At the end of the month, we’ll conclude our Design 101 series on paint. Before we move on to the next great topic, we wanted to share our paint care & maintenance ideas. Cleaning may not be as glamorous of a task as designing is, but taking good care of your newly painted home will keep it sparkling and fresh for years to come!
Dust, Dirt, and Smudges
Given that they are vertical surfaces, its amazing how much dirt and dust can accumulate on walls. Not to mention fingerprints! To clean them, follow these steps:
- If your walls are dusty, try vacuuming them with a brush attachment or wiping them with a soft dry cloth.
- In a bucket, mix a cleaning solution of 2 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent in a gallon of hot water.
- Using a soft cloth or sponge, work in manageable sections from ceiling to floor.
- Rinse the area with clear water and a different sponge so the soapy water doesn’t dry on the walls.
- Towel-dry, being careful not to remove any paint.
Note: Stubborn stains can be removed carefully by using a more abrasive cleaner and water (we like Bon Ami’s all-natural powder cleanser). Always test an inconspicuous area of the wall before you begin.
Water, Smoke, and Grease Stains
A leak or a messy night of cooking can wreck havoc on your walls. If you’ve had a water leak, you must first find the source of the leak and repair it or your walls will suffer consistent damage. Once that’s complete, follow these steps to clean:
- Put on a pair of rubber gloves
- In a bucket, create a mixture of 1 cup of bleach and 3 cups of water. You can make a bigger batch, but always use the 1 to 3 rule.
- Dip a large sponge into the cleaning mixture.
- Rub the sponge across the stain, scrubbing away any mold or mildew. You want to try to saturate the stain.
- Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the wall for 20 minutes.
- Run clean water over another sponge and dab the bleach solution off of the wall.
- Paint the area with stain-blocking primer to keep the stain from returning.
- Touch up paint as needed.
Note: If you have serious mold issues, it can be hazardous to your health. Please consult an expert in your area.
Cracking and Peeling
It started as a hairline crack in your paint, and how it looks like the entire wall might flake off! Follow these steps to repair your painted walls:
- Remove loose and flaking paint with a scraper or wire brush.
- Gently sand the surface to remove any feathering edges.
- Apply spackling compound, as necessary, to create a uniform surface.
- Paint the area with the appropriate surface primer.
- Touch up paint as needed.
Note: The above techniques work on walls, window frames, doors, wood trim, and furniture. Just make sure you’re using the right primer before you paint.
Up next week: We’re kicking off October Design 101 with a month all about Window Treatments!
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