The Importance of Proper Cleaning Prior to Painting

January 9, 2013

If you are planning on painting some walls in your home yourself instead of hiring a professional painter, then you will certainly be saving yourself hundreds of dollars, if not more. You will however, be required to do some prep work prior to painting.

You will get much better results if you take the time to get the walls ready for the paint. A proper cleaning prior to painting is essential as the new paint will adhere better and you will get a smoother and more evenly colored painted surface. Many people make the mistake of believing that their walls are not dirty, but the truth is most walls need cleaning as they naturally collect dust and other contaminates over long periods of time.

The first thing you should do is to remove cobwebs and dust from the walls. Using a flat mop with a microfiber mop head is ideal for this. Do not wet the mop, simply run it up and down the wall, working in strips, starting from the ceiling to the floor. This step is important as it will make the next step of the job much easier. This task should not take more than a few minutes to perform in a average sized room.

Most normally, you can use common household cleaners to clean the wall with. You could also purchase a special wall cleaning solution at your local paint store if you wish, but it is not entirely necessary. Once you have decided on which type of cleaner to use, you will need to dilute it in water. If using Ajax for example, use one cap full per bucket of warm water. Simply apply the cleaning solution with a large sponge, working on segments of the wall – about three of four square feet should be fine. Once you have cleaned one section, take a clean damp sponge and wipe the area so that the cleaner is removed from the surface.

It is often best to begin the cleaning process at the bottom of the wall. This is done to avoid having dirty streaks run down the wall that will be hard to remove, which is what will happen if you start near the ceiling. If you start at the bottom however, the dirty water from the upper sections will run onto the clean surface, which is very easy to wipe away.

If you have stains on the walls that do not come off when cleaning, you may need to purchase a special stain remover from a hardware or paint store. If there are pencil or crayon marks on the walls, you will need to prime that wall with a special stain-killing primer to ensure that the marks will not bleed through the fresh paint. If there are grease spots on the wall, which is common in a kitchen, you will discover that cleaning them does no good in removing them. What you will need to do with this is to purchase a special cleaner that comes in an aerosol can. Once you are finished cleaning the walls, you simply spray this grease-buster onto the area with several coats. It will neutralize the grease which will ensure that it will cover properly when painted and that it will not bleed through your freshly painted wall with time.

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