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How to Remove Fingerprints From a Painted Wall

May 25, 2012

Every home eventually ends up with fingerprints on walls and doors. In some homes these are concentrated around doorknobs, light switches and thermostats, but in homes with children, they can be just about anywhere! Therefore the question is always asked, “How do you remove fingerprints from a wall?” Unfortunately, some paints are not washable, and even a light scrubbing will remove the paint sooner than the actual fingerprint. If your door, trim, cabinets or walls are painted with a gloss or semi-gloss paint, they will likely stand up to a mild scrubbing from time to time and shine like new. Eggshell paints can endure some scrubbing but are similar to satin and flat paints which are not easily cleaned. If there are noticeable fingerprints on your wall, it probably has also experienced fading, scuffs, dents and nicks, in which case, it may be time to restore the wall with a new coat of paint. Usually we don't see how much a wall is in need of a new coat until we see it repainted. If you wish to try cleaning scuffs or fingerprints from a non-glossy paint, try cleaning an inconspicuous area first, to make sure you aren’t going to ruin the finish. Here are some ideas you could try:
  • Use a soft sponge or a microfiber cloth, and scrub very gently using a mixture of ammonia and warm water (1-2 cups per gallon). Use a circular motion as you scrub, and dry the wall immediately afterwards.
  • Rub the fingerprints lightly with a dampened Magic Eraser. Again, use a circular motion. These will often remove a variety of fingerprints or other marks from painted walls.
  • Try baby wipes! Since these are designed to clean skin, they can often break down the oils in fingerprints and clean them off surprisingly well.
Are you looking to remove fingerprints from your walls? Lancaster Painting would be glad to help. We can repaint a single wall or a whole room, touch up baseboards and trim, freshen up a door or re-coat a stairwell. Whatever your residential painting needs are, Lancaster is equipped and experienced to finish the job. We serve Turlock, Modesto and the surrounding areas of central valley.

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