Unless you treat your home like a museum of fine art (and you might, I don't know), your walls take a beating. Scuffs, splashes, bumps and splatters can happen in a thousand unexpected (and some expected) ways, leaving you wondering whether your painted walls can be washed. The answer to that depends on several factors, including the type of paint on the wall, and the type of material that has soiled it.
Paint Sheen and Washability
When it comes to washing painted walls, the glossier sheens provide superior scrubability. Since they form a harder, more resistant shell, stains are less likely to seep in, and scrubbing is less likely to harm the paint surface. However, flatter paints are less resilient, and will more quickly be ruined by water and scrubbing.
Most interior walls are painted with eggshell or satin sheens. These are a medium sheen that has some resistance to scrubbing. If you are not sure how well they will do with washing, try it first in an inconspicuous area. After the area has had time to dry thoroughly, shine a light there and see if you can tell where you scrubbed. If not, you're probably safe to scrub everywhere.
Trim, doors, baseboards and window frames are usually painted with semi-gloss paint, which is highly scrubbable. Go ahead and wash them, and they should look as good as new! Just don't use more water than necessary, since you don't want drips and splashes left behind.
How to Wash a Painted Wall
Use a very soft sponge and water to start with. If that gets rid of the dirt, great! If you need a little more cleaning power, add a little dish soap or vinegar. Be patient and don't use a lot of friction, as that is more likely to hurt satin or eggshell walls.
If you are going to wash a large area, dust it first. This will make your cleaning more effective. As you wash, start from the top and work your way down. You want your sponge to be damp, not dripping wet. Once you have washed, dry gently with a towel.
If your wall has deep stains or materials that won't wash off, you may need to repaint the wall. Some types of grease stains, crayons, and other bold colors may bleed through new paint unless you use a stainblocking primer first. It is difficult to paint over stains in a way that will match the rest of the wall, so it is best to paint the whole wall if you can.
If you have any questions about painting, or if you have a project that you may want professional help for, contact Southington Painting. We are a well-reputed painting contractor serving Connecticut and the surrounding vicinity. Contact us today!