How to Clean Interior Walls Before Painting

Jordan Paul , null

May 4th, 2022

How to Clean Interior Walls Before Painting

Cleaning the walls before painting is the first step in a successful painting project. Cleaning the walls will help remove dust, smoke, and dirt that can prevent good adhesion to the surface. You can prep your walls for painting by using soap or other solvents without damaging the existing paint layer. Today, we will briefly discuss a few ways to clean your walls and prepare them to accept a new coat of paint.

Soap and Water Soap and water is the safest way to clean your walls. Soap and water tend to work very well on glossier surfaces, like semi-gloss and high-gloss paint. These glossy sheens reflect more light and are much less likely to absorb the water than flatter sheens like eggshell and matte. The pros will often use a fine grit sandpaper or sanding block to dull the surface and create tiny scratches that will improve the adherence of the paint.

Wall Cleaning Agents Wall cleaning agents, like this one won’t leave a residue that could impede the paint from sticking. Generally, if soap and water are not enough to remove a stain, a wall cleaning agent is the next option. These agents have degreasing properties, which can break down even the toughest wall stain, like oil.

Test an Area First Professionals can’t afford to damage a client’s home, so they always use their experience and test any cleaning agents before using them. Some paints, like textured and designer paints have a different composition than a regular wall paint, so be sure and read the label on the cleaner. Professional painters will usually avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning walls because many can leave a residue. Most will find an inconspicuous spot, like a closet, to make sure the cleaner is safe to use.

Use the Right Tools Using the correct tools for the job will often determine how long the project takes. Tools can save you both time and effort, so the professionals use every tool at their disposal to perform a quality job. For example, the pros will commonly use large tools like this one for cleaning walls because it is much faster.

When using tools like these, move in circular motions as this will help alleviate any missed spots. Most of these tools also have telescoping handles, which can avoid the need for step ladders. By allowing the user to stand flat on the floor, these tools are much safer to use and can prevent injuries.

Unorthodox Cleaning Tips Professionals tend to collect little tips and tricks as they gain experience. For example, many pros keep household items like baking soda for use as an abrasive to remove surface stains. Hydrogen peroxide is also commonly used to break down wine stains, and chewing gum without damaging the surface.

You can also use a clothes iron to remove gunky debris like chewing gum, tar, and hardened adhesive. It may seem unusual, but the pros will dampen a paper towel with water and place it over the stain. They then apply the hot iron to the paper towel, creating steam that loosens the debris. Often this method is more successful than using even the harshest chemicals, yet leaves no residue.

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