One of the most requested wall painting tips we get is not so much about painting the wall but how to clean the wall after the painting has been done. Many homeowners are concerned about damaging or ruining the paint when they attempt to clean the interior walls of the home.
The thing is, a lot of folks will sometimes neglect cleaning a wall because they are so worried about causing some form of damage. But walls can get pretty dirty, particularly those in the kitchen. All of that smoke, heat, and grease rising from the stove and oven can start to make your walls look rather dingy and ugly. They can also start to get sticky.
What about those homes with kids? They can be rather relentless on the walls of a home, their little hands touching and streaking the surface. Not to mention the impromptu artwork using a variety of materials from markers to crayons to who knows what else. When your little ones mar the walls, you need to take action pretty quick or the paint could become stained and those scribbles will turn into permanent additions to the interior of the room.
So we asked a number of expert residential painters in Midlothian as to the best ways to go about cleaning painted walls without causing damage or permanent blemishes. Here are some of the suggestions they offered, so the next time you want to give your walls a cleaning you can avoid making a mess:
Know the Type of Paint You Applied
This shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. If you did the work yourself, then you may know off the top of your head. If not, go check any spare cans you might have lying around in the garage or under the sink. This knowledge is essential because you are going to take certain cleaning steps and precautions based on the type of paint used on the wall.
Some types of paint are also going to be easier to clean than others. For instance, semi-gloss and enamel paints should remain free and clear of any damage should you attempt to clean them. These paints are resilient and can stand up to just about anything.
It’s the other types like eggshell and flat finish paints that can start to peel if you utilize abrasive and harsh cleaners and equipment. Stain is also something you need to be careful with as you try to clean it. This is also a wall covering that is fragile and can be easily removed by mistake.
Before you start to use any type of cleaning solution and before you apply any of it to the cleaning of your walls, you need to first dust them. This removes the top layer of dust, grime, dirt, and pet hair that is probably stuck to the surface of your wall. Maybe not in the middle or at eye level, but take a closer look at the corners near the floor and ceiling.
Notice any cobwebs or collected dust stuck to the surfaces? You want to clear all of that away first before you get to the cleaning portion of the process. Removing this layer of dust is going to allow you to clean your walls a lot more efficiently and effectively, making for a better-looking wall when all is said and done.
There are plenty of cleaning tools on the market to get at this dust but if you don’t feel like spending money on any of that, you can grab a dry clean cloth or even use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get at all of the dust build-up.
Cleaning Your Painted Walls
So now that you know what kind of paint you’re dealing with and you’ve dusted the surfaces, it’s time to get to the task at hand. What kind of challenges are facing here? Stains and smudges or just an overall dull appearance throughout? You can start with a liquid cleanser to get at the ground-in dirt but just be sure you take things slowly. Don’t scrub very hard and if you aren’t trying to eliminate thick grime and gunk, choose the mildest cleanser possible.
But if you have a tougher task ahead of you, try combining a ¼ cup of baking soda with a ½ cup of vinegar, one cup of ammonia, and one gallon of warm water. Mix it all together and give the wall a good solid cleaning. You should notice a difference almost immediately.