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There are certain rooms in many homes that always get messy; these are areas where children often play or do their art projects, for instance, a playroom or art room. It is a good idea to paint the walls in these rooms with washable paint. Washable paint is made to be cleaned and is durable in its design so that you can wash the walls to remove dirt, fingerprints, or even crayon marks. Below are some tips that might help when searching for the perfect washable paint for your messy areas.

Choosing a Paint Finish

When selecting washable paint, do not choose a glossy finish; instead, select a matte or eggshell finish. Compared to flat paint, gloss paint is challenging to clean, and when applied, the paint reveals defects in the wall. An eggshell or matte finish will be more effective at concealing imperfections and is more stain-proof.

Choosing a Paint Finish

Paint Brands to Try

Many top paint brands now offer quality washable paints, perfect for messy rooms:

Behr Marquee – This washable paint is a high-end paint and stain collection that Behr offers. Sutherlin’s Marquee interior paint line contains the “One-Coat Color Shield,” which is a washable matte paint ideal for high-traffic areas since it can be washed and scrubbed frequently without losing its color.

Benjamin Moore Scrubbable Paint – This interior scrubbable paint is one that boasts stain resistance while offering a soft matte appearance. It is especially great for children’s bedrooms, corridors, and any space where people frequently pass by.  

Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 – ProMar 200 zero VOC interior latex paint is the perfect paint to cover stains and protect the surface, with an eggshell sheen that is non-reflective and that can be easily cleaned.

PPG Timeless Paint – This PPG Timeless interior Paint + Primer comes in a semi-gloss sheen that is relatively affordable. One major advantage gained by using this stain-repelling formula is that one can scrub the walls as many times as they want without compromising the paintwork.

Stain Removal Guide for Mess-prone Walls

Make sure you have chosen a suitable stain-blocking primer meant for high-traffic areas regardless of the brand of paint you intend to use. The primer will help enhance the surface and act as a barrier that will ensure that the topcoat of the paint will also adhere well to the wall. Two highly recommended primers to utilize are the Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer and the KILZ MAX Stain & Odor Blocking Interior Latex Primer.

Application Tips  

It is important to use the proper technique when applying washable paint to provide the optimum resistance to stains. Carefully follow all instructions on the paint packaging, including:

– Preparing and cleaning the walls for painting

– Applying at least two coats of paint when covering your surface of choice and allowing the paint to dry for some time in between coats  

– Painting with appropriate tools – for instance, microfiber rolls, paint rollers and angled brushes

-Avoiding lap marks –caused by paint that has been rolled or brushed on the wall in such a way that it leaves a visible line of demarcation   

– Waiting until the full curing time on the label has been achieved before washing the walls

If you take time to prepare your surface and then apply your paint and its successive coats properly, you will be able to obtain a surface that will not only protect the wall but also provide resistance to mess and flaws.

Cleaning and Maintenance  

While washable paints are designed to make cleaning walls more accessible, you’ll need to use proper cleaning methods to remove stains without damaging the paint:

– Wipe as soon as the surface gets dirty so there is no time for the dirt to develop into a stain or mark

– Scrub with some soap and water, rather than using harsh chemicals to clean the surfaces, since strong detergents may cause a reaction with paint

Cleaning and Maintenance

– Use soft microfiber cloths, instead of more abrasive cleaning tools such as brushes or sponges often used to clean the sink

– Do not apply a lot of pressure when washing the walls; rinse gently  

– Under no circumstance should walls be left wet after washing with soap, as this could lead to the formation of mold on the walls

If messes are handled immediately and walls are washed with light pressure using mild soaps, then washable paint will allow your walls to look newly painted for years.


Use interior paints that are washable, to make the walls in your rooms easy to clean when they are soiled and need constant washing. Behr, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and PPG are quality brands that create stain-resistant and scrubbable surface paints. Mix the paint with a staining-blocking primer, use the correct procedure to apply the paint, and when cleaning the walls, do it gently so your walls will be cleared of any stains. Having walls that look like they were freshly painted after one has made a mess is challenging but achievable with indoor washable paints.

With a bit of preparation and the right products, however, your walls will look like they’ve been freshly painted all the time.

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