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Typically, the higher the gloss level, the more washable the surface will be. For this reason, flat is usually restricted to the ceilings, and low sheen is usually used for walls. In higher demand areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries, semi gloss finishes are usually used. In very high demand areas, such as over timber doors and frames, skirting and internal balustrades, full gloss will give the best performance. Most water-based paints appear to dry out quickly after application, but in fact it takes around a full week under normal climatic conditions to cure and develop full washability. So, if marks appear on newly painted walls within a few days of it being finished, you should resist the temptation to wash it straight away. Instead, give it up to a week to cure then wash it down to your satisfaction.
Follow these few simple directions for the removal of dirt, scuff marks, etc.
1. Don’t use rough abrasives; stiff scrubbing brushes or harsh caustic preparations. These will ‘gloss’ or polish the surface resulting in obvious highlights, which can only be rectified by repainting.
2. Use warm water to which a small amount of mild detergent (preferably sugar soap) has been added.
3. Apply the solution to the affected area with a soft cloth, or a soft bristle brush where the marking is particularly stubborn.
4. Clean off the stain in a gentle, circular motion. Then remove all residues with a clean, soft cloth rinsed with fresh, clean water.
5. Having thoroughly cleaned the affected area, you should then proceed to wash down the whole wall or ceiling to eliminate any chance of patchiness.