Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Is Flat Paint Washable?- [Complete Guideline In 2022]

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

This is a type of paint that when dry, will have a minimally reflective finish.  It is also referred to as matte paint.  Using this type of paint has its advantages and disadvantages.  It is paint that you should not use in high traffic areas like a kitchen or bathroom.  This paint can also be used to paint the exterior of your home.

The question that needs to be answered is this; is flat paint washable?  One reason that you might want this question answered is if you use it in a child’s bedroom and they decide to draw on it, can it be washed?  Yes, it is washable but there are precautions you will need to take when washing it.

In this article, we will tell you how you can wash flat paint, what it is used for, the advantages and disadvantages of this type of paint.  Read on to learn how to take care of areas that have been painted using flat paint.

What Is Flat Paint?

Is Flat Paint Washable

Flat paint, when dried will give you a matte finish, which has no gloss to it but does have a minimally reflective finish.  This is a paint that will help to hide rough surfaces and minimize the surface because they do not reflect the light from every angle.  It is great to use on textured walls and will minimize the texture’s appearance.

This type of paint has more pigment so it will cover blemishes better.  Because it is so good at hiding blemishes, some refer to it as concealer paint.

What Is Flat Paint Best Used for?

What Is Flat Paint Best Used For

Flat paint is best used if you have any imperfections on your wall.  This includes scratches, stains, and bumps.  If it can make your wall look less than perfect, it is time to use flat paint.  It is great for areas that do not have a lot of traffic because it is not a very durable paint.  You can use it in rooms that get a lot of sunlight because the walls will not be reflective.

Many people choose flat paint for their ceilings because ceilings tend to have flaws and they are not touched that often.

Where Should You Not Use Flat Paint?

Where Should You Not Use Flat Paint

It is not advisable to use flat paint in high traffic areas.  This can include areas like entryways, hallways, on trim, and more.  Over time it will wear down faster than other paint.  Although you can clean flat paint, it does not clean easily so you should not use it in areas where you may have to scrub the stain or dirt to get rid of it.  If you scrub it too hard, it can cause the paint to wear off, leaving areas on your wall with spots that show where the paint has been removed a little.

You should never use it in an area where there is going to be a lot of moisture as this type of paint can absorb moisture quicker than other paints.  This can lead to growths of mildew or mold. Flat paint also does not resist stains all that well.

What Types of Paint Can Flat Paint Cover?

What Types Of Paint Can Flat Paint Cover

Flat paint can cover a variety of other paints.  If your walls are painted using satin paints, make sure that you wash the walls before applying the flat paint.  You should also add a primer to the wall after making sure it is clean.  You can also paint over glossy paint using flat paint without much preparation

You will probably have to sand your walls if they are painted in semi-gloss or gloss paint before applying flat paint.  Make sure that you are using 80-grit sandpaper.  Start at the top and sand down to the bottle until the wall is dull.  Wash them with soapy water, let dry, and then you can paint them with flat paint.

Is Flat Paint Washable?

Is Flat Paint Washable

Yes, flat paint is washable, but you will need to be careful when cleaning walls painted with flat paint.  You do not want to use harsh cleaning methods.  If you do, then the paint could be washed off completely.  You need to use a gentle method of cleaning to get rid of stains and dirty spots on the walls.

Cleaning Flat Paint Walls

  1. Gather your cleaning supplies, which consist of a soft sponge, white vinegar, dish soap or laundry detergent, water, and clean towels.
  2. Dust the area you are going to clean.  Use one of the dry towels to dust the wall.  You can also use a feather duster.
  3. Once it has been dusted you need to clean it gently with water.  If it is a small dirty spot or a light stain, you should use just plain water to clean it.  Dip the sponge in the water, squeezing it to remove the excess water.  Gently wipe the wall, rinsing the sponge as often as you need until the stain or dirty spot is removed.  Doing it gently will help to make sure that there is no hardcore damage to the wall.  Warm water will give you better results.  Wipe the area in a circular motion
  4. If it is a tough stain, you may need to use a cleaning agent like laundry detergent or dish soap.  All you will need is a small cup of either one to put in the warm water to dilute it and then add a little white vinegar.  Clean the area as you would if you were just using plain water.  The white vinegar is to kill any mold or mildew buildup on the wall.  Do not put the cleaning agent directly on the wall.  It can damage the area and leave a stain.
  5. After you are finished cleaning, rinse the wall using clean warm water if you had to use a cleaning agent.  Make sure that there is no residue left on the wall.  Dry the wall gently with a clean towel, using a dabbing motion.  If you rub it too hard, you could remove the paint.

Tips for Cleaning Walls with Flat Paint

Tips For Cleaning Walls With Flat Paint

Although this is not exactly cleaning walls that are painted with flat paint, you should make sure to dust them at least once every month.  This is recommended if you want to keep the longevity of the paint.  You should also make sure that you are immediately cleaning up any smears, stains, or dirt on your walls.

  • Before cleaning your flat painted walls, test the laundry detergent or dish soap solution on a small patch in an area that will not be noticed. You want to make sure that the solution you are using is not too harsh that it will cause the paint to peel off.
  • Clean the walls from top to bottom. The reason is that if you go from the bottom up, you may have to reclean areas due to the sponge dripping on the already cleaned areas.
  • Use painter’s tape to cover all the electrical outlets so the solution does not get into them. Possibly causing an electrical short.

Why Do Builders Use Flat Paint?

Why Do Builders Use Flat Paint

Builders use flat paint because it is easy to touch up the walls once you are finished painting.  Because it does not have a shine, it can blend with other paint.  A builder does not like to paint the walls from edge to edge.  When the house is being built, there are many contractors and sub-contractors that will come into the home to do work, so it makes it easy to fix the walls when using flat paint.

Sometimes they use it because it is easy to remember and tell the homeowners what the paint is.  When flat wall paint is used, there is no confusion as to what paint was used.  Some builders do not build good homes, so they just use flat paint to cover their mistakes or because it is cost-effective.

If the framer or drywall contractor does not do a good job, there could be imperfections that pop out.  If any other paint is used, the flaws would be more noticeable, so flat paint is used to cover up the imperfections instead of fixing the issue.

It is also the cheapest paint to use so to save money on costs, the builder uses the cheapest paint.  In the building process because the costs must be kept down.

Is It Okay to Use Flat Paint in a Bathroom?

Is It Okay To Use Flat Paint In A Bathroom

No, it is not because of the high moisture in a bathroom.  Flat paint just absorbs the moisture.  It will also start to grow mildew and mold faster than other paints.  It does not resist stains that well either so if you find soap scum, shaving cream, or other stains on the walls, it will be harder to clean.

The only place that flat paint might work in the bathroom is on the ceiling, but you should have good ventilation.  If you want to use flat paint in your bathroom, look for flat paint that is designed for the bathroom.

Can I Use Flat Paint in the Kitchen?

Can I Use Flat Paint In The Kitchen

It seems that the walls of a kitchen are the ones that are the messiest due to food residue, grease splatters, and grimy handprints.  You want to have paint that is easy to clean, washable, and durable.  Flat paint is not any of those things.  It is not a good idea to use flat paint in your kitchen because the walls in that room generally need a lot of cleaning and flat paint does not hold up well to washing.

Final Verdict

Is flat paint washable? Yes, it is but you need to be sure that you clean the area gently and use the right cleaning solution if necessary.  Many stains or dirty spots can be removed with just water.  Be cautious where you use flat wall paint as it is not for areas that get a lot of foot traffic or high moisture areas.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

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