Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Is Flat Paint Washable?- [Complete Guideline In 2023]

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

With all the available features and options, finding the perfect paint for your walls is hard. A well-known option is flat paint, giving a matte finish to makeover projects. But is flat paint washable? This guide will give you the info you need on flat paint and how it contrasts with other types of paint.

Definition of Flat Paint


Flat paint, also known as matte paint, has qualities that make it a desirable option. It is the least reflective and most opaque, covering up wall imperfections. Its matte surface helps to diffuse light and reduce glare. Its consistent color across different angles ensures subtle nuances don’t stand out.

Flat paint makes interior walls attractive in home, office, commercial, or public spaces. For example, it gives high-traffic areas like hallways a softer look than gloss finishes. However, flat paint is often considered less washable due to its flat surface texture. To clean dirt and smudges, use a wall sponge with a mild soap-and-water solution and rinse with clean water.

Advantages of Flat Paint

Flat paint is a popular choice for house or bedroom painting. It is easy to apply and provides an even, smooth finish. Unlike gloss or semi-gloss paints, it has no shine. It also hides surface imperfections better, making it ideal for covering large wall areas.

Flat finishes have several practical benefits:

  • They are easy to clean as they don’t have brushstrokes or smudging.
  • They make walls appear bigger by avoiding bright areas.
  • They are more durable than higher-shine paints like semi-glosses and enamels, as they are less prone to discoloration.

Types of Flat Paint

Flat paint, so many options! Low luster, high sheen and even washable paints. But which one? Let’s figure it out.

We’ll explore the different types of flat paint and what they can do for your walls. Let’s get started!

Latex Flat Paint

Latex flat or water-based paints are a popular choice for interior walls. They have a low sheen which makes them easy to touch up. They’re often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas with higher humidity. Latex paints are easier to clean. They contain lower VOC levels, making them great for indoor air quality.

These paints usually dry within two hours. They won’t crack or blister on your painted surfaces. They’re also popular, with more entryways, laundry rooms, and dens activity. Many colors are available, from pastels to deep jewel tones to traditional whites. They can easily mix with different interior styles.

Oil-based Flat Paint

Oil-based flat paint is a classic pick for interior walls. It provides great coverage and is durable, plus it’s resistant to moisture, abrasion, and cracking. When done right, it’s washable too.

But remember: VOCs are released using oil-based paints, so ventilation is key. Don’t mix this paint with latex paints either – they aren’t compatible.

Before applying, you’ll need to prep your surfaces. Tape off cabinets and baseboards. Cleaning up will require mineral spirits/paint thinner, followed by soap and water. Depending on the surface, you may need to add primer.

The drying time for oil-based paints may be longer than latex due to the need for ventilation. When used correctly, you won’t need to touch or repair it for 10+ years unless damage from wear/tear or intense sunlight/mold/mildew occurs.

How to Make Flat Paint Washable


Upgrade your space without a full repaint! Make your flat paint washable in 2023 with the right products, techniques and practices. Here’s a complete guide to help you out. Get ready to make it happen!

Prepare the surface

Before painting, it’s important to prepare. Start by cleaning the wall with a wet cloth. This will help the paint stick and prevents it from cracking.

Use a primer if painting over old walls. Primers make an even layer of paint and protect the surface below. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.

Finally, use a 100% acrylic satin-finish or semi-gloss paint for the best results. These paints are designed for washability and can withstand scrubbing from water and cleaning solutions.

Apply the primer

Before painting a wall, apply a primer. A stain-blocking primer is recommended. Read the instructions on the product before starting.

Prep the surface. Make sure it’s clean, dry and free from dust. Next, brush on a thin base coat of primer. Allow each layer to dry before applying the next one. This prevents moisture from getting trapped and causing bubbles or blistering. Once everything has dried and been covered evenly with primer, you can apply the washable paint.

Flat Paint
Flat paint

Apply the paint

Ready the walls and add primer. Time to paint!

Work from top to bottom. Let each section dry. Flat paint takes approx. Three hours – check the manufacturer’s instructions for your area. Please don’t use more than 2 coats, or it may crack. Use a synthetic brush or roller. Go back over all wall areas for a uniform look.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Flat paint can give your home a stylish look. But how do you keep it looking great? Cleaning and maintaining are key. This guide will discuss the best practices for cleaning and maintaining flat paint. We’ll provide simple weekly maintenance tips and more detailed cleaning methods. All the info you need to keep your flat paint looking amazing for years!

Regular Cleaning

Clean flat paint surfaces with a soft, damp cloth. Don’t use soap-based or abrasive cleaners, like steel wool or scouring pads. Soap-based cleaners can damage the paint’s color and sheen.

If dirt is persistent, clean it with a gentle detergent and warm water. Use a damp cloth, not soaked. Too much moisture can cause watermarks, which are hard to remove.

After cleaning, rinse with warm water and dry the surface with a clean cloth: Seal windows, doors and other openings to stop dirt from entering. Regular dusting and vacuuming also help maintain flat painted surfaces in the long run.

Spot Cleaning


Flat finish paint needs regular cleaning. Spot cleaning can be done with water and a soft cloth, but be careful. For sensitive areas, like walls, use diluted sugar soap or a cleaner made for painting and wallpapering. Read the directions carefully before rinsing.

For general dirt, use moderate amounts of soap and water. This works best when done regularly. Use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching. Avoid spraying cleaners near light fixtures and electrical outlets. Doing this regularly protects your paint job and makes your home look great!

Deep Cleaning


Deep clean your walls to keep them looking beautiful. Flat paint is not usually washable, but deep cleaning can make it look new. You’ll need to work hard, but it’s worth it!

  • Vacuum the walls with an upholstery attachment.
  • Use a soft cloth or sponge, mild dish soap, and warm water for dirt spots and streaks. Circular motions and a light rinse with plain water will do.
  • Add 1 cup (240 ml) of white vinegar to a bucket of warm soapy water for grease spots. Agitate lightly with your cloth or sponge. Rinse with plenty of fresh water to remove all traces of soap.


To wrap it up, flat paint can be washed. But, special care is needed to keep its finish. Selecting the correct paint is key. Some paints are better at handling dirt and stains. Moreover, some products can help guard the paint and make it easier to clean.

All said and done; flat paint is washable. Picking the right type of paint and looking after it is important.

Summary of the Benefits of Flat Paint


Flat paint is great for interior walls. It’s cheap and easy to apply. It reflects minimal light and has a smooth, matte finish. This is perfect for hiding wall flaws. Flat paint can also be washed, making it great for rooms that need frequent cleanings, such as kids’ bedrooms or bathrooms. And it can be touched up without leaving brush or roller marks.

The main downside of flat paint is that it’s not very resistant to stains or wear. This issue can be with high-traffic areas or wet places like kitchens and bathrooms. But, even if it needs more touch-ups than higher-sheen paints, it can still give you the beautiful results you want.

Tips for Choosing the Right Flat Paint

When picking a flat paint for your painting project, consider several factors. Find a paint that looks good, lasts and is easy to maintain. Here are a few tips:

  1. Think about the room you’re painting. High-traffic areas need a durable acrylic enamel or alkyd/oil-based formula.
  2. Check the coverage needed. Some flat paints offer complete coverage in one coat. Save time and money with effective flat paint.
  3. Ask about washability. High-quality paints come with high levels of washability. Use them in busy rooms, like playrooms and kitchens.

Remember these tips when selecting flat paint. You’ll get great results!


Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I wash my walls with flat paint?

Generally, walls with flat paint should be washed once a year. However, if you live in an area with high humidity or dust, you may want to wash your walls more often.

Is there anything I can do to make flat paint more durable?

Yes, you can use a sealer or primer before painting your walls with flat paint. This will help make the paint more durable and help the paint adhere to the wall better.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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