Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page includes notes about painting preps.


An unpainted room can be intimidating. White patches of plaster and pencil marks call out to be hidden. In front of you there is a bucket of paint and ten linear miles to cover with the roller. You can feel the aching in your back, and you haven't even begun. Not only that, you still need to mask, cut in and lay out drop cloths.


Use masking tape to prevent paint from being inadvertently applied to windows, molding, tile or other bathroom fixtures. I recommend at least one-inch tape. A wide tape will allow you to be careless with a brush.

The tape is directly applied to the surface you wish to keep paint-free. If you plan to be really sloppy or to use a spray gun, lay down newspaper and tape the edges.

If you use masking tape on a sunny window, get your painting done quickly and remove the tape as soon as possible because the heating action of the sun can cause the tape to stick too well. As this tape may only be removed with a razor blade, your house could look as though it is perpetually ready for the next hurricane, even if you live in Arizona.


A drop cloth is basically a big sheet that protects furniture and carpet from paint spatters. Plastic is ideal because of its impermeability. However, if you do not have plastic on hand, a brief trip to the linen closet should provide more than enough material to use as drop cloths.

The pattern on most sheets is uglier than anything you could do to them with a few dots of eggplant purple. The sheets that do not get too badly marked up can still be used in the guest bedroom. So what if they are a little crusty?

Next Page

Paint Selection
Painting Tools
Paint Preps
Laying It On

See below to order the book!

Introduction | Decision Making | Design | Permits | Buying Materials | Demolition | Digging | Masonry | Framing | Electricity | Plumbing | Inspections | Roofing | Sheathing / Siding | Soffits | Insurance | Insulation | Fat Fireman Rule | Drywall | Finish Carpentry | Tile | Painting | Carpet | Done

About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

Contact Us | Privacy Statement