There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to brighten your space and lighten your spirits. But once tarps come down and the painters are gone, what do you do to keep your new paint job looking bright and “like new?”
Handle with care
Fresh paint will feel dry to the touch, but it actually takes several weeks for the paint to fully cure. Latex or waterborne paint cures in approximately 30 days; whereas, oil based paints can take around 60 days.
Protect your investment interiors
During the time when interior paint is curing, it is important not to clean or otherwise disturb the surface. Allowing the paint time to cure will significantly increase the longevity of your new paint job.
New paint – proper care and cleaning
- Flat paint, which is the sheen I almost always recommend for walls, requires special care. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any smudges or dirt. Avoid rewetting the surface if at all possible. In cases of difficult marks or stains, it may be best to touch up the area with the original paint.
- Trim work is generally painted with sheen, usually satin or semi-gloss, which is easier to clean. Trim paint can rewet with excessive scrubbing, however, and you should never use an acidic cleaner on any paint surface as it can actually strip the paint away. A simple solution of Dawn dish soap and water is recommended for cleaning trim work. This also works great for stubborn stains on walls.
Touch up instead
Sometimes, a painted surface cannot be cleaned without damaging the paint. In this case, I recommend touching up the paint with the original paint (leftover from the paint job). After a certain period of time, which varies depending on environment and lifestyle, regular wear and tear from daily living will necessitate a fresh paint job rather than a touch up.
Protect your investment exteriors
Exterior paint surfaces require extra care due to environmental exposure of weather and outdoor elements. If exteriors are not maintained, mold and mildew can develop – a condition which will eventually ruin the paint job. To avoid this, take the following precautions:
A visual inspection of the house will reveal signs of mold/mildew or excess dirt from rain or weather conditions.
I recommend pressure washing the exterior surfaces as needed. Treat any mold or mildew buildup with a dilute household bleach solution or a mildewcide.
- Loose paint may come off during the washing. If this occurs, it is an indication of a paint failure situation that must be dealt with. It is recommended that you use a professional painting company for any paint failure issue.
- Avoid the use of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) for maintenance cleaning. This chemical can de-gloss the paint.
Until next time – keep smiling!