Remove Stains From Walls Before You Paint
Painting instructions often warn: Remove stains from walls before painting. But they never say how.
Any cleaning rookie can wipe off dust and cobwebs. But it takes a cleaning pro to scour grease stains, watermarks,
and kids’ crayon and ink wall art.
Dirt and Grime
Dirt and grime are part of everyday life. The oil from your hands gets onto walls, cabinets, doors, and door frames.
A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($3 for 4 pads) easily cuts through these stains. Wet the sponge and rub gently to avoid
taking bits of paint off with the stain
Or try this: Mix 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white distilled or apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda with one
gallon of warm water. Wipe the solution over walls with a sponge or cloth, and rinse with clear water. The solution
won’t dull the painted finish or leave streaks.
Grease is an occupational hazard of cooking; it covers cabinets and walls and attracts dirt and dust. Any good dish
soap can remove grease stains on walls. For small stains on walls. For small stains, mix 1/4 teaspoon of soap in a
cup of warm water , and wipe. Rinse with clean water, and blot until dry. Clean stubborn grease stains with
solution of 1/3 cup of white household vinegar with 2/3 cup of water.
Wall erasers work like a charm on crayon marks. If they don’t do the trick:
- Rub marks with toothpaste (not gel).
- Erase marks with an art gum or a pencil eraser; use a circular motion.
- Swipe marks with baby wipes.
- Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub marks.
Permanent markers are tough to remove from walls. Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and dab the stain. Or spray marks with
hairspray, then wipe drips.
Ballpoint ink, which is oil-based, often succumbs to foaming shaving cream, dry-cleaning solvents such as Carbona, or nail polish
remover. Make sure you open windows when using cleaning solvents and polish remover.
Mildew is a fungus that eats soap scum and body oil. To remove from walls, spray with vinegar water: 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1
quart water. Also try an enzyme laundry detergent; follow the pre-treating directions on the label. Blot it on the stain, and the rinse
thoroughly with water.
After you've solved the problem that caused the water stains, rinse with a solution of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water to prevent
mold and mildew from growing. Thoroughly dry with a hairdryer of fans. If bleaching doesn't remove water stains, you'll have to
repaint. Prime the walls with a stain-killing primer, such as Kilz paint.