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Getting ready to paint? Don’t skip the prep work: A properly primed surface makes all the difference to the end result. And once the walls are primed, you’re just hours away from enjoying your room’s makeover. Here’s how to make both parts of the job a snap from

1) Clean the walls

Using a large cellulose sponge and a solution of water mixed with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid, clean your walls to remove any dust, dirt, and grease.

2) Tape the trim

Use blue painter’s tape (not masking tape) to protect any areas you don’t want your paint to get on, such as trim, molding, doorknobs, window frames, and door frames: Run long strips of the tape just inside the outer edges of these areas. (The outer edges of the tape should lie exactly where the wall meets the trim, covering the parts of the trim that your roller or paintbrush might hit when you paint.)

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3. Pour primer into a tray

Pour in enough so that it almost fills the well toward the bottom of the tray without covering the angled portion of the tray where the ridges are.


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