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Old 05-05-2014, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
575 posts, read 1,322,048 times
Reputation: 676

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Not sure if this is the right section for this but... Does anyone know any suggestions for cleaning walls with cheap paint?

I will be moving in a few months and the walls need cleaned. There isn't any writing or anything like that on them. Just some normal stuff like dirt. I usually clean my walls regularly and have never had issues at my previous apartments but every time I try to wipe the walls here (even with just plain water) it takes the paint off! I tried to wash a smudge one day and after wiping it, it just made the paint come off, discolored the area that was wiped, and it just looks bad. I have tried wiping as gently as possible. How am I suppose to clean the walls after we move out? I don't want to be charged to paint the whole place. There is nothing in the lease stating I have to repaint when we move or that they do it either.

I've tried Googling some stuff but I haven't found any useful advice except to repaint at my expense.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,156 posts, read 27,573,895 times
Reputation: 35218
Sounds like the paint wasn't prepped right and the LL just slapped up some paint and now it's peeling. Or they used a semi gloss to cover gloss or latex over oil based paint. This isn't your problem. Bad prep work. Make sure you document it if it becomes a issue.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:46 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,926 posts, read 73,456,595 times
Reputation: 38869
Quote:
Originally Posted by azurabug View Post
Does anyone know any suggestions for cleaning walls with cheap paint?
This is absurd.
You don't paint over dirt. EVER.

Quote:
I will be moving in a few months and the walls need cleaned.
TSP is the gold standard but any mild detergent and water will work.
Amazingly... once clean you may decide the walls are OK as is.

Quote:
...but every time I try to wipe the walls here (even with just plain water) it takes the paint off!
How am I suppose to clean the walls after we move out?
Call the manager. Get them to fix this defect NOW.

btw... how long have you lived there that you're only now noticing this issue?
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
575 posts, read 1,322,048 times
Reputation: 676
I noticed it probably a month after we moved in so about 11 months ago. It's not peeling and it doesn't rub off unless it's wet. The moment it gets wet, you can take a cloth, gently wipe across the surface and you'll see the paint on the cloth. When it dries, it leaves streaks anywhere the paint was rubbed. Just getting the paint wet won't cause it to run down the wall or anything like that. In fact, it doesn't cause any problems at all except that I can't clean the walls (they're not overly dirty but I know once the unit is empty, the walls will have to be cleaned or painted).

I did not mention this to the landlord as I didn't know it was something I should have let them know about. I assumed it was an effect of using crappy, cheap paint. When we moved in, though, I did mention that the paint did not match throughout the unit. In some spots it looks as if they patched a hole then used ever so slightly different colored paint to cover that area. It's not very noticeable as it's maybe a shade or two off, not much at all, but I did catch it during the walk through. I also noted that whoever painted got small amounts of it on baseboards, mirrors, door handles, pretty much everywhere except the carpet.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:44 PM
 
639 posts, read 1,803,116 times
Reputation: 1315
It sounds like flat paint. It's not defective or bad prep work or anything, just cheap paint. There's really nothing you can do except repaint it with more flat paint. I would talk to the LLs about it and try to work something out. Usually if they use flat paint they expect to repaint in between tenants anyway, it doesn't hold up well.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
7,866 posts, read 10,052,250 times
Reputation: 20952
Agree-sounds like flat paint. Years ago I asked a professional painter about TSP. He suggested a product called Dirtex instead of TSP as it does not require rinsing of the walls and is a bit milder. 20 some years and two kids later, it's all I've ever used.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
575 posts, read 1,322,048 times
Reputation: 676
Thanks for all the info! I think you guys are right, it sounds like it is flat paint (I googled it lol). I can't imagine them trying to get us to pay for it when there is absolutely nothing beyond normal wear and tear. If I could wash the walls, everything would come clean - I'm sure of it. But I can't wash the walls I know the next place we move, I'll definitely be checking what kind of paint they use prior because I like being able to wash my walls if needed.
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