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Repairing Paint Damaged by Pets

Whether you are a feline fanatic or a companion of canines, it's hard to argue with the fact that pets hold a special place in our hearts and homes. Unfortunately, pets often leave pawprints in other places besides our hearts! Our pets often cause damage to various parts of our homes, including painted items. What can we do about this? How do you repair paint damaged by pets?

There are two main types of wear that pets tend to cause to painted surfaces. One is superficial, resting on top of the paint, including...

  • Bird droppings on the walls near a bird cage
  • Soiled areas on walls where dogs or cats consistently brush against the surfaces
  • Discolored spots at the bottom of doors where pets come in and out

The other kind of wear typically caused by pets is done with claws and teeth, and it takes more work to remediate:

  • Gouge marks on exterior doors where pets scratch to be let in
  • Claw marks where cats scratch or climb
  • Damaged trim where dogs chew

Of course, pets can cause many other kinds of damage as well, but these are the most common instances. So, what should we do about them?

Removing Superficial Pet Damage: Wall Washing

Most surface discoloration can be washed away, as long as the paint has some sheen to it. Doors and trim tend to be painted with semi-gloss interior paint, which is quite resistant to scrubbing. Meanwhile, most interior walls are painted with eggshell or satin sheens, which are also normally washable, as long as you are careful.

In order to wash a wall, use a soft sponge and warm, soapy water. Gently scrub the soiled area with the sponge moderately wet, but not dripping. It is better to work slowly rather than to scrub vigorously, since you do not want to damage the paint. Rinse out the sponge and come back to the spot multiple times, if necessary.

It is important to note that even when you are gentle, washing a wall can sometimes cause a subtle change to the sheen or the color. You may want to test it in a less visible area first.

If the wall or door still does not look clean after you have washed it, the next step is repainting. If the rest of the room is still in good condition, you can just paint the affected wall. Unfortunately, it won't work to paint just the affected area, since the new paint will not blend perfectly with the old. Don't worry; the cleaning was not wasted effort! A surface must be cleaned anyways prior to repainting.

Repairing Deeper Damage: Scratch and Gouge Repair

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When wood trim is severely damaged, the only recourse is to replace the affected section. You can replace the whole board, or just cut out one area and replace it. Many interior painting companies offer carpentry services like this, so you can have it replaced and repainted with one phone call.

Often, a dog or cat leaves deep gouges in an exterior door by repeated scratching. These spots can be repaired using wood filler and sanding to level the surface. Once this is done, the area must be primed, then the door should be repainted.

Scratch marks on walls and trim can usually be repaired with some spackle, then primed and painted.

Preventing Pet Damage to Paint

All of this effort will be quickly undone if you don't take some steps to prevent its recurrence. Here are a few tips:

  • Install a metal "kick plate" on your door in the area where the dog or cat scratches, or install a pet door for easy and immediate access.
  • Use semi-gloss paint on all trim and doors, and satin sheen on your interior walls. This provides maximal resistance to staining and extra washability.
  • Provide your cat with a scratching post.

Southington Painting

Do you love your pets, but you don't love the damage they cause? Southington Painting is happy to help! Offering interior painting, minor carpentry repair, exterior painting, drywall services, and much more, we have everything you need to get those surfaces looking new again! For over 40 years, Connecticut homeowners have trusted Southington Painting to take excellent care of their homes.

To receive a free estimate for house painting services, use our online scheduling tool, or call our office today. We look forward to meeting you, and your pets!

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