To achieve a long-lasting and professional finish, it’s essential to prepare your surfaces properly for decorating. But different surfaces need to be prepared differently. This video explains what you need to do to get painted, plastered or wallpapered walls ready for decorating. You’ll find out how to fill in holes and cracks with filler, how to remove peeling paint, wallpaper and flaky plaster, and how to clean these surfaces before painting.

Preparation & planning

Before you start, your surface must be clean, dry, free from dust and grease. Make sure any freshly plastered surfaces are completely dry before being prepared with primer.

Ideally, all furniture should be removed from the room. If this isn’t possible, make sure everything is covered with a protective sheet - including the floor.


After preparing your walls and ceilings, you are now ready to paint! See our video 'how to paint a room' for further guidance.

Hints & tips

It’s always a good idea to vacuum after you’ve sanded - especially along the top edge of any skirting boards. This minimises the chance of dust getting caught in the wet paint.

When using a steam stripper, don’t let the water run low as this damages the machine.


When sanding excess filler, always wear a dust mask and make sure the room is properly ventilated. To avoid getting scaled by steam from a steam stripper, cover your arms and use a stepladder to access ceilings and wallpaper that’s above head height.

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