How can I keep my interior paint looking great?

You’ve just had your interior walls painted and your home looks great. At the beginning, you’ll probably take extra care to ensure that your beautiful walls stay pristine. But let’s face it, life happens and regardless of how you might feel after a fresh paint job, you can’t be the paint police 24/7.

So here are a few tips to help keep those newly painted walls looking great.

Washing your walls

If there are people living in a home, the home is bound to get dirty sooner or later and this includes your walls. Dirt on walls can occur from hand prints, residue from airborne cooking oil, as well as from spills and other sources. Washing away this dirt is important not only because clean walls look nicer than dirty walls, but also because if left unchecked, some dirt can become embedded in the paint film making it nearly impossible to remove.

When washing your walls, you should use a soft sponge or cloth and a gentle detergent. Using harsh or alkaline cleaners can result in a loss of sheen. After washing, the area should be thoroughly rinsed to ensure that no cleaner residue is left behind as this may cause problems should you wish to re-paint in the future.

Remove Mildew

Mildew can grow on painted surfaces and should be treated immediately when you find it. Common areas for mildew are places that can be moist. This includes kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. You should always remove mildew and never simply paint over it.

To remove mold and mildew, make a mixture containing three parts water and one part bleach. Before applying make sure to protect yourself and wear appropriate eyewear, respirator and protective clothing. Test an area to make sure that the mixture will not cause fading. Then apply the mixture using a brush or garden sprayer. Leave it on for 20 minutes, adding more as it dries. Finally, rinse thoroughly.

Issues with Sticking

If you’re just a little too eager for your home to be fully functional after a fresh paint job, you may encounter problems with painted surfaces sticking together. A common example of this would be a door and a door jam. This tends to occur when things get put back together before paint is fully dried.

Generally speaking, darker coloured paints tend to stick more than lighter coloured paints and higher gloss paints tend to stick more than flat paints. Sticking occurs more often in warm and damp conditions.

The good news about sticking is that it can be avoided completely with a little bit of patience and simply not reassembling anything until the paint is absolutely dry.

If you do encounter sticking, it can be resolved by rubbing a little talcum powder onto both surfaces.

Another common cause of sticking is that the plasticizers in window and door gaskets can soften latex paint and in turn, sticking. This happens most often with new gaskets and dark coloured paints. It is best therefore to avoid painting gaskets when you can.

Maintaining the appearance of your walls is fairly simple when compared with other aspects of home maintenance, and with a little bit effort you won’t have to re-paint for many years…. unless you want to change the colour that is!