How to

How to clean painted surfaces inside and outside your home

A regular cleaning cycle, both inside and out, will keep your house looking great and will extend the life of your paintwork.

When it comes to washing painted surfaces in your home, think of it like booking your car in for a service with your mechanic. Cleaning interior and exterior paint will not only keep it looking its best, but will help it last for years to come. Best of all, this is a job you can easily do yourself in an hour or two.

Cleaning interior walls

It’s a good idea to clean the interior walls of your home as you need to when you see marks appearing, and although the phrase ‘spring cleaning’ comes to mind, this can be done at any time of the year. Wall, like windows, will slowly gather up dust, so if you want to clean a full wall, use Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner. This product won’t dull the colour of your paint, and won’t form a film once the surface has been cleaned, meaning you don’t need to rinse the surface afterwards.


Prepare the cleaning solution

Put on gloves and dilute Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner Concentrate following the instructions, or use the ready-to-use formula.

It’s best to avoid strong household cleaners as these can damage your paint finish.


Dip or spray

Simply spray the product directly onto the surface that needs cleaning.


Start cleaning

Gently wipe the walls using the wet cloth. Rotate the cloth from time to time to make sure there is a clean edge and wipe away any excess solution. When the cloth gets too dirty, wring it into an empty bucket before dipping it into the solution again.


Dry to finish

Dry the surface using a lint-free cloth following the direction of the paint strokes, this will create an even finish.

Cleaning your home’s exterior

The outside of your home has a hard life – it’s up against wind, sun, rain, hail, salt, dirt, spider webs, flies, fungus, mould and car exhaust, to name just a few antagonists. Paint can also build up chalky residue over time. Show your house some love by cleaning it annually following these steps:



Treat for mould if required using Resene Moss & Mould Killer.



Use gloves to dilute Resene Paint Prep and Housewash in a bucket with water following the instructions on the label. This product is ideal if you wish to freshen up your home’s look or if you’re preparing the surface to repaint. Alternatively you could use Resene Bio-Cleaner, an Eco Choice-approved product containing eugenol (the active ingredient in clove oil) which helps to inhibit mould and fungal regrowth.



Dip a soft brush dipped into the cleaning solution and wash the surface of your house following the grain of the timber.



Rinse the surface clean using a hose. Do not use a water blaster, as this can damage the surface of the timber and allow water to become trapped in the timber fibres, damaging the paint.  Make sure you don’t allow any cleaning product to dry on surfaces like glass.

What if I only need to clean off a few marks?

Walls inside your home are susceptible to scuff marks and scratches over time. To clean a mark, start from the outside and work your way in. Don’t start too far away from the mark – about half the width of the mark should be sufficient (for example, start about 1cm away from a 2cm-wide mark). Walls can accumulate dust and grime over time so try to avoid creating a visible clean patch. If you do end up with a clean patch, a feather duster can help to soften the line between the cleaned and uncleaned areas.


What if there’s mould on my windowsills?

Black mould is common inside homes with poor ventilation or even on newer homes if you leave all the windows shut. If left untreated, mould can damage paintwork and the timber beneath it. To tackle this issue, treat the mould with Resene Moss & Mould Killer before cleaning the affected area. Wear gloves to dilute the product following the instructions and apply the product using a brush or sprayer. Allow Resene Moss & Mould Killer to penetrate the surface for 48 hours, and open the windows to avoid fumes. 

To prevent this problem long-term, consider painting windowsills with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom or Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom, which contain Resene MoulDefender to prevent mould. Resene Moss & Mould Killer is also recommended to treat mould infestations on exterior areas too, including decks, fences and weatherboards.


What if the home needs a deeper clean?

The aptly-named Resene Deep Clean is a slower acting cleaning product ideal for paths, patios and decks as well as other cement, timber and painted surfaces susceptible to light mould infestations. This no-scrub product will slowly break down surface contaminants over time, creating a cleaner surface. Resene Deep Clean comes in a ready-to-use trigger version – just attach to your hose and start applying it, or as a concentrate to be diluted with water.

Resene Deep Clean is your saving grace when it comes to cleaning slippery paths, driveways, patios, decks and all of your exterior paintwork. It breaks down contaminants all by itself – once you’ve applied it, nature does the job for you.

How do I clean outdoor furniture, decks and fences?

If left uncleaned, mould and slime can turn painted decks into a slippery hazard, so make sure you clean it annually with Resene Paint Prep and Housewash. Simply dilute following the instructions and spray onto whatever you need to clean, then scrub and rinse off. The good news is this product can also be used to refresh timber patio furniture and fences.  Remember to treat any areas of moss and mould with Resene Moss & Mould Killer too.

Spray Resene Deep Clean on areas such as decks and furniture once or twice a year to help keep them in tip top shape. 


Top tip: 

As with all cleaning products, make sure they don’t end up in the stormwater drain.

Resene Paint Prep and Housewash is a powerful and highly efficient way to get surfaces ready for painting or to use annually to give homes and buildings a refresh.
Spruce up your outdoor areas, such as weatherboards, decks and furniture, and tackle moss and mould with Resene Moss & Mould Killer. Moss and mould will usually be worst on the shady side of your home.
Use Resene Deep Clean twice a year on concrete and timber surfaces to keep them looking good. Just dilute with the right amount of water, then spray or scrub it on. Using the trigger pack makes the job easier and faster.

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