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How to wash a wall

OK, thanks to bringiton and other alert readers, I've washed my kitchen walls with TPS prior to painting them.

But how paranoid do I have to be about rinsing them?

The TPS directions say to rinse immediately, and if you don't, you end up with a thin film of some chemical or other on the wall, and that's obviously not the surface prep I had in mind.

Do I need to go into two buckets mode?MR SUBLIMINAL I thought this wasn't a post about politics? One for the TPS, one for the rinse?

Or is that overkill?

And I just used a floormop on the walls; it works just a like a roller. The only thing is, that the sponges aren't industrial strength. Can anyone suggest a better approach?

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bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Dunno what you mean by "not industrial strength". Are they falling apart, or not stiff enough to give you some push power? Please clarify.

Yes, rinse. One bucket to wash. Another new bucket of fresh warm water, changed when it starts to discolor, to rinse with a sponge or a sponge mop. After the wall dries, wipe across it gently with a finger. If there's still a white powder, that will be residual TSP. (If the residuum is colored, then you didn't get the wall clean and need to repeat with more TSP.) In the case of remaining dry TSP I recommend damp rags to wipe down the walls; wipe an area, rinse, wring it out, move to an adjacent area, wipe some more.

DO NOT VACUUM. Can't say that loud enough. TSP is corrosive, it will eat your vacuum cleaner.

No wall ever gets perfectly clean. The BIN shellac will cover everything if the major grease and shine have been removed, and will bind small amounts of residual TSP.

Courage, Lambert; do what you see as good enough and all will be well. Trust the Force, and always use Zinsser BIN white shellac.

jackyt's picture
Submitted by jackyt on

and I've never had a problem. Yes, TSP. Yes, rinse. Whenever.

I've done it any number of ways: rinse immediately; rinse the next day; rinse the next week. I've never had a problem with paint adhering to a previously TSP'd surface. (I've never used a shellac undercoat, either.)

The only rule: don't apply latex paint over alkyd paint (or vice versa).

And use good quality paint.