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How To Keep Your Paint Looking Like New

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A good paint job can work wonders to transform a room, play up its best assets (and yours), and create a vibe that you’ll love coming home to.

But no matter how meticulous we are, our homes are meant to be lived in. And with that comes wear and tear on our walls — especially if you have an active household.

That’s why it pays to know how to care for a paint job after the initial application, so it stays looking fresh for longer. From cleaning wall stains to avoiding fading paint, here are some simple ways to keep your paint finish looking beautiful.

Basic Interior Paint Upkeep

1. Scuffs and scratches.

Knicks from bike and stroller tires, moveable furniture, and even picture frames are inevitable over time. The good news is they’re easy to fix, especially if you clean and treat them as soon as you see them.

Take a look at high-traffic areas of your home—think: hallways, kids’ rooms, and behind beloved pieces of furniture — for any imperfections in your initial paint job. A little extra attention early on could save you hours of repainting down the road.

RELATED: “The Right Way To Touch Up Your Paint”

2. Stains.

As soon as you locate an area that needs to be cleaned — like grease, fingerprints, food splatter or watermarks from a leak, for instance — wash it with water and a damp sponge (if it’s too wet, you could end up with water marks or, worse, create mildewy situations down the road) to see if it lifts the stain.

If a deeper clean is needed, add a small amount of grease-cutting dish soap that’s been diluted with water to your damp sponge, to clear it away.

Sometimes a good cleaning is all you need to make your wall look as fresh as the day you painted it.

Things To Keep In Mind (And Avoid)

1. Fading paint.

Over time, the sun will naturally fade some of your decor, including upholstery fabrics and even your paint finish, particularly if the room gets a lot of direct sunlight. You can try to maintain your paint’s depth of color by investing in high-quality shades or curtains, or even windows tinted with a UV protectant. Both will help curb incoming sunlight when the room is not in use, and help your paint finish maintain long-lasting color.

2. Melamine sponges.

You probably know them better as Magic Erasers, and while they may be great for making your bathroom tub shine, we don’t recommend them for painted walls. The chemicals inside the sponge and the pressure you’ll apply when cleaning will wear down your paint finish leaving unsightly burnished spots on your beautifully painted walls.

Get the look:

Make Waves - a medium blue paint color with green undertones by Clare

Make Waves

A serene greenish blue. Like ocean waves rippling under the sun, this one ebbs and flows with natural light, bringing different undertones to the surface.
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