Vidicom CEO Christy Ferer says, "Carefully sand and prime walls before painting them." There is beauty in imperfection. Play up a wall's flaws and blemishes. Exaggerate them. Celebrate, don't conceal, cracks. After stripping wallpaper, think about leaving the wall as is. Leave the traces of past paint jobs or the wallpaper glue. This creates age and character, gives lineage, and hints at past lives. A compulsively prepared wall can end up looking lifeless. She says if you're painting, try scratching up the dry paint with a steel wool or fine sandpaper to add a little world-weariness and turn up the charm.