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Thread: House painting

  1. #1
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    House painting

    Do you wash the walls before you prime and paint them?

    For the life of me, I've never understood why this is necessary. Will the paint not stick? OK, maybe the walls are dirty and maybe I'm a slob for saying this, but couldn't you just vacuum them and then paint over them?

  2. #2
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Yes, I wash the walls, particularly in area that may have cooking residues/oils on them. I don't really like painting, and do it as little as I can get away with, so I want to be sure the paint job lasts a long time.

  3. #3
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    It's not so much the painting I hate as it is the preparation.

  4. #4
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I only wash if they are greasy. I don't see the point of washing a wall that's going to be painted. I do swipe the walls with a damp cloth, but that's not the same as washing. I don't spend a lot of time doing it, and I never do the ceiling.

    The only exception is if there's a smoker in the house We painted my DH's home office last year and took three coats. We should have scrubbed those walls first.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  5. #5
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    My mother's mother was a really fastidious housekeeper. Mom told me the other day that at least once a year, they'd move all the furniture into two rooms and wash the walls!

    Yeah, grease, I can understand. Smoke, too.

  6. #6
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    I had a friend in middle school whose brothers and sisters had to wash down the walls once a month. I never knew why...no need to wash the walls before painting unless greasy. New paint may not adhere well to a semi-gloss or glossy finish without prepping first. Flat finish over flat no big deal.

  7. #7
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    No unless they are greasy or a smoker.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I have always washed before painting, but I don’t know that it’s necessary. I think about how the inside of my windows would look if I didn’t clean them for several years and figure that residue is on my walls.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I always prep, no matter the wall. Washing the walls is part of it; so is going over nail pops or gouges in the drywall. A better finish that lasts longer. Also a big fan of primer if the color change is great. The materials are cheap but my time is not; why do it again sooner if I don't have to? (This said from someone who has had the same color on the walls for 15 years; what can I say -- I like it!).
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  10. #10
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    I noticed walls get dusty especially above the air-vents so I do dry wipe or vacuum any dust and give a quick wash with soapy damp towel.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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