How To Clean Walls with Flat Paint


Flat paint is a common type of paint used on walls for a matte finish. However, the matte effect of this paint makes it easier for stains to show up and stand out. In addition, this type of paint is sensitive and requires careful cleaning. Harsh cleaning will only remove the paint. It will be more complicated if you don’t know how to clean walls with flat paint.

If you’re having trouble getting matte paint off your walls, here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow to perform the perfect wall cleaning. Most of these tips can be applied to other paint finishes, such as semi-gloss, due to the fact that painting flat walls requires a gentler approach. Use this guide to better understand how to clean flat walls.

How to tell if you have flat walls

There is a foolproof way to tell if your walls have flat paint. Right away, you’ll be able to tell if your wall has sheen by the way it reflects light. If you notice that the light bounces off the wall instead of absorbing it, then you don’t have flat walls. Another word for flat paint is matte? Next to matte in its reflective qualities is eggshell color, also known as satin. The most reflective color you can get is semi-gloss and gloss.

In general, the higher the gloss, the more durable and easier to clean paint becomes. The lower the gloss, the more porous the paint and the less resistant to staining or frequent cleaning.

Cheaper flat paint options will have an almost chalky feel when dry. To avoid this, choose a high-quality matte paint. Yes, it will cost a bit more, but it will also be designed to avoid that chalky finish. Note that flat enamel does not feel the same because this protective film covers it.

The glossiest paint finishes, even eggshell that’s just above par on the spectrum, will reflect light and bounce it around a room. One of the biggest advantages of flat paint is that it absorbs light instead of reflecting it.

This makes it fantastic for smoothing out imperfect walls, as it can hide dents, nicks and scratches on walls. It’s also great at hiding heavy textures for the same reason. A flat finish will smooth out the walls and camouflage these small inconsistencies.

Higher gloss colors, on the other hand, reflect light off any imperfections. In other words, they enhance flaws and texture. Contact with flat paint couldn’t be easier! It is the best paint finish for touch up on the road.

Flat paint doesn’t take a lot of scrubbing, so sometimes it’s best to just touch up the paint or repaint areas that start to look a little worn or dirty. Just wipe lightly for good adhesion and then paint.

The higher brightness colors are different. Even semi-matte and satin finishes, both in the low-gloss category, still reflect enough light to highlight the areas you touch up after the fact. They will show brush or roller marks, so for best results you should repaint an entire wall from corner to corner.

The good news is that since it doesn’t reflect light, flat paint doesn’t show brush or roller marks either. This makes painting a small section so easy, no one will ever know!

How to clean walls with flat paint

The items you will need to clean flat walls are simple and most can be found around the house:

  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap or laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Bucket (for water and cleaning solution)
  • Towel (to dry the wall)
  • Remove the dust

Before using cleaning fluids or water on the wall you want to clean, it’s best to first get rid of any dry debris and dust that may have stuck to the wall. You can do this by using a dry duster or towel and lightly wiping the area to disperse dust and dirt.

  • Use a soft sponge

Your next step is to find a soft sponge or similar material that you know will be soft enough to remove the stains without removing the paint. You will use this sponge to apply soap and water to your wall.

  • Use warm water

Before using a cleaner on your wall, try to see if it can be cleaned with a simple sponge and warm water. If your wall can be cleaned with clean water, this reduces the risk of damaging the paint. When you go to wash the wall, use gentle circular motions.

  • Dilute the soap

If hot water isn’t enough to remove stains, you can start by diluting hot soapy water for extra cleaning power. Be careful not to apply soap directly to your wall. Cleaners can be too harsh on the wall paint and can leave the color of the soap on the wall. The best types of soap to use for this step are dish soap or laundry detergent. Cleaning experts also recommend mixing white vinegar with your cleaning solution, which is guaranteed to not only clean your walls but also kill mold and mildew.

  • Rinse

Don’t forget to rinse the wall with warm water after applying the soapy solution to avoid residue or stickiness. Pat the area dry with a towel to ensure the wall is finished. Remember not to rub the paint when drying it with a towel.

  • Repaint

If after each step on this list to clean the walls of your home or office and you find that they are still stained, then you need to do a new paint job. You can choose to paint just part of the wall or the entire wall depending on how many layers of paint there are already. Keep in mind that if your wall is a light color, repainting a small section may not match the rest of the wall.


Cleaning matte paint from walls is not as difficult as it seems. Smoke stains and stains from insect droppings, as well as scratches and dirt from hands, feet and furniture.

Just as we clean our floors regularly, painting flat walls also needs attention. With just one or two basic products and tools, you can make your walls appear to be cleaner and brighter.

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