How to clean walls and painted surfaces

In this article I will illustrate how you can remove dust, stubborn stains and marks from painted surfaces.

Cleaning painted surfaces is a delicate job. You must take into consideration whether the paint it matte or gloss finish. Harsh chemicals and the wrong technique can cause the paint to look splotchy, dull or even wear away. Touch up paint is only a last resort as even the most careful color matching can leave your wall looking patchy, thus the only real solution at this point would be a complete repainting of the wall. With this article I hope to help you avoid this fate.

Dust and grime which accumulates can leave behind stains when moistened or smeared.
Regular dusting will help keep the surface of your walls stain free.

Painted furniture, knickknacks, shelves window surrounds and doors which are coated in either glossy or semi-gloss paint use can use a clean dry dusting cloth or one that has been dampened slightly with water. However wet-dusting entire walls is not practical do to the scale of the work involved and many painted surfaces are matte water-based paint which wet-dusting can remove. Rather use a feather duster to dust the walls.

Stain removal:

  • Glossy or Semi-glossy paint – Wet-wipe the walls with a cloth that has been moistened with soapy water (a mixture of dish washing liquid and water). Failing that, use an all purpose cleaner after testing it in a small inconspicuous spot.

  • Clean the surface from the bottom upwards. This ensures that the cleaning liquid does not drip down creating grimy streaks.

  • Rinse with a damp sponge or cloth. Dry thoroughly with clean towels – this will prevent the water seeping through and damaging the paint itself or what is beneath it.

Removing marks from a matte surface:
Rub the area with a white vinyl eraser. This can be found at any store that sells stationary supplies. Failing that try wiping the mark with a water moisten cloth. Blot dry immediately with a clean towel. Water can stain a matt wall so it is important to test this method first on an inconspicuous area.

Grease stains:
Sugar soap can be mixed with water to make a solution to clean down walls and remove grease. This is usually done on walls that are about to be repainted. Be careful as it will remove loosely attached paint that is peeling. As with the methods above please test on an inconspicuous area first as it could leave bleached patches once the dirt and grease are removed.

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