Sanding painted walls: How to achieve a flawless finish when redecorating

hand with sanding on light coloured wall
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sanding painted walls is all part of the preparation to make sure that your walls are in good order before you add a new coat of paint or wallpaper. Like most DIY projects, preparation is key and the better the condition of the surface, the better the finished project.

Layers of paint will accumulate over the years and give your walls an ugly, uneven finish, especially if poorly applied. A good sanding is not only key to a smooth finish but will help with the new paint's adhesion to the surface.

If you are feeling brave you can use good old muscle power, ideal for smaller areas, but if you are working with larger walls an ceilings, you should consider one of the best orbital sanders to get a decent finish. And make sure you vacuum as much dust as possible afterwards and wipe down with a damp cloth before you start painting. 

Sanding painted walls with power or hand tools? 

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.