With these tips, you can keep your walls looking as fresh as the day they were painted.

Whenever I clean a mark off of the wall, it leaves a weird patch on the paint that can be quite visible. What’s going wrong?

Well, this is called burnishing, you have unfortunately stripped off and smoothed out some paint’s original texture. This is as a result of rubbing too hard and leaving the stain on too long. The trick to keeping painted walls clean is to react quickly to any pieces of dirt, marks or stains as soon as possible. Time is crucial and the quicker you remedy this problem the better life will be for you and your wall.

How should I clean it?

You should start with just some clean water on a rag or a non-abrasive sponge or a paper towel then rub the mark gently. If this does not work, dip the rag or the sponge into water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid. The milder this is, the better. If the stain won’t go so easily the next logical step is to apply several drops of soap on to the wet sponge, or the cloth that you are using. For cases where marks are even more stubborn, you could put a little bit of soap directly on to the stain. If you need to resort to a stronger product, you need to realise that they can sometimes contain quite strong solvents within them that can soften the paint surface, this is especially true if they are left on for a while. Make sure that whatever you do to get rid of the stain in question, that you rinse the wall afterwards with plain water.

Do different kinds of stains require different treatments?

You should know that there are only two kinds of stain – oil and water-based. A wet cloth will quite often take off any water-based ones, be it wine, jam, sauces or dead flies. Oily ones on the other hand, including grease from cooking, crayons, shoe polish, lipstick etc., you might need to escalate to a mild dishwashing soap method to purge it of any staining.

What about permanent markers?

Well, they are permanent in the same way that paint is. Try washing up liquid, to begin with, and then ramp it up to more hardcore treatment like a more heavy-duty cleaning product. Get off as much of this marker as you can, but it could well cause some abrasion and you’ll need to repaint. Before you do, use stain blocking primer over whatever is left of the marker.

In regards to scratches or dents?

This can be prevented by securing your items well away from the wall, or if it’s a picture frame you are worried about, they can be secured with two frames instead of only one, this way they won’t move about so much and scratch your nicely painted walls.

For existing scars, you can see if you have any leftover paint and do some touch-ups, be light-handed with this as the heavy application can show up afterwards. If there are only little patches simply dab the paint on lightly. This will even the gloss/sheen and minimise the difference in texture between the new and old paint.

Article Name
Caring for Your Painted Walls
With these tips, you can keep your walls looking as fresh as the day they were painted.