Q&A / 

Super Washable Wall Paint

Washable Wall Paint TIPS

DEAR TIM: I have a husband with dirty hands and children who think walls are painting canvases. Recently I purchased an interior wall paint that claimed to be washable.

It was washable to some degree but tough stains did not release from the paint. I really need to be able to wash my painted walls but I don't want a semi or high gloss interior finish.

Is there a magical paint that really does release stains? Susan K., Pottstown, PA

DEAR SUSAN: The quest for a flat washable interior wall paint is over I believe.

Washable Paints Are Reality

I think I've found a paint that will meet your tough requirements and allow you to have clean walls without periodic repainting. The solution to the problem was reformulating some of the components of ordinary wall paint.

Keep in mind that interior wall paints, and most paints for that matter, are simply colored glue. The chemistry of paint is very close to that of regular adhesives.

washable paint

Here's a washable wall paint. I tried this in my bathroom and it cleans easily. CLICK THE PHOTO NOW to have this delivered to your home.

Free & Fast Bids

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local painters who can do a great job for you.

Paints = Colored Glue

Paint sticks to your skin, clothes and walls just like any glue. Coarse pigments are added that allow paint to hide other colors and produce a film over the surface you are painting. Traditional wall paints often use extender pigments to help with this task of hiding colors and marks on the wall that is being painted.

Sand & Clay Ingredients

But these traditional extender pigments are porous and are usually made from finely ground silica sand or Georgia Kaolin clays. These particles can be very uneven with respect to size and when viewed under a powerful microscope they look like a coarse sponge.

Unfortunately for you and many other homeowners, this coarse texture is an excellent place for stains to attach themselves.

Washable Wall Paint Video

Watch this pro video about a major brand's washable wall paints. I've used this paint and had great success with it.

Cleaning Cheap Paint Polishes It

When you attempt to remove a stain or mark from paints that contain these extender pigments, a majority of the stain will lift from the paint but a certain amount stays hidden in the deep pores of the pigments.

Vigorous scrubbing will remove the remainder of the stain but it also burnishes, or polishes, the paint making it appear shiny. This shiny spot is often as unsightly as the original stain.

Ceramic Microspheres To The Rescue

A new flat wall paint can be purchased that eliminates this problem. Have you ever used a pencil or a washable marker pen on glazed ceramic tile?

A wet paper towel immediately lifts the marks from this glass-like surface. An ingenious chemist at a paint company decided to incorporate this same principle in a flat wall paint.

He substituted tiny ceramic microspheres in place of the coarse extender pigments. The result is a unique flat wall paint that is indeed washable. I tested this paint's washability characteristics against some of the leading washable wall paints and was amazed at how well the paint performed.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local painters who can do a great job for you.

Rapid Response

As with any stain the trick to removal lies in rapid response. The sooner you act the better your chances of completely removing a stain.

Oxygen Bleach

Stain Solver is MADE in the USA with USA ingredients that are food-grade quality. CLICK THE IMAGE to order some NOW.

I've had the best luck with certified organic oxygen bleach. Stain Solver is my preferred brand.

Stain Solver is non-toxic, it's made in the USA with US ingredients and it's a pure powder you mix with warm or hot tap water.

Stir until the powder is dissolved and then put the solution in a spray bottle. Spritz the stain, wait about five minutes and wipe clean!

Liquid Soap Not Bad

Mild liquid dishwashing soaps also go a long way in helping to emulsify and lift stains from any interior wall paint. Stains that have dried out need to be rehydrated. This means you need to add water back to the stain.

Soak the stain for a few minutes to bring them back to their original wet or hydrated state before they will completely release from the paint film. I do this by getting a paper towel wet and press it onto the stain like you're hanging wallpaper.

Save Original Paint

In case you can't remove a tough stain from this new or any other wall paint it is a good idea to keep some of the original paint on hand. You'll have to wash the entire wall to get a perfect match. Often you need to paint the entire wall to not end up with a spot where you see the touch-up paint. Sunlight can alter the color of paint.

Storing Paint

If you have a partial can of water-based paint, transfer the paint into a container where there will be a minimal amount of air on top of the paint. If you have a gallon paint can with only a quart of paint in it, you'll get a nasty skin on top of the paint.

Always pour a small amount of water on top of the water-based paint in the can before you hammer or screw the lid in place. This water film will often prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the paint while it is stored. If it's oil-based paint, pour some mineral spirits or paint thinner on top of the paint.

Use Stain Blocker

When touching up a stained spot on a wall you may have to use a stain blocking primer if the stain bleeds through. To completely mask the stain, you may also have to completely repaint just the wall and not the entire room.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local painters who can do a great job for you.

Column 369


12 Responses to Super Washable Wall Paint

  1. Have I missed something here? in all the talk about a good washoing paint I heard there was one but not told what it was or where to buy it.

    Loved the advice

    Jean Mason

    • Jean,

      You missed nothing. I can't get the paint manufacturers to support me. And if I give away the information for FREE, they'll never buy an ad.

      How would you solve this problem? I can't publish information for free. I have bills to pay.

  2. Terrible article. You may have just answered "yes" o r"no". Or maybe "I won't tell you until somebody pays me for it". Your refusal to name products bc they wont pay you implies a sadly deficient mechanism for recommendation. Extremely unhelpful to the questioner (aka your site viewers). SW Duration Home, Emerald, Behr Premium Plus Ultra, PPG Manor Hall and BM Aura are a few. Most come in a flat or matte finish. No need for glossier..not that anyone will see this post.

    • Dear Kevin,

      Thanks for your honest opinion. Here's what you don't know. The column above ran in 120 newspapers across the nation before I loaded it to my website.

      Many of the editors at the papers do NOT like to print lists of manufacturers for a host of reasons.

      They ask me to put into the columns the characteristics of the best products so their readers can go to a store and within minutes find what I was talking about.

      In this case, I gave you exactly what you needed to know, but you may have missed it. Did you see up above where I said, "He substituted tiny ceramic microspheres in place of the coarse extender pigments."

      Go to a major brand paint store, or their website and *find* paints that contain the tiny ceramic microspheres. Believe me, they tell you up front that they're in the paint.

      And my response to the one woman's comment is valid. If I put in the column exactly where to get the paint, why would a manufacturer purchase an ad from me about this wonderful paint?

      Would you subscribe to a Premium version of this website where every product is right there in front of you instead of me relying on ad revenue to make my business work? I'm sure you'll answer, "Hell no. I can get the information I need for FREE on the Internet. Why pay you?"

      You clearly don't understand the business model of free content on the Internet. I've beed doing it since 1995 and am the longest-lasting home improvement site on the Internet. The sites that did what you want, give *everything* away for free - well, they've all gone out of business.

      I also want to add that I hope your boss at work doesn't develop your zero-tolerance policy with respect to your work in case you *forget* something or do anything less than perfect.

      You seem to expect it of me, so you need to be perfect in every aspect of your life.

    • Neal,

      Did you use their cheapest crap vinyl acetate paint? If so, I can see why you feel this way. I put on Sherwin Williams on my Cincinnati Queen Anne Victorian home and it looks brand new after 18 years. What say you about that?

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