Painted wood need be stripped only if more coats would affect the functions – as with sash windows, for example. Wood need not be stripped if it’s in good condition, but it should be cleaned with sugar soap and water. Gloss surfaces should be keyed – roughened with sandpaper – so that the new paint adheres.
Exposed brick should be brushed to remove dust. Interior brick surfaces can be painted with acrylic.
Old wallpaper should be removed before new paper is hung. Soften the paper with warm water containing washing-up liquid, then scrape off with a scraper. Painted wallpaper may need to be scored with the corner of your scraper – especially if there are several layers. A steam stripper makes the whole job much easier, but take care not to over-steam and soften the plaster underneath.
Old bare plaster might need some repair before it’s papered over. Cracks and small holes left by picture hooks should be filled with a DIY wall filler. Crumbly patches should be removed back to sound plaster and replastered with a repair plaster.
Newly plastered ceilings can be painted directly with acrylic: there’s no need to paper.
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