Moving into a new home it can take a little bit to not feel like you are just camping out in someone else’s home. When all is said and done and the boxes are moved in it still takes some time to really feel at home. One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to immediately make a new place your own is a fresh coat of paint. Before you dive in head first though, do yourself a HUGE favor and prep the walls for a perfect paint job. Trust me, if you take the steps first to properly prepare the walls you will thank yourself in the long run. First step for paint prep? Remove any nails, screws, wall anchors, or anything else used to hang artwork. Unless of course you decide your decor fits perfectly on the already made holes, have at it, my friend. For anyone whose previous homeowners did not set them up with perfect decor locations, read on.
One of the first projects we have jumped into is repainting the first floor half bath. This is one of our quick hits per say, the vanity, toilet, and light fixture are new and are our taste. The walls are just a bright yellow I want to downgrade to a calm grey. The floors are on the list to eventually be done. They currently have the peel and stick tile which is in fine shape for now but down the line I’d like to put in a better quality flooring. There were two towel bars – one over the toilet and one on the wall opposite. With this being a half bath, I did not see the need of two towel bars so I decided to take off the one on the opposite wall to free up that entire wall for art work and decor later on.
Removing Wall Anchors
When the towel bar was unscrewed and removed what remained were the four wall anchors seen in the picture above (two on each side). These winged wall anchors are typical for holding up towel bars. In order to remove them in the least damaging way possible, I took a razor blade and carefully slid it underneath the wings to loosen it up. These anchors snapped into two pieces as you can see in the picture below. The wings separated and left the remaining piece of the anchor in the wall. Do NOT take pliers and attempt to pull from the wing straight out of the wall. If pulled, the drywall will pull from the back and create a much bigger, messier hole with cracking around the original smaller hole. Once the wings are removed, the remaining piece inside can simply be pushed into the wall. I used a screwdriver (smaller than the hole) to gently tap it back. You will hear it fall to the back inside of the wall.
Patch the Hole
The holes left remaining from the wall anchors are about 1/2 inch in diameter. At this size, it is right at the line that if I used only putty to cover the holes it would be slightly weak and able to put a finger through when it dries. After I removed the anchors, I sanded down the area and blew away any dust leftover to allow for a clean application of the tape and spackle.
Place a small strip of the fiber tape just over the hole to give it a bit more stability and spackle right over this. The type below goes on pink and dries white in about 1-5 hours. When applying, smooth it on with a putty knife in X shapes to make sure the hole is covered.
If there are slight lines in the spackle as you put it on don’t worry, once it is dry you will be sanding it down before painting anyway. Deeper and larger holes will take a longer time to dry, it will be completely done when it is white with a dusty texture. If it is still malleable or slightly sticky leave it to dry longer. Once the spackle is completely dry, sand it down with a drywall sand paper or one with about 120 grit or higher. If you use a grit any lower than 120 you may damage the walls and create scratches. Smooth your hand over the spackle to feel if there is a smooth transition into the prior paint. This step is important that the wall is sanded enough to make a seamless transition with fresh paint. If the spackle is not blended well with the paint underneath, you may see the texture difference when the new coat of paint dries. Though tedious, the preparation steps make the biggest difference in having a perfectly painted room.