If you're hosting friends and family this holiday season, you can count on having fun...and having to loosen your belt. And no matter what paint colors and paint brands you've used, you can count on having to clean your walls. Because when the kids come inside after playing in the snow and mud, there's no telling where you'll find fingerprints, footprints, and smudges. We wish we could tell you that you're off the hook if you don't have little ones visiting. But the truth is, once the men start sneaking off with pumpkin pie and those delicious Reese's Christmas Trees, even the best interior paint is in trouble. That's especially true if it's wall paint near a TV that's showing a football game!

We'd love for you to call us to touch up your wall painting, but here are a few tips to safely remove smudges and handprints from that wall paint on your own.

1. Double the buckets means half the work!

Using one bucket is a mistake that's easy to make. The problem is that after you wash off a couple of walls, that bucket of water can quickly become a bucket of water mixed with dissolved candy cane residue and green frosting. So we'd recommend filling one bucket with water or cleaning solution and filling a different bucket with your clean rinse water.

2. Sponge up that grunge!

The best interior paint can be scratched and damaged by a brush or any tool with stiff bristles. Make sure your walls are in good shape for next year's festivities by using a sponge. The sponge is one of the best tools for cleaning off holiday smudges. Remember to move it in gentle circles!

3. Holiday memories won't fade, but some paint will.

No matter which paint colors and paint brands you've used, certain styles may fade if they're washed too vigorously. You'll need to be especially gentle if your walls are painted in deep colors, or if you've used a flat style such as eggshell or satin.

4. Baking soda isn't just for Christmas cookies!

If you're faced with a stain or smudge that's just not in the holiday spirit, head back to the kitchen and grab some baking soda. You can mix it with water to create a paste that will work wonders on even the most Grinch-like stains.

With these four tips, you won't be so bummed when you find stains on your paint after your holiday get-together. But if you decide that a new year calls for a new paint color, just give us a call. We'd love to help your walls turn over A New Leaf for 2015!

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