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Flat paint is a distinctive finish that offers an elegant, non-reflective look to walls and ceilings. Its ability to minimize the appearance of surface imperfections makes it a preferred choice for many homeowners. In a home, there always seems to be maintenance that needs to be done. One of those is keeping your walls clean. Unfortunately, there are little hands, markers, scuffs, you name it that end up on the walls. You will learn more about flat paint, how to clean walls with various paints, materials you’ll need, and other maintenance tips.

What is Flat Paint?

Flat paint, characterized by its matte finish, lacks the shine that you would find in glossier paints. This lack of luster helps to diffuse light, allowing the paint to effortlessly conceal small wall bumps, cracks, or other irregularities.

How is it Different From Other Types of Paint?

Flat paint’s porous nature means it absorbs stains more readily and can be damaged by aggressive cleaning. Unlike glossier finishes that can handle scrubbing, flat paint requires a delicate touch and minimal moisture to avoid wear and tear.

There are several sheen options available, such as:

  • Eggshell: Offers a slight hint of shine and more durability than flat paint.
  • Satin: Has a velvety sheen and is easier to clean, suitable for high-traffic areas.
  • Semi-Gloss: Reflects more light, making it highly durable and great for moisture-prone areas.
  • High-Gloss: Provides a glass-like finish and is the easiest to clean, ideal for surfaces that require frequent scrubbing.
You can clean flat paint walls with a mild detergent and water.

What You’ll Need to Clean Flat Paint Walls

To effectively clean walls with flat paint without causing damage, you will need:

  • A soft sponge or microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the paint.
  • Mild detergent that can cut through grime without being too harsh.
  • Lukewarm water to mix with the detergent for a gentle cleaning solution.
  • A bucket to create your cleaning mixture.
  • Rubber gloves to protect your hands during the cleaning process.

How to Do It

Now that you have the materials gathered, it is time to clean the walls.

1) Pre-Cleaning Preparation: Begin by laying down towels or sheets to catch any drips. Remove any wall hangings and move furniture away from the walls.

2) Spot Testing: Always perform a spot test with your cleaning solution on a hidden area to ensure it doesn’t damage or discolor the paint.

3) Mixing the Solution: Combine a few drops of mild detergent with warm water in a bucket, creating a sudsy mixture.

4) Gentle Washing: Dip your soft sponge into the soapy water, wring out excess liquid, and then gently wash the walls in a circular motion, working from top to bottom to prevent streaks.

5) Rinsing Off Soap: Go over the cleaned areas with a cloth dampened with clean water to remove any soap residue.

6) Drying the Walls: Blot the washed sections with a dry towel to absorb moisture and prevent watermarks.

A person working to clean a flat paint wall can be done easily with the right materials.

Keeping them Clean

This will help make sure you only have to clean the walls once in a while! Firstly, regularly dust the walls to prevent buildup using a microfiber cloth or a duster with an extendable handle.

Immediately clean up any spills or marks using a damp cloth‚ÄĒdelay can make them harder to remove.

Also, ensure good ventilation, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, to reduce the accumulation of moisture and grease, which can lead to mold and staining. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that could degrade the matte finish!

Other Maintenance

Walls can easily have paint that chips, which is a pretty easy fix. You will need to sand it, prime it, and patch it before you paint it. Paint sometimes chips if the area was bumped or scraped by something hard. However, it can also be because of low-quality paint. Whatever it may be, it won’t take long to fix it.

Another area is matching the wall color and wood floor color. Wood floors have an undertone so you want to ensure it complements the wall. There are warm, cool, and neutral undertones and finding out what you have in your flooring is the first step.

Lastly, some people may think it is a good idea to paint vinyl windows. However, it is very complicated and can void the warranty. Also, the paint can crack, peel, or discolor over time. If this is something you are thinking about doing, it is best to contact a professional.

When to Call a Professional

Consider hiring a professional if you encounter persistent stains or if the scope of cleaning is beyond your comfort level. Additionally, professionals have the expertise and equipment to handle challenging situations without damaging the paint.

Check out the video below about how to remove stains from flat paint walls.


While flat paint may require a bit more caution and care during cleaning, its aesthetic benefits are undeniable. With the right approach and regular maintenance, your flat-painted walls can remain pristine and beautiful for years to come.

While cleaning your flat paint walls, this is a great time to reach out to RedFish Inspections for a home inspection in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas.

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