Why Your Painted Wall Is Accumulating Dirt

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Why Your Painted Wall Is Accumulating Dirt

21 December 2015
 Categories: , Blog


When using a low quality paint, you might notice a build-up of dirt on the paint. The dirt will resemble mildew. The accumulation of dirt is the result of air pollution and any dirt that splashes on the wall and is absorbed into the paint. You can try to wash the dirt off, but you may also need to apply a better-quality form of paint.

Test For Mildew

The first step is to determine if the accumulation on the wall is dirt or mildew. To rule out mildew, use a small amount of bleach to perform a spot test. If the bleach does not remove the accumulation, you likely have dirt. If you find mildew, you can more effectively remove it using bleach.

Remove The Dirt And Grime

To remove the dirt, first use a plastic butter knife to scrape the grime off. Then, you can wash the wall with lukewarm water. If you find that the water is not strong enough to clean the wall, mix one cup of ammonia, ¼ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of vinegar and a gallon of warm water in a bucket. Then, use a rag to wipe down the wall. Scrub the portion of the wall that has the largest accumulation of dirt. If you are concerned with getting drips on the floor, lay paper towels down near the base of the wall.

Apply A Better-Quality Coat Of paint

The best solution in the long-term is to touch-up the paint with a higher-quality paint. Then, you will not have to spend as much time cleaning your walls. Highly cross-linked polymers create a low-tack surface, which reduces the odds that the dirt will stick to the wall. There are other ingredients that are sometimes added, such as:

  • More pigments
  • Organic opacifers
  • Photo-catalytic degradation agents
  • Hydrophobic coating
  • Multi-staged polymers

To identify the right paint, look at the section that has more expensive paint. Look at the label to determine if it includes these ingredients or if the paint is advertised as being more resistant to dirt.

Preparing The Wall For Better Paint

Before you apply a new coat of paint to replace the low-quality paint, wash off the entire surface. Then, prime and paint with the better paint. While more expensive, it will save you time and you will be able to wait longer before you need to repaint your home. If you want your surface painted professionally, visit Decorators Service Co., Inc.