How to Prep a Wall for Paint
Dedicating an entire post to knowing how to clean dirty walls during prep for painting is a great way to emphasize the significance of the task. Your approach to cleaning dirty walls before paint is applied can be the difference between success and regrettable failure. Read on to learn why it’s important to know how to properly clean dirty walls before painting plus the steps for getting the job done right.
Why is it Important to Clean Dirty Walls During Prep for Painting?
Cleaning walls, which is just one aspect of prep for painting, is pivotal to the ultimate outcome of interior and exterior DIY painting projects. Paint won’t last unless applied to a surface it can adhere to. The longevity of your paint job depends on the ability of the paint to bond with the surface it is applied. Paint won’t bond with dirt, oil, chemicals, grease, or residual moisture. Paint won’t bond with old bits of leftover paint that are peeling off, either. Instead, without a clean and properly prepped surface, new paint will flake off.
How to Clean Dirty Walls Before Painting
No need to be intimidated by the weightiness of ensuring a clean surface before painting. The process is simple! Begin by removing pictures, window treatments, mirrors, electric outlet covers, light switch covers, and anything else on the walls. Next dust the walls using a microfiber cloth or a vacuum cleaner. Use a broom to remove cobwebs and excess dust.
Living room and bedroom walls
Next, use a damp, non-abrasive sponge to wash the walls. Wash from the bottom up and give particular attention to the middle, where stains and marks are usually most evident. Use the same technique and complete the task of washing a wall in one session. For tackling stubborn stains, add mild soap to warm water and gently scrub with the sponge.
Kitchen walls tend to have grease, grime, oil, and food stains from splatters, spills, and steam. To remove the residue on the walls, use a sponge and a mixture of warm water and grease-cutting dish soap for gentle scrubbing. Afterward, rinse the walls clean with a damp sponge or cloth.
Hair products, shower steam, and cleaning products leave filmy residue on bathroom walls. If you paint over these deposits, the paint will bubble up and blister. TSP is an effective cleaning solution designed for washing walls before applying primer paint. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying TSP and for rinsing the wall clean with a damp cloth.
How to Remove Stains and Mildew from Walls
There could be other and tougher-to-remove substances on your walls, and removal is a must before applying primer and paint. Please note this warning about mold, however: Mold spores are irritants that can cause health problems, and professional mold removal services are strongly advised. There are several compelling reasons not to tackle mold removal yourself, including the fact that certain equipment, expertise, and advanced techniques are required for effective mold remediation.
It is essential to remove mildew before painting, and it is impossible to overstress this point. Painting over mildew does nothing to stop its growth. This substance will continue to spread unless you remove it with proper cleaning. If you were to simply paint over mildew, it would show through the layers of paint before long. Mix three parts water and one part bleach to wash mildew off of your walls. Apply the mixture with a sponge or rag. Afterward, use a clean, damp cloth to thoroughly rinse the affected areas.
Smoking creates stubborn stains and causes foul odors to seep into walls. Proper cleaning is especially important because the unpleasant odors can seep back into the room through fresh paint. Mix water with baking soda and scrub the walls. Baking soda is effective at both removing smoke stains and neutralizing the unpleasant odor smoke leaves behind.
Allow Walls to Dry Thoroughly
After walls have been properly cleaned, they are still not ready for painting until they have dried thoroughly. Damp walls are no more ready for painting than grimy walls. In addition, don’t forget that cleaning the walls is only one step in proper prep for painting.
Call on Franklin Painting for interior and exterior painting done right. Having earned a reputation for skilled workmanship, our portfolio of professional painting includes many historic homes. Each team we send out is strictly made up of our own highly trained painting experts. Besides achieving flawless results, we are known for completing jobs of every size with remarkably minimal inconvenience to our clients.
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