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I’ve had several scuff marks (from luggages) on white walls that I remove with a magic sponge. But it really works by sandpapering a small bit of the paint off.
Over time, the walls have seen a lot of magic sponging and the paint has become uneven (dark vs light). How do hosts here clean their walls? Any particular cleaning solutions? Or do you simply repaint them every few years?
I’ve had some luck with “Goof Off”, but really a fresh coat of paint is probably the only thing that will cure the discoloration that will occur with any product. Goof Off is toxic smelling, make sure to wear a mask and have some time between guests for it to dissipate.
If you have the exact paint match you shouldnot have any problem doing touch up on large areas. I’ve done many touch ups in my Airbnb room. I also used a more durable semi-gloss/satin rather than flat paint because it’s more durable.
When you re-paint, make sure to choose a paint finish that is easier to clean, like eggshell or semi-gloss, and make sure to save the lid to the paint can or something that indicates exactly how to mix the paint again. This will save you from doing a full repaint if you get a scratch or gouge or whatever that would otherwise be minor. I have already had to do minor painting twice in in the past year due to drywall damage, and having paint that matches exactly saves me from painting a whole wall or a whole room.
I sometimes use the magic sponge or what is gentler is a microfiber cloth and some vinegar-water. I do retouch paint when needed but I only use the Natura paint because it doesn’t have a scent so I can re-touch even right before a guest checks in if needed. You may want to keep in mind that some paints, like Behr, will stink for a couple of weeks and that seems more offensive than a scuff (to me).
I know you didn’t ask about touch-up repainting, but here’s my trick: If you use a brush on walls that were painted by a roller and have a texture, the repainting spot will have a different pattern and will be noticeable. So I do the touch-ups with a stencil brush (like one of these). I “pounce” the paint on the wall and the texture is almost the same as using a roller. If your paint matches, the touch-up is basically invisible.
I know I bang on about the advantages of soap as a cleaner, but for marks on walls I really do find that bar soap (uncoloured) on a microfibre cloth works as well as, and is gentler than, a Magic Eraser.
The staircase leading up to our studio is narrow and rather awkward and I used to see guests being very nervous about banging their suitcases into the walls and making a mark or gouge. It took lots of touching-up of marks to make me realise that it was actually better to leave the marks, so that now I can say to guests “Don’t worry about damaging the wall with your case”! and repaint that bit just once a year or so. I realise that you can’t do that in a bedroom, of course!
Eggshell paint originally rolled, in the right light you can see the magic sponge mark removal or touch up paint. I keep a supply of cheap disposable sponge brushes and instead of brushing paint on, pounce it like @PitonView mentioned doing with a stencil brush.
Full repaint required after 6 years. It is amazing to me how quickly a repaint is required.
I think Goof-off is a great product. Something to be aware of is: it is petroleum based so depending on how much you use, it can require priming over those areas before you repaint if you are using Latex paint. Also it can strip (remove completely) some paints.
Unless you live in a newer house and/or have perfect walls, more sheen will show more flaws - a semi-gloss will showcase every bump and knick and patch. We have 120 year old plaster walls with lots of ‘fixes’ through the years. My husband has gotten good at plastering for patches and such but the walls will never be perfect (nor would I want them to be), so it’s flat paint all the way for us. It has the added advantage of touching up easier without having to worry about brush strokes and such. Just a consideration, depending on what your walls are like.
It’s true that with cheaper paints, more sheen will be easier to wipe down but once you get out of Home Depot, the flat paints are just as durable. They also don’t have as much smell to them as a higher sheen, assuming you’re using something with VOCs in it (which is not necessary any longer, lots of good zero VOC paints these days). We use BenMoore’s Natura flat paint (zero VOC). It holds up perfectly, even in the bath and kitchen and you don’t even smell paint, while you’re actually painting (I’ve even done some woodwork with it because I like the effect and there’s no problem with it). It does cost a little more but has better coverage, so we don’t have to buy as much. And for the units, there’s no down-time waiting for the paint smell to dissipate.