The writing on the wall – dust me clean
Here are a few tips to save your wall from oil smudges and crayon scribbles
Dec 28, 2013
Source : The Hindu


DELHI: Today, painting a house is done after lot of deliberation, right from selecting the brand, its product range and the painting contractor who provides best solutions at the right cost. This involves a Budget, with cushioning to take care of cost overflow at a later date. Painted walls definitely add elegance and a sense of modernity to indoor spaces but often leave us worried over maintenance and how to make them look new and vibrant all the time. With the bustle of everyday life, paint tends to wear out faster. Health of a body – human, machine or a wall, needs to be kept at its bes to maintain good looks/ performance by appropriate or acceptable or workable operations.

There are a lot that can damage, stain or dirty these high value-added painted walls. However, the maintenance and tips to keep them clean are quite easy on the pocket.

A few occasions that could possibly cause damage to the walls are dirt, stains – oil-based or water based, food stains, or paint stains themselves!

So here are the answers to all your queries to maintain the health of your painted walls that will help erase your worries.


The first tip for maintaining your wall is simple: dust it to keep clean. Any dirt that accumulates on paint will tend to wear it down faster. Keeping your walls clean not only cuts down on dust and dirt in your house, but also makes your wall look better and helps to keep the paint in a good condition and prevent growth of algae. Use a feather duster or dry cloth to remove dust and dry dirt from the surface. Start from the top of the surface and work your way down.

The easiest way to get rid of the dust, dirt, and cobwebs that shorten the life of your paint is to use a cloth on a long-handled broom over your walls every month. Don’t leave out the ceilings because, despite gravity, some airborne dust collects there, making them dirty. Dust and dirt also tends to accumulate on walls behind TVs or other electronics that have not been moved for a long time. If dusting doesn’t help, clean it with wet soft muslin cloth.

Regularly clean exhaust fans, which spray oily substances, or dirt on the walls. Wipe them with clean wet cloth or a wet sponge at least once in a month. You can also use soap solution or Turpentine to get the sparkling look. Clean a small area and then move up and do an area that partially overlaps the one that you’ve already cleaned.

To keep the painted walls look fresh, touch up the damage on the walls as they occur. Touch up a scraped or chipped surface, feathering the paint over the surrounding area. If there are holes, fill them up, if a leak has caused peeling, fix the leak source and then scrape and cement the area and repaint it. Whenever possible, use paint that is left over from the original job but without addition of water as it may give off a foul smell upon storage.


Some stains do not fade away when cleaned with soap and water, and require other cleaning products. You can try a few things such as cleaning crayon colours from a wall with a spray lubricant or sharp blade, and removal of algal growth by scrubbing the spot with the dry tissue paper.

Oil stains can degrade your walls making them look very ugly. Oil gets on to the walls in many forms such as when oily hair touches it or when a greasy palm leaves smudge marks.

Dip a sponge in white vinegar and remove the excess liquid so that the sponge becomes damp and does not get soggy. Rub the sponge over your stained walls till the stains disappear. This method will help you clean your walls and remove oil stains easily. Wipe your walls with a dry cloth in the end.

Create a paste with water and cornstarch powder and spread the paste on the stained walls and allow the paste to settle for several minutes. Wipe the paste off using a damp muslin cloth. Repeat the process till oil stains are removed.

Repaint – one of the ways to clean your wall is touch up the walls with the same colour paint as the wall. Emulsion paint usually does not remove stains, but there is a way to do it. Wash your fragile walls with warm soapy water, paint with an oil-based undercoat and let it dry overnight. Then paint your oil-stained walls with the original colour. This should definitely work because an oil undercoat seals the surface and prevents oil from coming through emulsion paints.

Preserve leftover paints and label them. Retain paint bills, which tell us the product name and the type of shade.

All leading paint manufacturers have paints that are considered more durable. Many in the market today have high-performance finishes that are amazingly easy to clean – you just sponge them off as if you were wiping off a countertop.

Last but not the least – the customer need to get inputs from the contractor or the chief painter on the clean up procedures to maintain the health of painted surfaces.

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