If you take a good look right now, chances are that your walls could probably benefit from a little cleaning. It can be easy to overlook those scuffs and dingy surfaces for a while, but once you hone in on the dirt and grime keeping your walls from looking their best, you’ll probably be eager to get the cleaning supplies out.
Below are the eight most effective ways on how to clean walls with flat paint:
1. Assess whether the walls need cleaning
Not only will the entire space look tidier, but having nice clean walls also brightens everything up and just generally makes the room feel a lot more inviting.
Before you rush off to grab everything you need to make those walls look like new though, don’t forget that flat paint walls require a little special attention if you’re not going to do more harm than good. Too much elbow grease could leave your walls looking patchy and worse than when you started. In order to clean your flat paint walls safely and efficiently, read on for some tips and tricks.
2. Confirm that you’re dealing with flat paint
When it comes to cleaning walls with flat paint, it is important to get a handle on what you’re actually dealing with. The cleaning techniques outlined below are best suited to flat paint. As opposed to describing the actual texture of the walls, flat paint is the term used to describe a wall with a matte finish.
This type of paint is often used by professional painters when working on accent walls and ceilings. It is considered helpful in concealing any minor imperfections, due to the fact that it doesn’t reflect light in the same way that a glossier finish would. Try reflecting light off your walls head-on and from an angle. If you’re not getting much of anything in the way of reflection, it is safe to say you have flat paint walls.
3. Assemble all of the cleaning supplies you’ll need
Like any home maintenance or home repair job, it is a good idea to gather everything you’re going to need before you get started. You likely already have all the necessary items, but a trip to the hardware store might be necessary depending on how dirty the walls are or how thorough of a job you’re planning to do.
In order to get cleaning, you’ll need: a sponge or cloth, white vinegar, an eraser sponge, foam cleanser, and detergent. In the event that your walls are very worn, you might also need touch up paint and a paint brush.
4. Removing paint smudges and scuffs
Likely the most prevalent issue impacting the aesthetic quality of your walls, it’s a good idea to act on smudges and smears as soon as they appear, as they can be harder to remove the longer you ignore them. You can begin by lightly dampening your cloth or sponge and simply rubbing it gentle over the stain or mark.
In some cases, water will do the trick, so always start with this. It is ideal to keep the use of cleaning products to a minimum, so begin with plain water and introduce stronger cleaners as needed.
5. Add vinegar or try a dry eraser
If you’re not having luck with plain old water, you can add a bit of white vinegar to the mix and continue gently rubbing the stained surface of the walls. Remember not to let your cloth or sponge get too wet, you don’t want to soak the wall.
If you don’t see any results from light scrubbing, then you should try using an eraser sponge for the more problematic spots. These products are designed to be gentle enough to be used on flat paint walls, so you don’t have to worry too much about damaging the paint, as long as you continue using a light touch.
6. Clean the tricky stains on walls
If you’ve still got a few spots that refuse to go away, a gentle store-bought foam cleanser might be in order. Here, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s directions, and make sure you’re using a product that is recommended for use on flat paint walls.
Alternatively, you can try using heavily diluted detergent for those particularly stubborn sports. You’ll add approximately one tablespoon of detergent to one gallon of water before dipping in your rag and continuing to scrub gently.
7. Do any necessary touch up work
Ideally using the original wall paint, you can go over any really problematic spots with a few strokes of paint to cover them up permanently. Of course, you can also opt to repaint the entire wall.
In this case, you might want to invest in paint with a more durable sheen. An eggshell finish, for example, still won’t appear too shiny but will be more durable and easier to clean in the future.
8. Call in the experts
If you’ve tried everything to get rid of the spots and carrying out a full paint job just isn’t in the cards for you right now, call in a professional cleaning or home maintenance service to help get the job done. Make sure you use a licenced and insured company and discuss the terms of your agreement before they get started.