How to Select Wall Washing Methods Based on Paint Type

How to Select Wall Washing Methods Based on Paint Type

When it comes to wall washing, there are several options to choose from. Here are a few things to consider.

Gloss and Semigloss Vs. Flat Paint

Gloss paints require thorough washing much more often but have the added benefit of easy cleaning and resistance to tougher stains. It’s also easy to tell whether a wall with gloss paint needs washing by cleaning a small test area and comparing cleaned area to the remainder and recognizing any noticeable changes. Flat paint is susceptible to deeper stains like smoke, grease, and fingerprints. The advantage of flat paints is that it permits spot-cleaning as opposed to a thorough full wash which requires ample time and effort. With flat paint walls that have accumulated widespread, heavy staining, it is advised to repaint the wall instead. Washing may clean a majority of blemishes but some the more stubborn marks will still remain; repainting eliminates this and freshens the color of the wall.

Choice of Cleanser

Generally, clear ammonia is a strong first choice for cleaning walls. It’s cheap and effective. Simply mix 1-2 cups of ammonia per gallon of water to use as your cleaning solution. The major drawback is the strong odor, which is why cleaning with areas that are well ventilated is key. If not, commercial all-purpose cleaners will do. And remember! Change solution often.


Move back all furniture and take down picture frames, but make a note of where nails are because they create a hazard by tearing sponges and skin. Next, check for dust. If even moderate levels are present, vacuum all dust away. Apply moisture to dust, and you are left with mud and an even larger mess than before! When doing the actual washing, work from top down and develop a pattern of washing that covers the whole wall without any backtracking so there are no cross-streaks.

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If you have a question about wall washing, feel free to contact us at 630-616-1010 and we will be happy to assist you.