Clean Your Interior Walls to Maintain that Just-Painted Look
A good paint job on interior walls typically lasts for years, if not a decade or longer. The fresh just-painted look can be maintained over the years in part by regular cleaning. While most other parts of a house or business undergo regular cleaning, interior walls generally receive the least attention, unless there is an obvious need for stain or dirt removal.
Tackling this oft-ignored chore may sound daunting. But, other than a small investment in time, wall cleaning represents one of the easier home or business maintenance jobs. That small investment in time can reap big benefits in extending the fresh look of that paint job. There’s no time like the present to get started!
Consider the Type of Paint Finish
The most important consideration to address with interior wall washing is the type of paint finish you will be cleaning. Different paint finishes call for distinct cleaning solutions and techniques in order to preserve the integrity of the finish. Some finishes can stand up to cleaning chemicals and scrubbing. Others are much more prone to streaking, damage, or even outright removal, if washed with harsh chemicals or scrubbed with too much vigor. Here are some ideas on how you should approach different wall paint finishes:
Flat, Satin, and Eggshell Finishes
These finishes are the most delicate and easiest to damage. Strong cleaning solutions and degreasers should be avoided, as should any vigorous scrubbing action. Other than warm water, a few drops of dye-free dish detergent per half gallon of water, or a mixture of three tablespoons of white vinegar per gallon of water, should be the limit of your cleaning solution. Use the softest sponge and cloths possible with the gentlest scrubbing motion.
Glossy or Semigloss Finishes
These finishes are more durable and can handle some degreasers. For an all-purpose cleaner consider a teaspoon of dish detergent and quarter teaspoon of white vinegar per quart of warm water. Let the solution sit for 10 minutes prior to using.
Oil-Based Paint Finish
These finishes tend to the be the toughest, so you can try a solution of one ounce of borax per pint of warm water as an effective cleaner.
Prior to beginning the actual wall cleaning process, also consider these points and ideas to ensure the best job:
- Remove dust from your walls with a duster or vacuum cleaner with soft-brush attachment.
- Test whatever cleaning solution(s) you might use on a hidden spot on the wall.
- Start with the most gentle cleaning solution and method first, and power them up as needed and as can be handled by the finish.
- A paste made with baking soda and water is an effective stain remover—but test first in an inconspicuous space.
- Use the least amount of water and cleaning solution possible during the cleaning—wring the sponge out completely with each pass.
- Follow a consistent pattern when cleaning and always start at the ceiling and work your way down.
- Consider laying towels, newspaper or other absorbent materials on the floor along the baseboard to catch any drips during the cleaning.
- Make sure that your sponges don’t have any dyes in them that could be transferred to the wall.
- Rinse your sponge regularly so that you’re not just transferring dirt from one section of wall to another.
- Resist the urge to dry your walls with towels and instead let them air dry.
If Cleaning is not an Option, Turn to FCI Painting
While cleaning interior walls can restore some of their luster and just-painted look, at some point in time your interior walls are going to appear old and dirty no matter what kind of wall cleaning regimen you use. When this becomes the case, we trust that you will consider consulting with an experienced interior painting expert, such as Naples, Florida-based FCI Painting. With more than 20 years of experience helping our southwest Florida clients renew their interiors, FCI Painting has a stellar reputation for superior interior paint jobs for both homes and businesses. To learn more about FCI Painting’s interior wall paint expertise, contact us today online, or give us a call at (239) 435-1001.