What do I clean walls with before painting? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-08-2008, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The title pretty much sums it up! I have a few rooms that need painting and I have all the paint, but the walls need to be cleaned first -- we have 3 kids 5 and under, need I say more ? Will a 50/50 vinegar mix work well or Dr Bronner's? I also have Shaklee's Basic H2 cleaner. I guess I need to know which one of those is least likely to leave a residue that will affect how the paint takes.

TIA

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#2 of 12 Old 08-08-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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50/50 water vinegar sounds good. We have used TSP in the past but that was for very heavy duty cleaning ( heavy smokers)

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#3 of 12 Old 08-08-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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My Mom always swears that tsp is the way to go.

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#4 of 12 Old 08-08-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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Find out what type of paint you have first. Stuff with a sheen or glaze is pretty easy to just wipe.
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#5 of 12 Old 08-09-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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You can just wipe with diluted vinegar, but if you think the wall is dirty, you can generally use any soap (diluted), then wipe them again with diluted vinegar to remove any residue. I've used Mrs. Meyers, and I really liked it for cleaning old dirty walls.

If there is any grease on the surface, or if it's been a long time since anyone cleaned it, then you should use TSP = I've never used it, but I should have on one particular door .... I always always wipe with a diluted vinegar after using any "product".

I prefer to wait at least 8 hours after washing a surface before painting to be sure it's *really* dry. The last step is to dust down the wall one more time - I use microfiber cloth.

And, I wait at least 8 hours before doing a second coat of anything - usually just wait a day between any two tasks done on a surface. I've had a lot of really crappy luck over the past few years with paint, so I got into this habit. Now I use only Sherwin Williams Zero-voc Harmony paint - with MUCH better results, but I'm still wary. Perhaps living in Houston climate has contributed to my issues, I don't know.

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(currently painting my entire big house between now & November - I'm pregnant, don't want to paint past 32 weeks - and we're hoping to sell the house in Feb. I don't think I'll be painting much with a newborn!)

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#6 of 12 Old 08-09-2008, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What is tsp?

We have eggshell on one room and I'm not sure on the other, but nothing with a lot of sheen. I usually have to scrub pretty well and maybe use baking soda to get something like crayon off the wall.

Jrabbot, thanks for all the info! I have Sherwin Williams low VOC ready to go up, I'm glad you've had good luck with their line.

When I am really ambitious, I have the enamel for my kitchen cabinets, but those bad boys need to be sanded since I did the doors with leftover latex paint (twice) and it is now peeling, esp when scrubbed.

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#7 of 12 Old 08-09-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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I always heard TSP before painting.
TriSodium Phosphate, I think. Very harsh, but works really well to get any residue off the walls.

Cristina - "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Maya Angelou
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#8 of 12 Old 08-09-2008, 03:55 AM
 
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I don't clean walls before painting unless I see any particularly greasy spot. I put a coat of primer on first and that makes all the difference in how long my paint lasts and how well it wears.

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#9 of 12 Old 08-09-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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regarding SW paint: I have been having excellent success with the eggshell for the walls - the semi gloss I'm using for the trim is going to turn me gray before my time. BUT I know that it won't make me physically ill, so I'm working with it. And, I really am happy with the way it looks.

It takes patience, and I thin it with water. I use an empty yogurt container to hold a small quantity when I'm painting, so I can thin *that* instead of the whole gallon. I think it evaporates because when I go back to use more from same container, I always have to add water again. I also use a damp/wet paintbrush and rinse it out periodically while I'm working.

I painted the inside of my business for 21 days straight with Lowes paint, and I know it was the trigger for 2 years bout of serious depression and various physical issues. I started my current house painting project before we got pregnant (unintentional !), so I know it won't make me ill - and I waited til the second trimester to resume the project.

I generally use the harmony primer, and I'm happy with it, but it won't cover up a lot of stuff, so I have a tiny can of the really heavy duty problock stuff to spot-prime the various marks and spots.

--janis

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#10 of 12 Old 08-09-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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You're supposed to clean the walls before you paint?

Oops.
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#11 of 12 Old 08-09-2008, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
You're supposed to clean the walls before you paint?

Oops.
Only if they are dirty and dusty like mine :

Baking mama to dd (7.5), ds (6), ds (3.5) and someone new in April
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#12 of 12 Old 08-09-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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you need to at least WIPE them off - walls do get dirty

kitchen, bathroom, kids' bedroom, anywhere that might get dirty should be washed with at least diluted vinegar. But vinegar won't get greasy residue - that needs something more serious. kitchen definitely TSP - smokers' home, too. I just use soap, as mentioned above.

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