Should You Clean Walls Before Painting?

If you’re thinking about updating the wall color in your home or business, there’s one step you must take in your DIY approach: clean the walls before painting. It may seem like an unnecessary step, however walls with grease, dust, dirt, and other particles can interfere with a quality job and affect the paint’s ability to adhere to the surface. The Franchise Professionals at SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties know all about cleaning walls, floors, ceilings, and more—and they offer their insight on why you should clean walls before painting.

Here’s what to know before you pop the top on the paint can and ready your roller for a fresh coat of paint.

How and Why to Clean Walls Before Painting

Why Clean Walls Before Painting?

Ceilings and walls are exposed to all kinds of dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils, grease, and other contaminants like cigarette smoke if you’re an in-house smoker. According to SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties, heating and air conditioning systems can carry these contaminants and distribute them throughout your home or business and settle on walls and ceilings. These particles and oils can make it difficult for paint and primer to set properly, making your DIY job much harder than it needs to be.

How to Clean Walls

To clean walls before painting is an extra step (and it’s not always fun). But if you want the job done right, it’s almost always necessary depending on how much buildup you have on your walls and ceiling says SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties.

If you regularly wipe down your walls or have mild buildup, you can do the following:

  1. Clear away those cobwebs in the corners and do a wipe-down on the wall to clear any surface-level dust.
  2. Wipe down trim, doors, and baseboards with a damp cloth to pick up dust so the painter’s tape will adhere better.
  3. Wipe down walls again with a mix of warm water and mild detergent. A damp sponge will do the trick. Buff away any stubborn grease spots.
  4. Rinse walls with a clean sponge and water to remove any detergent and allow to dry.

If it’s been years since your walls have been cleaned, you may need to call a professional before you paint.

A Note on Professional Painters

If you plan to hire a professional painter, many won’t wash down the walls prior to painting unless asked or paid to. Washing down walls is an additional step that can be quite time consuming for a painter who is contracted to do just that—to paint. Have a conversation with your painter or stay one step ahead by following SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties’ tips in the last section of this blog.

When to Call the Pros

If you can visibly see grease, stains, dirt, and grime on your walls, you may be in for a hefty job before your roller ever gets wet with paint. Reaching all the nooks and crannies in corners and around trim can be tricky, and there are Franchise Professionals available for getting every spot clean and clear before you start to paint. Reaching ceilings can pose another problem for those with back problems or heavy furniture taking up space.

If you’re planning on painting at your home or business, be sure to clean walls before painting. You don’t want to have to keep adding coats or notice dirt and dust particles sparse in the finished paint job.

Ready to clean house with SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties? Call 609-624-0202 to learn more about their cleaning services and how they can help you get that perfect, even coat on the walls in your home or business.

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