How to Maintain Painted Surfaces in Your Home

Clean Paint

Maintaining painted surfaces can make them look new years after you originally painted them.

This requires that you occasionally clean dust and stains from the surfaces, and touch up the paint as needed. However, using the incorrect cleaning products and methods can ruin the paint. Below are some tips to maintain your paint:

Step 1 – Clean

  • Use a feather duster or dry cloth to remove dust and dry dirt from the surface. Start at the top of the surface and work your way down when dusting. Put a tarp or garbage bag on the floor to protect it from falling dust.
  • Scrub the surface with plain water. Soap is not required when cleaning lightly soiled painted surfaces.
  • Combine mild soap and water in a bucket for deep cleaning. If stains do not disappear with plain water, scrub the stain with a mild soap solution.
  • Prepare another bucket of plain water for rinsing.
  • Dip a washcloth or sponge in the bucket of soapy water. Wring out the cloth, and rub it on the surface in circular motions to scrub fingerprints and spots of dirt. Start cleaning at the bottom of the painted surface.
  • Rinse each area you clean with the plain water.
  • Pay special attention to baseboards, corners and light switches when cleaning a painted wall. Dirt builds up fast around areas that are either touched often or forgotten about entirely.
  • Dry the surface with a towel.

Step 2 – Clean tough stains 

Some stains do not come out with soap and water, and require other cleaning products.

  • Remove rust with a mixture of magnesium sulfate and water.
  • Clean crayon from a painted surface with a spray lubricant.
  • Eliminate mildew by adding bleach to a sponge and scrubbing the spot with the sponge.

Step 3 – Touch up the paint

  • Add latex primer to the surface. Let it dry.
  • Use the original paint to do touch-ups. Buying the same color will not work well because every can of paint has a slightly different shade.
  • Apply the paint with the same tool used for the original coat. The size of the painting tool does not matter, but the type of tool does. For example, use a paint roller for the touch ups if you used a paint roller for the initial coat of paint.
  • Start painting in the middle of the touch-up area. Move the brush or roller toward the outer edges of the spot to blend into the dry paint.
  • Let the paint dry. Look at it in different lighting conditions to see if the touch-up areas are obvious. If so, apply another coat of paint and spend more time blending it in.

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