How to Clean Semi-gloss Painted Walls


The slightly glossy finish of semi-gloss paint makes walls and ceilings washable. In general, the glossier the finish, the more likely you can clean the walls without damaging the paint. Semi-gloss paint works well in the kitchen, children's rooms and other high-use spaces in your home that require frequent cleaning. Put the walls on your to-do list with some regularity, perhaps monthly, to keep the project manageable and the grime from turning into a permanent design.

Things You'll Need

  • Duster
  • 2 buckets
  • Liquid dishwashing soap or bleach-free all-purpose cleaner
  • Cloth rags and/or towels
  • Dust the entire wall with a duster to remove loose debris. Start at the top of the wall and work down.

  • Fill a bucket with warm water. Fill another bucket with warm water and a squirt of liquid dishwashing soap, or mix a bleach-free all-purpose cleaner with warm water according to the labels instructions.

  • Submerge a clean cloth in the cleaning solution and wring it out well.

  • Scrub the wall in approximately 3-foot-square sections using the cloth and cleaning solution, working in a circular motion from the bottom up to prevent streaking. Rinse each section immediately after washing it with a clean rag and the clean water from the bucket. Dry each section promptly with another clean rag or towel.

  • Repeat this process of washing, rinsing and drying the wall in small sections until the entire wall is clean. Move on to the next wall in the same fashion.

Tips & Warnings

  • Switch to a clean rag as one becomes dirty. You can also use a large sponge in place of a rag.
  • Although durable semi-gloss paint can withstand washing, test the cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area of the wall first to check for any damage.

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