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Building a Solid Foundation: Understanding the Significance of Prep Work in Painting

June 26th, 2023 | 2 min read

By Kaylea Kuhlman

The prep work should be at least half of the work of any painting project.

As a residential painter in Omaha, NE, at Brush & Roll Painting we believe any painting job is only as good as the prep. This is why our proven process always includes detailed prep work like no other. 

Any kind of painting service is a big investment, whether it's painting bathroom walls or a whole house exterior, paint is intended to add value to your home. Detailed prep work is the foundation to durable work that can be carefree for years. 

Like building a house, decorating a cake, or playing with building blocks, you have to begin with a solid foundation. To obtain a solid foundation for the paint to be applied onto, it has to be thoroughly cleaned, imperfections need to be repaired, and the surface needs to be sanded and primed. 

Without any of these steps, the paint will fail and the value will be taken away from your home. 

  • If the surface is not cleaned, it will show through the paint.
  • If the damages are not repaired, the paint will sink in and it will be like the damages never left.
  • If the surface is not sanded, it will not be smooth. 
  • If the surface is not primed, the paint won't have good adhesion.

The amount of prep work depends on the condition of the surface. Some projects might need cleaned or sanded more, while others don't. But in general, the 4 steps remain constant. 

Keep reading to dive into the prep work steps for different surfaces.

Cabinet Refinishing prep work

Hart In Progress 26




The cabinet door is being cleaned and rough areas are removed with a sander.




Cabinet refinishing prep work is crucial for durable cabinets. Cabinets are the main feature of a kitchen and typically get used quite often. 

Prep work for cabinets needs to be thorough. Each surface of cabinets; boxes, drawers, and doors, needs delicate and detailed work. 

Crucial Steps That Make or Break Your Cabinet Refinishing Project

Exterior Painting prep work


The exterior is being caulked in areas with nail holes and gaps in the siding.

Prep work for exterior painting is on a whole different level- as most houses are. 

Because of their size, exteriors can take a while to prep, but each step makes the final result worth it.

Cleaning alone takes a full day. Power washing the home as the first step is the definition of a clean slate. 

Exteriors also call for caulking in many areas. Cracks, nail pops, blisters, you name it. Caulk fills in these imperfections so the paint can be applied seamlessly to the surface. 

Importance of Exterior Prep Work for Lasting Paint

Interior Painting prep work

Untitled design (3)-1The baseboards is masked off, protecting the walls and floor from fresh paint.

Prep work for interior painting isn't as extensive as other projects, but still important. Interior painting prep work makes all the difference from messy work to seamless and clean. 

The Power of Interior Painting Prep Work

Deck Staining prep work


  The deck is sanded and the railing is masked off, ready for wood stain.

Wood on decks will not hold a stain without prep. Without important steps like sanding, decks the stain won't adhere to the wood.

Best Process for A Lasting Deck Stain

Kaylea Kuhlman

Kaylea is the Brush & Roll Painting Content Manager.