House Painting Tips: Repairing Pet Damage
As much as we love them, we have to admit that pets can really take a toll on a house! Whether you've had a dog leave claw marks on the front door, a parrot chew up the window trim, or a cat use the wall as a scratching post, you have probably wondered how to fix the damage. Even if the pets simply leave dirty areas on the walls, it is something we want to address. How do you clean those painted surfaces? How do you repair paint that is damaged by pets?
Some types of paint damage only affect the surface, while others go much deeper. We will take a look at each type separately.
Deep Damage: Repairing Paint Damage from Chewing and Scratching
If a pet has managed to chew or scratch deeply into a surface, it obviously needs to be repaired before it can be repainted. In the case of a wooden door, you can use wood filler to fill in the gouges, then sand it smooth. If it is drywall, you will need spackle or drywall patching compound to do the same.
On wood trim, small problems can be repaired with wood filler or spackle. However, if the damage is extensive, it is generally better to replace the piece of trim. Some house painting companies also offer carpentry services to perform all repairs of this sort.
Once the structural damage to the surface is repaired, the area will need primer. Finally, the item will need to be repainted. This means the whole door, the whole stretch of trim, or the affected wall. Unfortunately, painting just the problem area will almost never match completely, so it is best to paint up to the nearest natural border.
Surface Damage: Removing Pet Residue from Painted Walls
For some reason, cats love to brush along walls and doorways, and if they do this long enough, they can begin to leave dirty or discolored spots. In addition, pets of all kinds can leave pawprints, droppings, mud spatters, and all manner of other unwanted substances on our painted walls. How can we get rid of this?
Most doors and trim pieces are painted with semi-gloss paint, whether interior or exterior. This is helpful, because semi-gloss paint is highly washable and resistant to scrubbing. Use a gentle sponge or washcloth with warm, soapy water, and carefully scrub the surface. Usually, the surface contaminants come right off!
In the case of interior walls, they are usually painted with an eggshell or a satin sheen. These are both moderately washable, but you will want to test it in an inconspicuous location first. Use a very gentle scrubbing motion with your sponge or rag. It is better to wipe off a little at a time, rather than trying to scrub it all off quickly.
Sometimes a stain is too deep to remove, or the scrubbing changes the appearance of your paint. If this happens, you will need to repaint the wall.
Preventing Paint Damage from Pets
If you are just getting a pet, or if you have just repaired pet damage, now is the time for prevention! here are some ideas:
- Keep bird cages away from window and door trim
- Install a metal "kick plate" on the door where the dog scratches to get in
- Use semi-gloss paint on trim and doors, and satin paint on interior walls
- Have a scratching post handy for your cat to use
- Provide chew toys for puppies
- Install a pet door for easy access, so there is no cause for the pet to scratch at the door
Williams Professional Painting
If you need any pet remediation for your painted surfaces, Williams Professional Painting is here to help! We have carpenters on staff who can repair or replace any damaged wooden doors or trim, plus any damaged drywall. Our painters can recoat your soiled surfaces, whether you want touchup on one specific area, or a whole room.
For more than 40 years, Williams Professional Painting has served the Washington, D.C. area with unbeatable customer service and exceptional painting. We offer interior painting, kitchen cabinet refinishing, exterior painting, carpentry, and much more. Use our online contact form to request your free estimate, or call our office to arrange one. We look forward to meeting you!