How to Paint Drywall

If your walls need a little more love and care than a coat of paint, Paintzen offers a drywall repair and skim coating service. Correctly preparing your drywall can help you achieve a perfect painted finish for many years.


What is drywall? Drywall is a type of board made from plaster, wood pulp, or other material used to form houses’ interior walls. When you notice inconsistencies in your walls, it may be stemming from your drywall and is a sign that it needs some work.

Before you start any paint project, it is always good to check your walls’ quality. If your wall is in good condition, but you want a new color, you can paint over the existing paint to give your room a quick update.


Always begin a new paint job on a surface that is as clean as possible. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe away dirt, dust, or grease because buildup on the wall can cause the new paint to crack and chip away. If the wall or existing paint is rough or slightly damaged, consider sanding it lightly.

When you go to check your drywall for any imperfections, you might need to sand the walls. Don’t use a wood sander, as this will tear up the delicate drywall. Instead, use a fine sandpaper and a drywall sander.

To fill holes and crack, you will use some putty and light spackle. If small holes or cracks exist in the wall surface, fill them with a flexible filler meant for drywall treatments.

To prepare the space for any drywall work or priming, you need to protect the surrounding area. Move furniture away from the area you’re painting, if possible. Any pieces staying in the room will need a plastic tarp covering.

Your floor will remain safe under a professional drop cloth, which also prevents you from spreading paint throughout the house. Place several fans throughout the room to properly ventilate the space.

Before you paint your new drywall, you need to apply a pre-coat to prepare the surface and help the paint adhere correctly.

Apply a primer coat to the drywall to cover up imperfections on the surface before applying your color. You can color match the primer to your chosen color or leave it as is.

Give the paint sufficient time to dry after you finish the first coat. The exact time depends on the paint you’re using, whether you applied primer, and your climate.


Professional painters owe their success to more than just experience. Using the right materials and proper preparation are crucial to getting that professional look for your home.

There are several options to choose from when selecting a suitable pre-coat for your new drywall. For many people, the most straightforward solution is to apply a coat of flat latex paint and let it completely dry before adding the paint for their final finish.

If you want to achieve a more even finish, select a premium drywall primer and sealer for your pre-coat. This kind of pre-coat can hide any color on your new drywall and produce a uniform finish for your final coat of paint.

The last pre-coat option is a technique known as a skim coating. Skim coating involves using a drywall taping knife to scrape drywall compound onto the wall and then immediately scrape it off again. The thin layer of a compound that remains on the wall is known as a skim coat. This method produces a high-quality texture, but it requires a lot more skill than simply coating the wall with a drywall primer.

You don’t always have to prime a wall before you paint. Primer is meant to seal and protect the surface, and if the drywall is already painted, it probably has at least one coating of primer. Consider priming over an existing paint color if any of the following are true:

1. You plan to paint the wall with a substantially different color, especially if you’ve chosen a light color, and the wall is a dark color.

2. The wall was especially damaged, and you had to apply a lot of filler, which needs to be sealed.

3. You want to use an inexpensive paint that doesn’t provide full coverage or doesn’t already include a primer element.


Consult with a Paintzen professional about the particulars of your project for additional advice, or you can explore our painting services and get a quote for your painting project!