preparation steps

While sanding might not be essential for every pai

While sanding might not be essential for every painting project, the following three surface preparation steps are.

1. Clean your walls

Clean walls are key to achieving perfect results, and here’s why:

  • If your walls are covered in dirt or dust, paint will not be able to adhere properly. This may result in an uneven, bumpy surface and flaking and blistering further down the track.
  • If your walls are scuffed and marked, these stains could show through your fresh paint – especially if you are using a white or light neutral shade.

Typically, warm water, detergent, and a sponge is enough to remove dust, dirt, and minor marks. Sugar soap is another popular choice. Just be sure to give your walls ample time to dry before you start painting.

2. Address water damage

Never paint over mildew, mould, or water damage, as these issues will fast show through your new paint. Find and repair the source of any water damage before painting. Then, remove mildew using a solution of four-parts of water to one-part of bleach applied with a sponge or brush.

If your mould problem is significant, it’s best to call in a professional. These nasty spores can damage your health if not handled correctly.

3. Prime your walls

Primer ensures you get the most out of your paint, particularly if your walls are porous, already painted a dark colour, or have stubborn stains. Primers disguise imperfections, resulting in a smooth, adhesive, white surface for your paint to stick to. The result is paint that is even and true-to-colour.

Is there an app to match paint colors?

Step #3: Sand Surfaces Before Painting

While sanding is not required for every paint project, rough spots on walls, whether they have been previously painted or not, need to be sanded before they are painted to ensure the paint goes on smoothly. For previously painted water-based paint, sand with a fine-grit sandpaper.