Emulsion paints can be cleaned periodically with mild detergent and water. Some stubborn stains may be more difficult to remove. Therefore, it is important to clean the walls at least two weeks after painting. The longer a stain stays on the surface, the harder it is to remove.
Cleaning walls in high traffic areas
Walls of passages, kitchens and children’s rooms are easily soiled. Clean these areas thoroughly at least once a month on a specific day with a sponge and mild soap solution. Do not scrub excessively as that might damage the paint film. However, highly washable paints usually have good scrub resistance.
Clean the wall with mild detergent and water immediately, before the stain dries.
Walls in children’s rooms get dirty quicker than the rest of the house. Repainting with a single coat of paint every two years will keep the surface looking fresher. Make sure old paint is sanded lightly before the new coat is painted on.
Peeling and flaking
Keep an eye on the development of peeling or flaking as these are easily caused by leaks or seepage. Call in a contractor immediately and check for signs of water damage, if this is the case. Explore to understand if the damage is localized or widespread. Once you spot the problem, fix it immediately so that it is not aggravated further. After the necessary repairs are carried out, repaint the walls.
Fading of paint on doors and windows
Doors and windows are exposed to direct sunlight, causing the enamel paint on the surface to fade fast. Apply a single coat of enamel paint every two years to counteract this problem. Do remember to lightly sand the old film before applying a new coat, as this promotes better adhesion.
Cleaning paint drips
Cover fans, light fixtures, and furniture while painting with plastic sheets. Any paint that falls on the floor must be immediately removed. Drips are much harder to remove once they dry.
Drips from emulsions and stucco can be washed with cold water and wiped off with a clean cloth. If the paint has already dried, soak the drip in water or diluted detergent solution. The film can then be scraped off with a suitable scraper. Work carefully to ensure that the surface is not damaged by scratches.
Drips from solvent-based paints such as enamels, primers, etc. can be wiped off with mineral turpentine oil and a clean cloth when they’re still wet. If the paint film is already dry, the drip should be soaked in mineral turpentine oil and removed with a scraper. If the paint has been dried longer, for example more than two days, soak it in Xylene before scraping off. Take care to ensure that the surface itself is not scratched and destroyed. Finally, wipe the cleaned area with water or dilute detergent solution and dry. Drips from melamine or PU wood finishes can be cleaned by soaking with thinner and wiping with a clean cloth, if wet.
Recoating on painted or polished wood with clear finish
Apply paint remover or stripper on the surface. Once the old coating peels off, scrape it off from the wood. Clean the surface with a suitable thinner to remove all traces of the paint film. This will also remove all traces of the paint remover. Allow the surface to rest overnight before applying a fresh coat.
Painting wood with a new colour
Remove the old colour with a paint remover. In some cases, however, the wood may have been directly stained, in which case it will be much harder to remove. For such cases it is more advisable to recoat with a similar or darker stain.
Removing wax drips
Remove as much of the solid wax as possible by carefully scraping without affecting the surface. Place ice cubes in a freezer bag and hold it over the drip for several minutes. The cold will make the wax more brittle, allowing you to scrape it off faster. Alternately, you can use heat to remove the wax. Blow over the drip with a hair dryer and once it softens, scrape it away. Or else cover it with a thick paper towel, and iron over it. The wax will melt and stick to the paper towel.
Removing paint drips from the carpet
Water-based paints can be scraped off with an old knife. Dip a sponge or cloth in a solution of warm water and detergent. Dab on the stain from the outside and work your way inwards. The paint should start to dissolve. If it doesn’t dissolve immediately, soak for a few minutes. Once the paint starts to dissolve, blot the fluid matter with a tissue. Make sure to blot rather than pour or wipe, or the stain may spread.
Use mineral turpentine or methylated spirit to clean drips of oil-based paint on carpet. The use of a dry cleaning solvent is ideal. Wet a rag in it and dab it on the paint stain, taking care not to spread it. Once it dissolves, use a detergent solution to remove it fully.
Removing mildew from the bathroom
Scrub the mildew off the grout with an old toothbrush. Some stains may be harder to remove, so apply bleaching powder or scouring powder and leave it on for a while. Scrub after a few hours and wash it away. Once you use the shower, leave the door open and air dry. Wipe down walls to dry them.
What do you think will work best for your walls? Comment and tell us below.