How to Clean Surfaces and Walls Before Painting

painter preparing for work

by Daniel Law - March 18, 2019

There are various reasons to repaint your house. Probably you moved in to a new house and you would like to change the interior painting, or your walls are peeling, dirty and old. The secret to achieving a clean, seamless and smooth finish lies in the preparation before painting, and one of the preparation is to clean the wall. However, not all walls will need thorough cleaning before painting. If your house has no excessive dust, no grease or crayons on the walls, no soot or smoke from burning firewood, has no pets and there are no fingerprints, you can skip the cleaning and use a dry cloth to wipe the walls before painting. However, it is advisable to clean the walls before painting to avoid possible painting problems later.

How do you clean surfaces walls before painting?

Dust down

The first step to prepare your walls for painting is to dust down the walls. This includes removing cobwebs and dust particles. You can use a broom or vacuum to clean dust off the walls. A dust free wall will ensure the paint brush and paint remain clean while applying the paint. It will also ensure the wall is smooth with no particles left in after painting.

Remove old paint and wallpaper

If you had previously installed wallpaper on your wall, scrub it off before painting the wall. Use wallpaper remover, contains a solution that softens and loosens the glue making it easy to peel off the wallpaper neatly. If the glue is left on the wall, it may discolour the paint later. Additionally, if the wall you want to paint has an exciting paint, you may want to sand wall especially if the current paint is shiny. Use appropriate sandpaper to scrub off the exciting paint then wipe it to remove all the fine particles from the paint. This will ensure the new paint does not peel off with time.

Remove mould

Rooms that are not well ventilated are likely to develop moulds on the wall. Before painting, ensure your walls do not have moulds. To remove the mould, use a solution of water and chlorine or water and sodium hypochlorite. The solution should be in the ratio of 4:1 of water to either chlorine or sodium hypochlorite. Spray the solution on the wall and let it soak for at least four hours. After that, wash off the solution from the wall and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. To avoid moulds developing on your walls in the future, ensure your rooms are well-ventilated for proper air circulation.

Clean the walls

After dusting down, removing old paint and wallpaper and removing mould, it is now time to clean the wall. This is the last step before painting. There are different solutions that you can use to clean the wall. One of them is trisodium phosphate, a white powder that you dilute in water to make a cleaning solution. This solution will efficiently remove grease on walls especially the kitchen, soap scum and hairspray mist in the bathroom walls, crayons and other writings in the kids’ rooms, oil and fingerprints on walls that are near door handles and walls above heating registers. After cleaning the walls with a cleaning solution, rinse the wall thoroughly with clean water then leave the wall to dry. Paint should not be applied on a wet wall, therefore, leave enough time for the wall to dry.

Cleaning walls before painting is not a one day task, the walls need time to soak the cleaning solution and enough time to dry completely. Most people skip to clean the wall because they want to finish up painting and move to the next task. This can lead painting problems later on such as flaking, blistering or peeling. To ensure you get the best interior painting for your house, consider Newline Painting, a cleaning company that has seen over seven years of experience in interior painting services. Newline Painting is comprised of experienced staff who will clean the wall before painting to ensure there are no possible future painting problems.