Mechanic Shop Wall Cleaning

Hey guy’s.

I have a shop to clean here soon from a Resi client that is moving to a new shop. The shop has been operating since it opened about 40 years ago, The mechanic is retiring and my client is buying the property.

My main concern is the walls, It’s a mix of dirt,soot,grease… He wants the walls and floors prepped for paint. The floors are easy I’ve done shop floors before.

What would clean these walls good enough for painting after the cleaning?? TSP?

He also wants the wood ceiling cleaned for paint, TSP also??


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If it was me in this situation I would tell client that it would probably be best if the painter did his own preparation wash.
That way if there are problems removing 100% of grease etc and the new paint cisses/fisheyes it’s not your problem.
Sometimes it looks like everything cleaned off nicely until you apply paint and all of a sudden its apparent that residue remains .
As a painter myself I walk away quite quickly from jobs like that.


I agree with Aussie. That job looks like a pita with the ceiling.

I don’t know all the chemicals out there that can make thud this job quick and easy, but myself, I wouldnt feel comfortable using anything but a grease solvent. And wipe everything down, then good degreaser, rinse, and a detergent with final rinse.

Old shop old wiring. Becareful blowing water every where. I would bet that there are a few unknown fire hazards in there.


Is the new owner willing to shut down for a week, move everything out of it?

If so, empty the place completely out. Shut off the power at the main box. Tape and bag all electrical outlets, switches, etc.

Get you a cleaner with Sodium Hydrox and butyl. High strength - probably nothing you will find at Home Depot. Search @Nashvillewash recent thread about doing a very similar type job but on a bigger scale.

Have a roof pump set-up or go like Nash did with a chemical sprayer from Northern Tool or Tractor Supply.

Start with the roof and work your way down. You will want a lift. Doing this from the ground or ladder is going to be a PITA.

I assume you have hot water? If not, walk like an Egyptian.

Rinse, Rinse, Rinse…Once done, even though everything was taped and bagged, I would remove tape/bags, open up outlets, switches, etc to verify no water inside.

Oh, in your proposal and acceptance signed by owner, be sure you have a clause that you are not responsible for any damage resulting from cleaning. CYA - like mentioned already, 40 year old building, old wiring, etc. Just too easy for water to get somewhere, turn the power on and short out something starting a fire. Looking at the pictures, random wires all over the place.

Would be a long talk with owner and them signing-off 100% I am not responsible for ANYTHING.


The shop will be completly empty in about a week or so…

Yes, I have hot water.

I’ve cleaned shops using EBC before and it worked out great!

My main concern are the walls… The floors not soo much… dwell time will be the key for the floors as well as stepping up my jets to get 3,500 at the surface cleaner.

Shutting down the power is a must, PERIOD!

I’ll work up a bid, And tagg on some unforseen headaches and a disclaimer. If I land it good and if I don’t good.


Definitely keep us posted of outcome.

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