Cleaning Paintwork

Before I get onto the subject of cleaning paintwork as part of painting preparation I’d just like to make an appeal to cleaners.

When mopping floors with soiled water keep away from the white painted  skirtings. You might not have noticed but the build up of mucky water residue on the skirtings over several years of cleaning is not easy to get rid of. It’s particularly difficult if the floor is waxed regularly.

Having said that I really don’t expect anything to change but I’ve been wanting to mention it for many years.

Cleaning soiled paintwork is essential. Sanding a soiled surface just rubs the dirt further into the paintwork-it doesn’t clean it. The new paint won’t stick to dirt very well at all and nothing like as to the cleaned and sanded old paint.

On exteriors where paintwork is subject to stress from just about everything in our atmosphere including moisture, heat, cold, photons and pollution, paint on dirt won’t last long at all.

So there.

The best cleaning agent I’ve found-and introduced to my northern wife who has never looked back- is sugar soap.

You will find it in a good decorators’ merchant. They keep trying to replace sugar soap with new fangled cleaning products that smell awful, don’t do the job well and cost more.

Sugar soap makes cleaning fun, especially when you have a really dirty piece of woodwork like the kitchen door after say five years of a five children family and you mix up an extra strong batch and watch it cut through the grease. Real satisfaction that is.

It’s a powder that looks like sugar and you mix it to the strength required. It can even prepare the surface when a really strong mix is used by cutting the gloss or sheen off the old paint. How about that?