From cleaning tips to DOs and DON’Ts, follow these steps to ensure that your walls look as good as new, for longer.
- Most wall paints (like emulsions and washable distempers) can be periodically cleaned with a mild soap water solution. However, stubborn and very old stains are difficult to remove from the film.
- Cleaning can be done at least 2 weeks after application of finished coat for removing the dust collected on the surface. After that, please note that the older the stains, the more difficult it to remove.
- Special care should be taken for the passages, kitchens and children’s rooms where soiling is maximum.
- Every month, keep a day aside to clean the walls. Use a sponge and mild soap solution and lightly scrub the areas that have stains. Heavy scrubbing may result in permanent damage to the paint film.
- In case of severe staining (like spilled food) clean the walls immediately before the stain dries up.
- Children’s rooms are likely to get dirty far more quickly than the rest of the house. Hence it is advisable to get a single coat of paint done every two years or so. However one must ensure a light sanding of the surface with emery paper 400 to make the surface conducive for fresh paint adhesion & dirt removal.
- Check your walls periodically for signs of paint flaking or peeling. This could be the first sign of water leakage or seepage problems. The moment such problems are noticed, get a contractor to look at the problem area. If the problem is localised (only occurring in specific areas) and the source of water seepage is detected, have it rectified immediately to prevent the water seepage from spreading further. This might require repainting one or two walls. Ignoring the problem however will aggravate the matter and will turn out to be much more expensive later.
- Enamel paint on the doors and windows exposed to sunlight loses its gloss over time. It is a good practice to apply a single coat every two years to keep them looking fresh. However one must ensure a light sanding of the surface with emery paper 400 to make the surface conducive for fresh paint adhesion & dirt removal.
Cleaning of Paint Drips
When painting your home, care should be always taken that the paint fallen on the floor should be immediately wiped out. Articles like fans, chandeliers, cupboards, centre tables, beds, chairs, etc. should always be covered with plastic sheet to avoid further cleaning which is a very difficult option.
- Water Based Paints: (distempers, wall putty, emulsion paints – interior as well as exterior including water based luxury enamel and primers)
- Wet condition: Immediately wash with cold water and wipe with clean cloth.
- Dried film: First, the drip should be soaked with water or dilute detergent solution. The film should be scrapped by a suitable scrapper. While scratching, care should be taken not to damage the value and appearance of the substrate, especially in case of wooden, marble or valuable metal articles / substrates.
- Solvent Based. Paints: (enamels, interior wall paints like Lustre or Matt, all primers, knifing paste filler, Touchwood; etc.)
- Wet condition: Immediately wash with mineral turpentine oil and wipe with clean cloth.
- Dried film: The drip should be soaked with mineral turpentine or if dried for more time i.e. two days, then use Xylene and then scratch the film by a suitable scrapper. While scratching, care should be taken not to damage the value and appearance of the substrate, especially in case of wooden, marble or valuable metal articles / substrates. Then the area should be wiped with water or dilute detergent solution and dried.
- Wood Finishes: (Melamyne or PU, etc.)
- Wet Condition: The drips of Melamyne can be cleaned by soaking with Thinner T -124 and then wiping out with dean cloth. Similarly, PU can be cleaned by soaking with PU Thinner (no 338)and then wiping with clean cloth.
Cleaning of Articles / Substrates
- Recoating on a painted / polished wood with clear finish: Apply paint remover / stripper on the surface. Scrap the peeled coating from the surface of the wood. Clean the surface with NC thinner to remove traces of paint film and residual paint remover / material. Allow sufficient time (overnight) before applying any coating.
- Changing colour of the wood: Remove the colour with paint remover however, if the stain has been directly applied to wood, removal of stain will be difficult. In such cases, it is advisable to apply the same stain or darker during recoating work.
- Cleaning the drips of Touchwood, Melamyne and PU on wooden articles & on floor / tiles: It is difficult to remove the drip marks from wooden articles. If the paint is penetrated through the surface then, the entire film has to be removed and recoated. It can be done with the help of scrapper or files (available in hardware stores) gently without damaging the wood. Then sanding with emery paper no. 180 and continuing as normal application of wood finish. Drip marks on the floor / tiles can be removed by carefully scrapping with putty knife or scrapper. However, mask the area near the coating surface as scrapping of coating in case of Melamyne and PU can be very time – consuming.
- Cleaning of wax drips: Carefully scrape up as much solid wax as possible. Next, place a freezer bag of ice cubes over the affected area for several minutes. As the cold makes wax more brittle, use a butter knife to scrape off additional residue. Finally, try a warm-hot method. Use a hair dryer to soften the balanced material and scrape it away or place a very absorbent material like thick paper towel (or napkin) on the spill and hit it with warm-hot iron. The wax will be liquefied and absorbed up into the material.
- Cleaning of carpet:
- Cleaning of water based paint: Scrape off as much paint as possible with an old knife or similar. Then using a cloth or sponge dipped in the solution (a cup of warm water and a spoon of dish detergent, no bleach), dab the stain working from the outside in. If the paint does not start to dissolve in soapy water then it may need to be soaked for a few minutes. When some of the paint starts to dissolve, use a tissue to blot up the paint filled fluid that is being created. A little clean water also can be used. The key thing is to always use a blotting motion and not a pouring motion or else it may lead to saturation of the carpet and spreading of the stain.
- Cleaning of oil based paint: For oil based coatings, solvent like mineral turpentine or methylated spirit can be used. A better one to use is dry cleaning solvent. Just the same as water based coatings, dampen a rag and dab the paint stain from outside in not spreading the stain. Then, use a detergent solution to remove the dissolved paint.
- Removal of mildew from bathroom: Use an old toothbrush to scrub the mildew from the grout between tiles. For more stubborn stains cover them with a paste of scouring powder that contains bleach, leave for a few hours. Scrub and rinse clean. After using the shower, leave the door or curtain open. Wipe down the walls to dry them. Once they are close dry. Close the shower door or curtain to allow that to dry also.