Q: Hi Dr. Dulux, we’ve got two small kids and a dog, and our home is quickly looking a little worse for wear – mucky fingerprints, juice, splashes of mud and who knows what else! How can we clean our painted walls? And if we were to redecorate the walls, what can you suggest that will stand the test of time?
A: That sounds like a very fun house! Let’s start by looking at how to clean your walls, and we’ll get on to a longer-term solution later on.
How to clean painted walls
Whether you’re doing a big spring clean or cleaning specific marks and stains off of walls, start by dusting off any excess dirt using a cloth-covered broom or mop, as this will prevent dirt and grime from being smeared around. Always use soft sponges and cloths to avoid scratching the paintwork.
Next, use warm, soapy water (using your mildest cleaning detergent) and a soft sponge to gently clean your walls. Don’t oversoak your sponge, as too much liquid could result in water stains being left on your walls. Leave the soapy solution on for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse off the detergent using clean water.
How to remove oil stains from painted walls
To remove greasy stains from your walls, use an old cleaning favourite: white vinegar. Mix one cup of white vinegar into a bucket of warm water, and use a soft sponge to tackle stubborn stains. You can also try using washing-up liquid and warm water.
For glossy finishes, which are less durable when it comes to cleaning, avoid harsh substances and consider using heat instead. Place an absorbent cloth over the oil stain and heat the cloth with an iron on its lowest heat setting. The heat should emulsify the oil so that it soaks into the cloth.
How to redecorate your walls to stand the test of time
For busy homes that experience a lot of daily wear and tear, we recommend redecorating using Dulux Easycare Washable & Tough – our latest innovation. It’s 20 times tougher than our standard matt emulsion and has been made to withstand stubborn marks without removing paint. Ideal in busy rooms used by kids and pets day to day such as hallways, a family living room and kids bedrooms or playroom.
When liquid spills hit a wall painted in Dulux Easycare, the stain repellent technology turns the liquid into beads, which sit on the surface of the paint, making them easier to wash away.
And if one of your little angels accidentally spills or stains, most marks can be removed with a damp cleaning cloth and a mild detergent.
Once you've found your shade by using the Dulux Visualiser app and ordered a colour tester, these are your next steps:
Preparing the surfaces: Remove any loose or flaking material from your walls and make sure surfaces are clean of any dirt or grease, and are dry.
Painting: Then, apply two coats with a brush or roller, leaving two to four hours drying time between each coat. Do not apply in very damp or humid conditions or extreme temperatures.
- If the colour change is strong, you might need to apply more coats than two.
- If you use more than one can, mix them in a large container or finish in a corner before starting a new can to make sure the colour and consistency is even throughout.
- Unsure how much paint you’ll need? Make sure you calculate the right amount of paint by using the Dulux Easycare paint calculator before hitting the shops. Buying only the paint you need keeps costs down and is better for the environment.
Discover more about the Easycare range of paints on our Easycare hub.