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Top Tips for Cleaning Walls to Keep Your Interior Paint Looking Fresh
When thinking of clean walls, the word paint probably doesn’t pop into your head. But there’s a few reasons it should. A significant one being how to clean walls without removing paint. Using the best way to clean walls are not only necessary for prepping to paint, they’re also important if you want painted walls to look bright and fresh.
How to Clean and Prep Walls for Painting
Painting walls is an easy and fun way to breathe new life into a room. Prepping walls for paint on the other hand can be a bit trickier. If you’re unsure on where to start, covering any furniture and floorings in the room is a good first step.
After making sure furniture and floors are safe from potential wall debris and paint spills, you want to use a cloth or dust brush to remove any cobwebs, loose dirt and dust from the walls. Doing this will make sure your paint and paintbrush stay clean.
Once your walls are dust free, it’s a good idea to check for mould. If any visible mould is present, it needs to be removed before painting. To do this, you will need to spray either a fungicidal solution or mould killer on the wall. Remember to keep the room well ventilated as mould likes to grow in stale and damp environments.
Next, you need to check the surface quality of the walls you’re going to be painting. If there’s inconsistencies such as bubbled paint, chipped paint or rough patches you will need to use a fine-grade sandpaper and give it a light sand. Additionally, if the existing wall surface is shiny and you want a matte finish, you will need to do the same. To get rid of wallpaper, however, it’s best to use a wallpaper remover as it contains a dissolvent which softens and loosens the glue. Be sure to remove all wallpaper glue as any remaining can discolour the paint.
Finally, having ensured your walls are in a good condition, it’s time to wash them down. Using sugar soap is the most effective way to wash walls prior to painting as it cuts through grease and grime easily, dish soap can also be used with warm water if sugar soap is not easily accessible. When cleaning with sugar soap you need to make sure you’re wearing protective gear to avoid getting it on your skin or in your eyes. You then want to prepare the sugar soap solution according to the packaging instructions. After this, use a clean, soft cloth soaked in sugar soap to wash down the walls starting from the top down. Then, using warm clean water, rinse the walls with a damp sponge to remove any excess sugar soap. Make sure you have dry walls before painting.
How to Clean Painted Walls
Cleaning painted walls appears simple enough, but before even thinking about picking up the spray and wipe, it’s a good idea to figure out what type of paint is on your walls. This will determine how they should be cleaned.
For walls with a gloss or semi-gloss finish, a wet solution can be used to wash them. Whereas walls with an eggshell or flat finish can only be dry dusted to avoid ruining the paint.
When cleaning any type of wall, it’s best to start by vacuuming the skirting boards and corners where the wall meets the floor and ceiling. This is because a lot of dirt and dust often builds up in these areas. You should then dry dust your walls with a duster or microfibre cloth to remove any excess build up. Unless it’s time for your walls to be deep cleaned, stopping here is sufficient for regular cleaning.
If you decide to wash your walls, however, you will first need to make a solution of hot water and diluted liquid detergent. For walls that require something a little stronger, replace the detergent with a cup of white vinegar. You then want to test the solution on a hidden part of your wall to ensure it won’t lift or ruin the paint.
Once you’re happy with the solution, use a sponge or flat mop to gently wipe down your walls from top to bottom. Next, rinse the walls with clean hot water the same way. This will prevent streaks or dripping marks. For stubborn spots such as fingerprints, make a paste of baking soda and water to rub the spot with then rinse and dry completely. This should give you mark free walls. To clean wall trims, door jambs and around light and electrical switches, carefully use a damp cloth.
It’s best to avoid using products containing alcohol when cleaning walls as they can break down the paint surface, leaving a bright and shiny mark. You should also avoid using abrasive materials as they can scuff and damage paint.
Other Reasons Wall Washing is Good for Your Home
Unless you’re thinking of livening up your walls with a fresh coat of paint or attempting to wash off a mark, cleaning walls may seem like a trivial task. However, it’s just as important as vacuuming carpet. While not always noticeable, walls can become very dirty over time. Cobwebs, dust and mould being the usual culprits. Dust and mould in particular can cause health issues relating to asthma and allergies.
Cleaning walls can largely reduce pollutants in your home, create a cleaner environment and make walls brighter.