How to Clean Painted Walls | Your Guide to Removing Stains from Paint

Life happens inside a home, which means so do stains. When your walls become blemished, a high-quality paint such as those we use at ProTect Painters allows you to wipe them clean in most cases. Here are tips on how to do exactly that.

Crayon Drawing on White Painted Wall

Photo Credit: Knitting Zeal on Flickr

Remove Stains ASAP

The key to effective stain removal is timing. If a guest stumbles and spills red wine on your wall, you have a shot at eliminating the stain if you clean it right away. Let it sit overnight and you'll most likely need to repaint the area.

Give These Methods a Try

No matter the source of the stain, always start with the gentlest method for removal. That way, you have a better chance of cleaning the wall without causing damage.

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Dampen a cellulose sponge with water and wring out excess. Blot the stain, allowing it to transfer to the sponge. Rinse and wring out the sponge often. Continue until you have lifted as much of the stain as possible.

Step 2: If the stain remains, create a cleaning mixture of ½ cup white vinegar and 1 gallon water. Repeat the step above with the cleaner. Continue until you have lifted as much of the stain as possible.

Step 3: If the stain proves especially stubborn, wet and wring out a melamine foam sponge, either the Magic Eraser variety or a store brand. Gently blot the stain, rinsing the sponge and wringing out excess often. Rinse with a water-dampened cellulose sponge once the stain has lifted.

The combination of the foam's abrasiveness and the cleaning product included, often bleach, removes most stains. Keep in mind, though, that these types of sponges also remove paint and can damage finish. Use this as a last resort when cleaning walls.

Note: If the stain you need to remove contains grease, professional degreasers are available to help with the task. Use a degreaser instead of the ammonia solution in Step 2.

Move on to the Repainting Process

Some stains simply will not lift, and repainting proves the only option.

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Use the paint left over from the room (hopefully stored and still usable). If you do not have excess paint, pull a chip from the wall and take it to the paint store. It’s important to get an exact match so that you can get away with painting just the stained area, as opposed to redoing the entire wall.

Step 2: Sand the stain and a few inches beyond lightly with fine-grit sandpaper or sponge. Remove the dust.

Step 3: Apply a thin coat of primer to the area. Allow to dry. Apply a second coat if recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 4: Lightly sand the area again. Remove the dust.

Step 5: Apply a coat of the matching paint to the area. Allow to dry. Reapply and let dry until the repainted area matches the rest of the wall.

Once your wall has returned to its pristine status, consider making the following changes in your home to help keep them clean:

  • Buy only washable crayons and markers for your kids
  • Install an easily cleaned backsplash where you regularly see grease splatters
  • Move pet food bowls away from the wall if you have messy eaters
  • Consider applying more durable, washable paints to high-traffic areas in your home such as the kitchen, hallways, and kids rooms

As with any project that involves paint, we are more than happy to get involved and offer advice. We can recommend the best paint finish for every area of your home, and the high-quality paint manufacturers we use offer any product you might need, including washable paints.

Specializing in exterior and interior painting, on residential and commercial projects, ProTect Painters provides local businesses and homeowners across the country with highly-skilled, trustworthy, and fully insured and licensed painting professionals who provide superior craftsmanship. Utilizing a myriad of paint options and finishes, combined with flawless customer service, ProTect Painters guarantees a stress-free home improvement experience for its customers.


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