Tar Heel Painters
307 N Columbia St
Chapel HillNC 27516
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Complete Guide on How To Clean Painted Walls

Complete Guide on How To Clean Painted Walls

At Tar Heel Painters, we are often asked about the right way to clean painted walls, and this is an important step in keeping your walls looking bright and vibrant. Here, we have listed the basic steps to the DIY cleaning of painted walls, as well as a few good tips.

Determine the Type of Paint

While gloss and semi-gloss enamel paints are quite resilient and will endure a good cleaning, satin, eggshell, and flat latex paints are much more susceptible to damage like fading or rubbing off from cleaning solutions or scrubbing. Some people prefer flat paint and the way it cleans up; however, they stay ready with some touch-up paint for spots that are damaged by cleaning. The trouble with satin and eggshell latex paints is that they don't take to spot painting well. You can spot paint, but then, to make your wall look right, you may have to repaint the entire wall.

Dust the Walls Well

Dust attaches itself even to vertical walls, and textured walls get the worst of it. You need to dust well before cleaning to prevent a dirty, muddy-looking film on your wall. For this, you can use a lambswool duster or the like with an extendable handle or a vacuum with a brush attachment. Start at the top, paying special attention to corners where spiderwebs accumulate. Get all edges, corners, and baseboards, including around doors and windows. Then, dust the walls starting from the top left and working down and right.

Lay Down Towels or Drop Cloths

You will need something to catch drips, so put down towels or drop cloths. Newspapers may be used but can be hard to keep in place, and the ink from them may rub off on light carpet.

Flat or Eggshell Latex Cleaning Solutions

Mild Solution

  • Half-gallon warm water
  • 2 drops mild dish soap

Medium Solution

  • Half-gallon warm water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Strong Solution

  • Gallon warm water
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2/3 cup vinegar

Gloss and Semi-Gloss Enamel Cleaning Solutions

Mild Solution

  • Gallon warm water
  • 1/4 cup mild dish soap

Medium-Strong Solution

  • Gallon warm water
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • 1 1/4 cups vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups washing soda

Satin Latex Cleaning Solution

  • Gallon warm water
  • Capful ammonia

Dust attaches itself even to vertical walls, and textured walls get the worst of it. You need to dust well before cleaning to prevent a dirty, muddy-looking film on your wall.

General Cleaning Tips

  • Test your solution on a hidden spot of the wall.
  • Fill a spray bottle with your solution. Spray it onto the wall, and gently wipe it with a sponge.
  • Have a cleaning sponge, a “rinsing” sponge, and a drying towel.
  • Rinse your sponges often in clean water.
  • Wring sponges well to keep the wall dry.
  • To clean, work bottom-to-top, left-to-right.

Dry the Wall After Each Section

After cleaning each section, dry that section to remove the excess moisture; this will help preserve your paint job and your wall. Tar Heel Painters takes pride in its work and does every job to the highest quality standards. Call now for a quote!