How to Clean Matte Painted Walls – DIY Guide

Last Updated on July 4, 2022 by Bright Calister

Many homes’ bedroom and living spaces, particularly newly constructed starter homes, are frequently painted with flat or matte latex paint. This is because the flat paint finish tends to roll or spray easily and helps mask surface imperfection since it doesn’t reflect light.

How to clean matte painted walls? Matte-painted walls do not hold up well to moisture, and they are much quicker to show fingerprints, scuffs, smudges, and other types of paint finishes. Unfortunately, dingy walls are never attractive.

However, if you’re struggling with how to clean matte paint off your wall, here is a step-by-step guide you can follow to carry out the perfect wall cleaning. Luckily, most of these tips to be mentioned can also work for other paint finishes, such as semi-gloss, because matte paint walls require a gentler approach.

Follow through with this guide to better understand how it works.

How to figure out matte-painted walls

There is a fool-proof way to determine whether or not you’ve got a matte-painted wall.
Just at a glance, you can tell if your wall has a gloss or sheen by how it reflects light. Perhaps you notice that instead of light-absorbing your wall, it bounces off it, then that is to tell you it’s not a flat paint wall.

Note: Flat paint is another word for matte, and next to matte regarding its reflective property is satin, also known as eggshell paint.

However, the most reflective paint you can ever get is semi-gloss and gloss.

How often should I clean a matte-painted wall?

Just like you have your regular schedule chores, matte-painted walls should be dusted, and cobwebs should be removed at least every month. I mean, twice every month is not a bad idea as smudges, dirt, and scuffs around light switches and doorknobs need to be removed as soon as possible.

Also, since flat paint doesn’t hold up well to deep cleaning with wet solutions, Only once or twice a year should it be done or maybe before repainting the room.

However, before proceeding to clean your wall, it is always best to test the cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area before you start to tackle the large space.

Also, when cleaning walls with any product, always remember to begin work at the top of the wall while you work your way down. By doing this, you can catch drips and do away with the need to reclean areas.

In addition, when using any type of wet cleaning solution, you want to protect floors with a plastic tarp and protect electrical outlets by covering them with painter’s tape or, better still, cut off the power channeled to the room you’re working in.

Needed requirements:

  • Buckets
  • Sponge
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Step stool or ladder
  • Vacuum cleaner or duster
  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Matching touch-up paint
  • Small paintbrush
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Plastic tarps
  • Painter’s tape
  • Melamine eraser.

Cleaning matte painted walls

Clear wall arts and move furniture

To make cleaning much easier and effective, get rid of all items hanging on the wall and get the furniture moved away from the wall such that you have room to move a step stool around freely.

Get rid of dust

Before you start using any cleaning fluids or water on your wall, you want to start by getting rid of any debris and dust that may be clinging to your wall. Just getting rid of dust sometimes makes a huge difference in the look of matte paint.

Start at the top of the wall. Using a dry towel or feather duster, sweep lightly over the area to disperse the debris and dust. You must work slowly down the wall in small sections and use a sturdy step stool or ladder when trying to get through to high spots.

Start by using basic water.

Before using any cleaning agent on your wall, I often advise people to try using a simple sponge and warm water solution to know if it can get rid of the stain. Because if your wall can be cleaned with just this mixture, it’d reduce the risk of the paint being damaged.

So how it works is that you get a container and fill it with warm water. Dip in your microfiber piece or soft sponge and wring until it’s not dripping. Walk your way around the room while you work in small portions from top to bottom.

However, if you’re not pleased with the result after doing this, you may now need to proceed with progressively stronger cleaning methods.

Create rinsing solution

After trying the procedure mentioned above and perhaps it didn’t completely work out the way you’d have loved. Then you can start by diluting warm water and soap for extra cleaning power.

You need to be careful to avoid applying the soap directly to your wall, as cleaning agents can be overly harsh in some cases for your paint wall and may leave the soap color on the wall.

For this method, the perfect types of soap can use our laundry detergent or dish soap. Professional cleaners also recommend adding white vinegar to your cleaning solution. This is not just to clean your walls, but it also helps kill mold and mildew.

Wipe down the wall surface

You dip your sponge or microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution and wring properly until it’s not dripping. Working in small sections is crucial, so you start at the top of the wall while you move down the wall.

Ensure to rinse out the sponge frequently and pay attention to more heavily soiled areas. Afterward, you get another microfiber cloth or sponge and dip it in the clean water. Wring until it’s almost dried. Then you rinse away any soapy residue as you move down the wall.

Note: Always remember to rinse your wall with warm water after applying the soap solution to avoid leaving residues and any form of stickiness.

Focus on problem areas

Perhaps after doing all of these, scuffs and smudges still aren’t out of the surface yet, then you may need to dip a dampened sponge in some baking soda and rub the area lightly. The problem might be resolved by the gentle abrasive action of baking soda.

As a last resort, get a melamine sponge dampened with water and, using a gentle touch, rub the stained area.

However, be sure to check the sponge at intervals as the paint from the wall could be transferred to the sponge and rubbing aggressively, can leave a shiny spot on the wall or might even remove the paint entirely.


In some cases, scuff marks and stains are better covered with fresh paint than having to clean them away. If, after going through every one of the steps explained above to clean your walls and you observe that they are still stained, then a repaint should be the final resort.

Depending on how many layers of the paint are present already, you may choose to paint just a part of the entire wall.

And lastly, remember that if the paint on your wall is a light color, then repainting just a small section of the wall may not blend in with the rest of the wall.

However, crayons and oily splatter are almost impossible to remove from matte paint, so you just want to clean them away as best as you can and repaint the area.


Of all paint types, the least light reflective and hardest to clean is the matte finish of your wall.
If anything is spilled on your matte wall, probably in the process of working or whichever way at all, it should be cleaned as soon as possible and with immediate effect.

Remember that many stains can be gotten rid of just by using soapy water and a sponge. But if you’re unable to clean up the stain, you might have to repaint the damaged area.

Final thought – How to clean matte painted walls

Above all, although cleaning a flat paint wall isn’t too much of a difficult task to do, you follow every one of the steps explained above and much more when you’re being careful of minor accidents that can occur in the process.

However, always remember that this method works for light dirt and stain. There might be times when the stain would be so severe, and it could be beyond your control as a DIY advocate, and then you might need the support of a painter to help cover the stained area.

Moreover, with Pro painters, satisfaction is guaranteed, and you’re sure your home is in safe hands. But most importantly, take a step, make efforts, try it roughly, I mean anyhow best you can.

Give it all it takes, and I can assure you you can do it and might not need the help of any professional.
I hope this is quite insightful! Have a successful operation.

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