Surface cleaning
The method of cleaning is governed by the type of surface rather than the type of paint previously applied. With few exceptions, such as thinly coated three-ply, all painted surfaces can be washed in hot water and ordinary household detergent, used in the proportion of one tablespoon to each four litres of hot water.
Do not use soap powders, as these leave a film deposit detrimental to satisfactory painting.
Washing down, to be effective, needs frequent changes of water and a second wipe over with clean towelling to leave the surface free of smears.
Heavy stains not removed with hot water and detergent should receive a further washing with mineral turpentine, and the surface should be wiped dry with a clean cloth.
Plywood and other surfaces, which may be subject to damage by water, should be washed thoroughly with mineral turps.
Removing kalsomines
Kalsomines and soluble water paints present one of the hazards to successful painting, and complete removal, wherever possible, is recommended.
Wet the surface with hot water to which detergent has been added in the proportion of one tablespoon of detergent to each four litres of water. Repeat the application until the moisture has penetrated right through to the wall surface.
Remove the softened kalsomine by using coarse cloth or hessian, or strip the softened kalsomine with a paint stripper. Then seal surface with a recommended sealer once the surface is thoroughly dry.
Peeling and flaking
The peeling and flaking of interior finishes is probably one of the greatest obstacles confronting the home painter as rectification often entails complete stripping – a time-consuming and tedious job.
Where flaking has occurred in isolated spots it is quite possible that the damage will not extend further if arrested at this stage. To do this, remove all loose material by scraping with a paint stripping knife. Test surrounding areas for adhesion. If they are still in a sound condition, clean the bared section thoroughly, “feather” the edges with a fine grade sandpaper,
spot-prime (or seal) and repaint the whole surface. If the flaking is general and extends over broad areas, complete stripping is recommended.
After removing as much of the flaking material as possible by scraping or hard brushing, the remainder can be stripped with a minimum of effort by using a paint and varnish remover.

Painting over wallpaper
If in a sound condition and adhering firmly to the surface, most wallpapers provide a satisfactory foundation for painting. Wiping down with a damp cloth should precede any paint application.
The successful removal of wallpaper depends on thorough wetting with hot water. Use an old paint brush, roller or cloth. The process is repeated until the moisture penetrates right through the paper. The stripping is performed with the aid of a paint stripping knife which is worked up between the soaked paper and the wall surface.
Care should be taken not to damage the plaster. After stripping, the surface should be washed down with hot water and detergent to remove any paste or remaining glue.
Plaster
The washing down process will reveal hair cracks, loose plaster over nail heads, cracks in corners, and so on. These should be repaired in order to provide a suitable foundation for the subsequent coats of paint.
Cut out all cracks to permit the firm insertion of the filler or surfacing compound. Cutting is done with the edge of a paint stripping knife or straight-edged knife. It is important NOT to moisten the cavity with water before applying most modern fillers. Brush out any loose material.
When filling cracks or elongated fissures, the filler is applied across the cavity. Deep indentations should be built up in layers, rather than with a single application. Large holes and corners with no backing can be repaired by forcing wet newspaper into the cavity.
After soaking the newspaper, wring out excess water and coat the paper with the filling mixture, then force into position and allow to set.
When, dry repaired areas are lightly sanded with a fine grade paper.
When repairing sanded walls, add a little clean sand of similar texture to the mixture and even out by using a dry brush.

Mould or mildew
Humid conditions contribute to the development of mould, which, contrary to common belief, is not related to paint. The spores are ever present in the air and, given the right atmospheric conditions, will lodge and grow on anything – even glass. Therefore, ample ventilation after treatment is the best insurance against recurrence.
Treatment is simple. Wash down the surface with hot water and detergent, and then rinse with clean water. When the surface is dry, swab the affected area with methylated spirits, or an anti-mould wash, and repaint – preferably with gloss enamel or satin paint.

Spot priming
When self-sealing paints such as the flat or satin acrylics are to be used, all that is necessary is to “spot prime” the patched areas with the selected finish before proceeding with the application. in all other cases (especially when using enamel paints a sealer should be used for this purpose.
It is important to note that all patched areas should be dry before spot priming or painting. The degree of dryness can be noted in most fillers by the change of colour, from a distinct greyish tone when w et to white when dry.
Polishing
This is mentioned because some plaster surfaces have hard glazed surfaces and when a porous stopping is applied and not polished, there is a possibility that the repaired section will remain visible.
Polishing is achieved by allowing the filler to set, then alternately moistening and trowelling several times, until the desired degree of hardness is achieved.

Sealers
Sealers are designed to overcome porosity, or excessive absorption of a surface, thereby providing a satisfactory foundation for subsequent coats of paint. They are not intended to seal kalsomines, loose or flaking paint, dampness, or faults occasioned by structural defects.

Patching
The modern surfacing compounds are recognised as easy to use and being the most versatile of all patching plasters.
Binding sealers Use a binding sealer – the oil based penetrating sealer that provides a seal and bond for such chalky and powdery type paint surfaces. Carefully follow the makers instructions.
Where to start
Paint the ceiling first, working across the width in one metre strips. This allows you to lap strips while the paint is still
wet. Don’t paint a strip more than a metre wide, and don’t try to paint too large an area at one time.
On both wall and ceiling painting, move the ladder often and paint in limited areas. Reaching too far or moving the ladder with painting materials on it is a sure way to include the floor in your painting plans – not to mention a possible unscheduled trip to the hospital.

After the ceiling comes the walls. Start each wall at the upper left hand corner
and work down towards the floor (left handers should start at the upper right hand corner). Work in one metre strips. This will allow you to lap while the paint is still wet and results in a wall of uniform texture.
First use a brush and paint the edge along the ceiling about one metre out of the corner. Then, still using the
brush, paint the edge from the ceiling all the way to the floor. About 12 centimeter strips should be enough.
Then, using a freshly loaded roller, start about one metre below the ceiling and make a big “M” with the roller, as big
as possible within the square metre patch on which you’re working. (Always begin with a roller by rolling upwards).
Now roll the roller in a relatively random way so as to generally spread the paint over this square metre of area; then smooth out the paint with even up and down strokes. Finish the patch with smooth strokes in the other direction.
Next, start another patch below, again starting at a point about one metre below the finished area and working upwards at first, making a big “M”.
When you get to the bottom, paint the strip along the floor. Then start again at the ceiling by continuing the top edge another metre with the brush, working to the floor in square metre patches, and lapping the finished area on the left as you go down.

To make the painting of ceilings easier, a specially formulated ceiling paint may be used. Ceiling paints have a thicker consistency which reduces the chance of accidental dripping over the floor or the painter.