How to Clean Your Walls Before your Painter Arrives - Cal-Res Residential Painters - Residential Painters Calgary - Featured Image

Is it time for a coat of mildew-resistant paint in the bathroom? Do your kitchen cabinets need refreshing? Are you ready for a new colour in the dining room? Before your local painter arrives, you need to undertake a thorough cleaning. But what’s the best way to clean your walls before painting?


Wash with mild soap and water when your interior walls are visibly dusty, dirty or stained. 

  • Remove cobwebs and dust bunnies with a broom.
  • Vacuum walls, trim and baseboards.
  • Wipe down all surfaces with a moist sponge, a bucket of warm water and mild laundry detergent. Avoid excessive scrubbing.
  • Rinse with clear water. 
  • Let dry.


Wash with TSP (trisodium phosphate) when your walls have a lot of grease or oil stains. TSP’s alkalinity helps dissolve oily spots in kitchens, soap scum in bathrooms, stains on areas that get a lot of skin oils (door handles, door jambs), hallways with finger marks, crayon stains and walls above heating registers.


  • Mix the TSP powder with water as directed on the label.
  • Use a damp sponge.
  • Work in sections, allowing the solution to sit for two minutes on each section.
  • Scrub area again with TSP solution.
  • Rinse immediately with a clean sponge and clear water.
  • Move on to the next section.


Wash with a bleach and water solution when your walls have mildew or mould (bathroom, basement, any humid space). 

  • Use 3 parts water to 1 part bleach.
  • Scrub with a sponge.
  • Let dry.


Wash with a solution of water and Arm and Hammer’s Cleaning Soda when your walls have smoke stains. 

  • Mix the cleaning soda with warm water.
  • Scrub with a sponge.
  • Rinse with a mix of one cup of vinegar to one gallon of warm water. 
  • Let dry.
  • Sand the walls.
  • Wipe or vacuum dust.
  • Prime the walls to prevent bleedthrough. 


Paint adheres best to clean surfaces. Take the time to clean your walls before your painter arrives and the finished surface will last for years. After all, a great paint job is 80% prep work! 


Planning to paint the interior and/or exterior of your home? Call the Calgary residential painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 835-4817. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour, and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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