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How To Clean Matte Paint Walls

By September 12, 2022Home Maintenance
Cleaning a matte paint wall.

When it comes to being a homeowner there are a lot of responsibilities. One of the many on the list is keeping a neat and tidy home. Most homeowners do not like it when they see imperfections in their wall paint. Seeing how wall paint can vary depending on the person doing the painting, removing stains or marks can be difficult. Each stain or mark can be removed in various ways, but the type of paint will dictate that. How to clean matte paint walls? Luckily, this is a fairly simple task with some baking soda and vinegar water.

Let’s take a look below at what is needed and how we will approach this task.

How Many Types Of Wall Paint Are There

Before you go attempting to remove any stains or markings from your walls, you should determine which type of paint is on your walls. There are a variety of possibilities and understanding them first is key to successfully removing markings and stains. Let’s review:

  • Gloss – very durable and very reflective. When you walk into the room it jumps out at you with a great shine. Gloss is the hardest to apply and will unfortunately reveal any imperfection.
  • Semigloss – very reflective and durable and easy to clean. Can be moisture resistant which is why it is popular for bathrooms and kitchen usage. The main negative is any imperfection that shows on the wall would need to be prepped and painted over.
  • Eggshell – slightly more gloss than a matte one. It has a soft glimmer when the light hits it. It is a popular choice for its ability to make the room brighter and more durable than matte paint. Also, it is very hard to touch up.
  • Satin – glossier than eggshell, and can give your walls a very white look. The smooth surface of the paint allows for more light to reflect off it and gives your room a cleaner look. Satin is most often used in high-traffic areas like your bathroom, kitchen, and child’s bedroom or playroom. The drawback is that touchups will be noticed after hiding imperfections.
  • Matte – least reflective of all paints. However, it is great at hiding imperfections due to brush strokes, and other markings. A lot of color choices provide your room with full depth. In some cases, repainting the wall is a possibility. But, it is more likely that you can clean the marking right off.

What Do I Need To Clean

There are a few items you need to use to clean matte-painted walls. Here they are:

Equipment / Tools

Use a cloth to clean your matte paint walls.
Take a cloth and try to remove the stain first.

What Are The Steps

When it comes to projects in a home, there are usually some instructions or directions for you in order to be successful. If you really want to make sure the markings come off and you don’t damage your wall, you can follow the steps below to accomplish this task. Let’s take a look.

  1. Begin with a clean damp sponge or cloth and rub the area of the wall with the marking. See if it will come off with simple water. This could happen if the wall stain is fresh. The good thing is, that you won’t need any cleaning solutions or products.
  2. Next, add vinegar to your damp rag and see if scrubbing gently over the marking will remove the stain from the wall.
  3. Now, if the vinegar doesn’t work, attempt the use of an eraser sponge. This is a cleaning product that carries a lot of punch and should eliminate the stain. Be sure to start in a small area.
  4. If you are still struggling, purchase some tougher stain remover from your local hardware store. Be sure to read the label for proper mixing instructions.
  5. Lastly, take one tablespoon of detergent and mix it with one gallon of water. Partially soak your rag and use this on an inconspicuous area first. If it works and the wall paint remains intact, then you have a useful tool.
  6. The worst-case scenario is that the stain cannot be removed, and you will need the touch-up paint to paint over the stain.

Are There Other Materials That I Can Try

There are a variety of ways that kids and adults can dirty up a wall. Kids always seem to gravitate to a nicely painted wall to conduct their drawing. Showing off their artistic talents on your walls is not a good thing. However, there is always a solution to remedy the problem. Let’s take a look below at some suggestions.

  • Toothpaste – is a great remedy and a good idea if you use non-gel toothpaste. Use a damp cloth and apply toothpaste to the markings. Let the toothpaste sit for about a minute and then use a rag or damp cloth to scrub away the markings.
  • WD-40 – you should never spray WD-40 directly on your walls. However, spray it on a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe off any crayon markings that you see. Once the crayon is gone, use a fresh cloth to wipe away any residue left by the WD-40.
  • Cleaning eraser – use these erasers that have built-in solutions to scrub away any marking on your walls. Be sure to try this in a small area first to ensure that the paint doesn’t just rub off. Some erasers have bleach and that could damage the paint.
  • Blow dryer – in some cases, heating up the marking will separate it from its connection to the wall paint. Then take a microfiber cloth or paper towel and some soap to wipe away the markings.
  • Mayonnaise – believe it or not, the mayo can be rubbed into your crayon markings and left to sit for a few minutes. The vinegar in the mayonnaise will interact with the crayon and allow you to wipe the crayon off the wall with a damp cloth or rag.

Preventative Maintenance

Some of the best ways to keep your walls free and clear from markings are simple maintenance. Let’s take a look at some suggestions.

  • Keep hands and fingers off – keeping the little ones and some grown ones from putting their hands and fingers on your walls can be tricky. However, an obvious first step to cleaning is just keeping them off.
  • Keep an eraser handy – have a damp rag or a soft sponge handy along with some baking soda and vinegar to quickly wipe away any scuff marks or markings from your hands.
  • Educate – always educate the kids or visitors to use paper or other materials to draw on. Never allow a kid to draw their artwork on your walls.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know how to clean matte painted walls, let’s take a look at some other areas of maintenance in the home.

One of those areas is your floors. If you are looking into epoxy floors for your garage, they last about 10-20 years. To keep them lasting a long time, they need frequent cleaning, fixing repairs when needed, and reapplying the coating when needed.

Next, over time, the kitchen faucet becomes loose. The good news is, that it can be fixed. First, you will need a basin wrench and flashlight and find the nut under the sink. Then, it is a step-by-step process to fix the loose kitchen faucet.

Lastly, here in Florida, many residents have a swimming pool and are not sure what RPM to run pool for a 15,000-gallon pool. Well, it will depend on the style of the pool so you will need to read the manufacturer’s directions.

Removing crayon from a matte paint wall can be tedious.
Always be careful when removing crayons from your walls.

When Do I Call A Professional

When it comes to cleaning your walls you can look to a basic maid service. Check with your local maid service companies to determine who offers what services. In some cases, you will find a cleaning company or maid company willing to do a full home cleaning, which includes dirty walls. If you aren’t sure who to call, have your local home inspection team come out and check on the stability of your walls and offer up some cleaning suggestions. Also, they can recommend a reputable cleaning service.


It is important to keep your home clean and tidy. If you ignore marks on your walls for too long, they can become settled into the paint. At that point cleaning the walls will be very difficult. You may end up having to touch up the wall with fresh paint, or hire a painter to come in and repaint the entire wall.

Check with your local home inspection team to determine if the markings on the wall are from carelessness or a potential water leak, or a mold problem. Reach out to Atkinson Inspection Services for a new construction inspection or home inspection in Orlando, Clermont, and the Villages.