How to Clean Walls With Flat Paint and Leave Them Spotless

Eddie Shekari
May 29, 2019

Flat paint is a common type of paint used on walls in order to obtain a matte finish. However, the matte effect of this paint also makes it easier for stains to show up and stand out. In addition, this type of paint is delicate and requires gentle cleaning. A harsh cleaning will only result in the removal of the paint itself. If you are struggling to clean flat paint from your walls, here is a step-by-step guide you can follow to execute the perfect wall cleaning. Most of these tips can be applied to other paint finishes, such as semi-gloss, due to the fact that flat paint walls require a gentler approach. Use this guide to better understand how to clean walls with flat paint.

How to Tell If You Have Flat Paint Walls

There is a fool-proof way to determine if your walls have flat paint. Right away, you will be able to tell if your wall has a gloss or sheen by the way it reflects light. If you notice that light bounces off of your wall rather than absorbing it, then you do not have flat paint walls. Another word for flat paint is matte? Next to matte in its reflective properties is eggshell paint, also known as satin. The most reflective paint you can obtain is semi-gloss and gloss.

How to Clean Walls With Flat Paint

Cleaning Supplies Checklist

The items you will need to clean your flat paint walls are simple, and most can be found lying around the house:

  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap or laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Bucket (for water and cleaning solution)
  • Towel (for drying the wall)

Step 1: Remove Dust

Before using any cleaning fluids or water on the wall you want to clean, it is best to first get rid of any dry debris and dust that may be clinging to your wall. You can do this by using a feather duster or dry towel and sweeping lightly over the area to disperse the dust and debris.

Step 2: Use A Soft Sponge

Your next step is to find a soft sponge or similar material that you know will be gentle enough to remove stains without removing paint. You will use this sponge to apply both water and soap to your wall.

How to Clean Walls With Flat Paint

Step 3: Use Warm Water

Before using a cleaning agent on your wall, try to see if it can be cleaned with a simple sponge and warm water. If your wall is able to be cleaned with plain water, this decreases the risk of the paint being damaged. When you go to wash your wall, use gentle, circular motions.

Step 4: Dilute Soap

If warm water is not enough to remove stains, you can start out by diluting warm water and soap for extra cleaning power. Be mindful and do not apply soap directly to your wall. Cleaning agents can be too harsh for your wall paint, and may leave the color of the soap on the wall. The best types of soap you can use for this step is dish soap or laundry detergent. Cleaning experts also recommend mixing white vinegar with your cleaning solution, guaranteed to not just clean your walls but kill mold and mildew.

Step 5: Rinse

Do not forget to rinse your wall with warm water after applying your soap solution, as to not leave any residue or stickiness. Pat the area dry with a towel to ensure that your wall is completely done. Remember to not scrub the paint when drying with a towel.

How to Clean Walls With Flat Paint

Step 6: Repaint

If after going through every step on this list to clean the walls in your home or office and you find that they are still stained, then a repaint should be in order. You may choose to paint just part of or the entire wall depending on how many layers of paint are already present. Keep in mind that if your wall is a light color, repainting a small section may not blend in with the rest of the wall.

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Call the Professionals

Taking on a painting project yourself can be risky. With Pro Painters, satisfaction guaranteed, however, you know your home is in good hands. You don’t have to know how to clean walls with flat paint or how to repaint over stained walls. You can trust the pros to get the job done right with quality materials in a timely fashion.

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Eddie Shekari

Eddie founded Pro Painters in 1995 to meet the growing need for high-quality residential and commercial painting needs in Houston. In nearly 20 years, Pro Painters has exponentially grown our client base, serving residents across the greater Houston area. Our core principles have helped us achieve the highest standard of workmanship and customer satisfaction. Our years of experience have allowed us to become an extension to our customers as the all-in-one solution for home makeovers.