With the right care, your walls can look as good as they did when Atlanta’s Paint Doctor painted them. Here are some tips:

  1. Cleaning Marks: If you have a flat finish, you can’t wipe the stain off without burnishing the surface and leaving a shiny spot. Marks on flat paint are best touched up with a small roller.  Any other finish — eggshell, matte, satin, semi-gloss or gloss, you should gently wipe down ASAP. If you rub too hard, you’ll damage the surface. Instead, start with clear water on a rag or oft sponge and gently rub the stain. You can also use just a bit of dishwashing liquid in the water, or for stubborn stains, add gentle dishwashing liquid directly to the sponge or cloth you’re using. If you end up using Fantastik or Formula 409 to remove grease, rinse the wall with plain water afterward. Steer away from harsh chemicals as much as you can.
  2. Oily vs. Waterborne Stains: A wet cloth should clean up water based stains like wine, Jell-O, ketchup or smashed mosquitos. Oily stains like cooking grease, crayon, shoe polish, etc., might require the soapy water approach.
  3. What my young ‘Picasso’ who used permanent markers on the walls? Try dishwashing liquid first, then work your way up to Comet on a sponge or an abrasive sponge. Sometimes Goo-Off works. If you need to repaint, use a stain-blocking primer first.
  4. What about scratches or dents from chairs or picture frames? The best approach here is prevention. Put rubber or felt bumpers on the backs of your picture frames. For chairs, you can put clear or light-colored rubber bumpers on the backs, or install a protective chair-rail strip.
  5. Do walls get dusty like furniture or upholstery? Vacuum your walls only if you have serious cobwebs or dust from construction. Make sure you use the brush attachment. Otherwise, there are better things to do with your time.
  6. Which paint finish is easiest to clean? Semigloss and gloss are generally recommended for kitchens, baths, trim, and doors because those finishes resist stains and water-drip marks. It’s also easier to clean. Flat finish for living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and hallways because the walls are generally scuff and stain free.
  7. What’s the most common painting mistake? Do-it-yourselfers and sloppy professionals rush to paint and don’t properly prepare the surface.  You have to clean your walls of handprints, cobwebs, and, if in the kitchen or bathroom, you need to clean off soap build-up, lotions, and greasy smoke residue. If you don’t, paint will stick to the dirt, not the walls, and it could fail.  And, while you’re add it, use good paint brushes and rollers so you don’t shed fibers into the paint.
Archie Deese