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Interior Paint Problems: Poor Scrub Resistance

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Image of paint with poor scrub resistance.

              Normal vs. Poor Paint Scrub Resistance
                      (Photo: The Paint Quality Institute)

Scrub resistance is the ability of a surface finish to resist wear and lift when rubbed.

Paint with poor scrub resistance will show worn spots, drabness, or a scratched appearance, primarily after being scrubbed with an abrasive brush, sponge or cleaning agent. You can take steps to prevent this common paint problem before it happens.

What Causes Poor Paint Scrub Resistance?

  • Choosing the wrong sheen for the painted surface
  • Using low-quality paint
  • Overly-aggressive scrubbing or abrasive cleansers
  • Washing painted surface before the paint has cured

How to Prevent Poor Paint Scrub Resistance

  • High-traffic areas or areas that need frequent cleaning require the higher-quality scrub resistance of a semi-gloss or gloss paint rather than a flat paint.
  • Allow adequate drying time, as scrub resistance will not fully develop until the paint is thoroughly cured. Typically, this takes about a week.
  • Test the surface by washing with the least abrasive material and mildest detergent first.

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