The accumulation of dirt, dust particles and/or other debris on your paint film may resemble mildew and isn’t the best look.

dirt pickup

Possible Cause

It can be caused by the use of low quality paint, by soil splashing onto the substrate or by general air pollutants like dust and exhaust fumes collecting on your house body and horizontal trim.



If you’re unsure whether the problem is dirt or mould, conduct a simple spot-test (see mould).



Simply wash away all surface dirt with Selleys® Original Sugar Soap, rinse with clean water and ensure total dry state before priming and re-painting. If the dirt is heavy, you may need to use a power washer.

Dirt pickup can't be eliminated entirely but top quality exterior latex paints offer superior dirt pickup resistance and washability to minimise its impact. Higher gloss paints are also more resistant to dirt pickup than flat paints, which are more porous and can more easily entrap dirt. Dulux Weathershield Gloss is recommended.

More problem solving advice


If you’ve noticed black, grey or brown areas on your painted surface, chances are you’re dealing with a mould problem.  For each problem you’ll find a guide to identifying it, its causes and solutions.

Cracking / flaking

Cracking or flaking is the splitting of a dry paint film. This is a problem that needs fixing as it can lead to complete failure of the paint. For each problem you’ll find a guide to identifying it, its causes and solutions.