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Top tips to keep your walls looking newly-painted

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If you're looking to get your walls painted but worried that in no time at all they'll be looking worn down, consider the following steps which will protect your paint job in years to come. There's a lot you can do to help, from filling in hairline cracks, to keeping muddy hands at bay with home-made cleaning solutions.

Choose the right paint

Sometimes prevention is better than cure. If you have a household with lots of dirt risk factors — young children with sticky fingers or slobbery dogs — your walls can end up retaining years' worth of muck. Alleviate this problem by giving them a smooth, gloss paint job, which will be much more absorbent and easy to wipe down than a rough paint or wallpaper.

Professionals from a business like Glendening Painting Services will be able to help you choose the right colour and type of paint for each room.

Safe cleaning solutions

A cleaning post at your back door, equipped with wet wipes and an old towel, will also help save your walls from hand and paw prints. Train pets and toddlers to expect a wipe-down after a romp in the garden.

When dirt inevitably does make it onto your walls, the one secret weapon you need in your cupboard is sugar soap. This product is extremely effective on greasy marks and smudges. It works best on smooth paint; matt paint or wallpaper might suffer from the abrasive element in the sugar soap. Test the soap out on a secluded corner before applying to the rest of the wall to make sure it doesn't leave a "burnished" effect. If sugar soap proves too rough for your paint job, try a more gentle solution, such as vinegar dissolved in a little warm water or baking soda on a damp sponge.

Strangely enough, one method that can work on stubborn stains is to literally rub them out. Take a normal rubber that you'd find in a child's pencil case and try it on hard-to-budge stains like smoke.

Get rid of hairline cracks

Of course, some forms of paint damage are beyond just surface dirt. Hairline cracks are a common problem, caused by the natural freeze and thaw of buildings. They can reappear with passing seasons even after being painted over. Speak to your painter and decorator about how to achieve a lasting finish for your walls. They will be able to fill in cracks with caulking; you could also make this a DIY project if you're confident to do so. A new coat of flexible paint should then be able to hold out for years without cracking.