In Advice, How To, Paint

We have all seen it, that shiny patch of painted wall surface that looks different from the rest of the wall.  There is a noticeable streak like appearance that makes you just want to paint over it, but wait don’t just paint over it, take the necessary steps first to make sure you won’t be looking at streak marks by repainting it.

interior paint on walls with damage after washingWhat is Paint Burnishing

Paint burnishing happens when a painted surface is subjected to friction usually caused by abrasive cleaners and by repeated rubbing and scrubbing to clean it.  It is also caused when lack of the appropriate paint is used.

Paint burnishing occurs most commonly with a flat paint as it is a weaker type of paint finish compared to any of the others.  The difference between paint finishes is their durability, coverage and how much shine they reflect once applied to the surfaces.

Flat paints have the most pigmentation providing excellent coverage with two coats, hides drywall imperfections and has no shine to it at all, but that higher pigmentation make flat paints more susceptible to burnishing.

What Causes Paint Burnishing 

Paint burnishing is typically seen in high traffic areas that require frequent cleaning such as kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and it includes window sills, stairs and front doors and often times it is because of having painted with a flat paint finish.

Flat paints are best recommended for use in areas with little traffic such as dining and living room areas as well as bedrooms.  These areas are not as heavily trafficked as are other rooms like family rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, or hallway entrance ways that may require frequent washing.  Eggshell paints and semi-gloss paints are best used in these rooms and if you like a lot of shine reflection on your walls using a high gloss paint sheen is for you.  The higher the gloss the better its durability against frequent washing or scrubbing.

Common Causes For Paint Burnishing

The most common causes for paint marks or streaks to occur are frequent washing and scrubbing of painted surfaces with abrasive cleaners or detergents, using a flat paint finish and a lower quality paint product, along with damage done by furniture being to close to the wall paint creating continuous friction.

How to Prevent Paint Burnishing

 To help prevent having these paint problems with burnishing marks showing up on walls or ceilings here are some common tips you can use.

  • Tip 1 – Use high quality paints in areas that are highly trafficked.  Best recommended paint finish types for heavily trafficked rooms are the eggshell, semi-gloss or satin paint finishes.
  • Tip 2 – Use the right water based paints and finishes for each area
  • Tip 3 – Keep furniture and other objects away from walls to prevent them rubbing and causing the friction between the sofa and the wall creating that burning mark
  • Tip 4 –  Avoid using abrasive cleansers on walls with flat paint and do not scrub any dirt or grime on flat paint surfaces
  • Tip 5 – Use non-abrasive cleaners on all painted surfaces.  Simple dish soap and water usually can do the trick
  • Tip 6 – Wait until after two weeks have passed before you wash and freshly painted walls.  It takes two weeks for paint to fully cure

Call On Painting Companies in Ottawa You Can Trust

We had a homeowner contact us in late 2019 to see why their home had the issues of paint marks and streaks on their interior walls after a cleaning company had washed the walls.

As experienced painters in Ottawa we met with the homeowners to provide the answers they were looking for.  They wanted to know if the markings on the interior paint of their living and dining room areas were caused by abrasive cleaning solutions and excessive scrubbing or if it was the paint itself.

After investigating the area it was determined and confirmed that the damage on the flat paint finish was caused by the cleaning solution that was used and the excessive scrubbing.  The only resolution to fix that situation was to repaint the entire two rooms.

If you have problems with paint issues and need to connect with a professional call on Ottawa painters – PG PAINT & DESIGN to help you in your next painting project.