How to remove paint from hardwood floors

By | July 31, 2016

Removing paint from hardwood floors

Paint settles and dries fast on whatever surface it is spilled. It cannot be removed easily with just soap and water and when you are dealing with wooden floor or furniture. Special care should be taken to not ruin the finish of the wooden surface.
Clean paint from wooden floors
Denatured alcohol (methylated spirits) are some common household remedies for cleaning paint stains, though they may not work always. If the paint stains are too strong to be removed by alcoholic solvents then you need a commercial paint solvent or thinner product that is specially formulated for lifting out paint stains.

In this post we shall be talking about simple techniques to remove paint and paint stains from wooden surface like hardwood floors. Later on we also take a look at some commercial products that can do the cleaning job more effectively.

1. Rubbing alcohol

Get hold of a cleaning rag or microfiber cloth or something similar. Use your fingers to create a fold in the rag and dip it in rubbing alcohol and wet it. Now dab and rub the paint on the wooden floor with this rag.

Alcohol has the chemical properties that can dissolve paint and lift it off without etching the underlying surface. That way, you can lift the paint without spoiling the wooden finish.

If the stains are old and dried they might need several applications of the rubbing alcohol and some time to dissolve. Check the rag and see if the paint is coming off in it.

As the paint dissolves in the alcohol it should be absorbed into the rag. If you do not see any improvement then the alcohol is probably not having any effect.

If you do not have rubbing alcohol, try hair spray or aftershave lotion. They also contain lots of alcohol that can dissolve the paint.

2. Solvents and paint thinners

If the paint does not come off with alcohol, try some solvents like kerosene or turpentine oil if you have it at home.

Take very little of the oil in a small plastic container and use a rag to soak it. Then rub the paint spots with the soaked rags and the paint should come off.

Kerosene or turpentine oil can lift even oil paint stains, which alcohol cannot. Be cautious while handling kerosene or turpentine oil. These solvents are highly inflammable, so the place should be well ventilated and there should be no heat or electric source near by.

2. Commercial paint remover products

Paint stains and patches can be difficult to remove using simple home remedies. Not all kinds of paint can be easily dissolved using alcoholic cleaners. You may find yourself in a situation which needs more cleaning power.

There are plenty of paint thinner and cleaning products available that can make the task easier. They are specially formulated to thin out the paint and lift it without much effort and without damaging the underlying surface. You need to find out the right one.

Again its important to select the right kind of paint thinner for specific home needs. Most paint thinners are quite powerful and actually made for the painting process rather than lifting a paint stain. They are supposed to be used by those who actually paint walls.

For removing paint stains, look specifically for those products that are specially made for cleaning paint marks and residues by home users. They are generally less toxic, have less odor and are safer.

1. Goof Off –

Goof Off acts as a solve that can dissolve many things including latex paint. It is supposed to be used in garage work to get rid of paint and grease stains from mechanical oils from clothes or aprons. But can also be used at home to get rid of tough stains like those of paint.

Goof Off actually comes has many variants, each with a different purpose. The one made for home use is safer than the one made for garage use. The home version comes in a spray bottle that is easy to use and is is biodegradable and less inflammable when used properly.

2. Goo Gone Painter’s Pal –

Goo Gone is another range of stain cleaning products that comes in many variants. The Painter’s Pal variant is formulated to erase paint stains from a different surfaces like wood, plastic, glass etc. Comes in a spray bottle that can be used easily.

Simply spray on the paint splatters, wait for a few minutes and then gently rub with a sponge. The paint should dissolve out and get away from the wood.

3. KRUD KUTTER KR32 Tough Task Remover –

The Krud Kutter is a water based biodegradable solvent that can lift a variety of stains including latex and oil paints. Comes in a spray bottle and is available on amazon.

Extra tips

Avoid rubbing the wooden surface with sand paper. Also avoid using sharp metallic objects to scratch the paint and lift it. The underlying wooden surface will also get scratched badly. The best way is to apply a paint thinner solution and dissolve it out.

Nail polish remover may also do the trick of removing paint from wood. But if its acetone based then it will very likely spoil the finish and dull the wood finish. So its better to avoid nail polish removers for wooden surfaces.

If you know of any other easy remedy or technique of cleaning off paint from wooden surfaces then let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

One thought on “How to remove paint from hardwood floors

  1. Adil

    Removing paint from hardwood floors is one of the toughest tasks I have ever faced. Now, I can remove it easily. Thank you for sharing great cleaning tips.


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