DIY projects are great, whether you refurbish old furniture or paint the living room ceiling. However, there is nothing more distressing than discovering paint splatter on the shiny floor finish of your hardwood flooring. Learn how to remove paint from a wood floor using a variety of cleaning solutions and removal methods.
Homeowners cherish hardwood-floors with their natural beauty. They come in a wide range of rich colors and add warmth to any room. However, they require more care and maintenance than other types of flooring to ensure they stand the test of time.
While mild soap and warm water are sufficient for simple cleaning, different cleaning methods are necessary to get latex paint off wood or remove an old paint stain.
- Ways to Remove Paint from a Wood Floor
- Preparing to Get Paint Off Wood Floors
- Remove Paint from Hardwood Floors by Scraping
- How to Remove Paint from a Wood Floor
- Using Commercial Products to Get Paint off Wood Floors
- How to Get Paint off a Wood Floor with Denatured Alcohol
- Using Paint Thinner to Remove Paint from Wood Floors
- Using Alcohol Pads for Cleaning Paint off a Wood Floor
Ways to Remove Paint from a Wood Floor
Fortunately, there are many ways to remove wet and dried paint, whether you are cleaning up after a home improvement project gone wrong or you move into a new home with pre-existing paint stains on the floor.
The occasional splatter is inevitable while painting, even if you are meticulous with your DIY plans. No worries – there are many ways to remove paint splatters from wood without sanding, whether a tiny paint droplet or a dried paint stain.
Preparing to Get Paint Off Wood Floors
The first step to get paint off wood floors is to prep the area for cleaning. It’s also essential to understand the type of paint you’re removing before performing wood floor maintenance to ensure that you use the correct strategy.
If the paint is old and dry, prepare for paint removal by sweeping the floor area around the stain. If the paint is wet, use a paper towel to soak up as much paint as possible. Avoid smearing the spot further by using handfuls of paper towels to scoop the paint inward.
Before removing the stain, check to see which type of paint you are dealing with. Water-based paints like acrylic and latex are the easiest to clean, while oil-based paints are more challenging.
Remove Paint from Hardwood Floors by Scraping
If you have a hardened glob of paint or several paint layers on the floor, a putty knife is a great tool for removing it, especially latex paint. Get old peeling paint off wood easily. Here is how to remove paint from hardwood floors by scraping.
Use a plastic putty knife to chisel the dried paint off the floor, whether you need to remove paint from vinyl flooring or wood. If the stain is particularly stubborn, try using a hammer to tap the knife into the paint. If you do not have this type of putty knife, an old credit card also works.
If there is dried paint between the floorboards, use a pull scraper to pull it from between the boards gently.
For oil paint removal, heat the stain with a hairdryer by holding it three inches above the floor for 20-seconds before gently scraping it from the wood. Avoid using a heat gun to get oil based paint off wood since this tool damages the wood finish.
You may also need to use this method to remove carpet glue from a wooden floor. Any chunky pieces of glue also need to be removed before resealing a wood floor.
How to Remove Paint from a Wood Floor
After scraping latex paint off the wood floor, clean the surface with a mild cleaning solution to remove paint residue from the floorboards. While there are many floor cleaners on the market, it’s easy to make your own with simple ingredients from your kitchen.
Pour warm water into a bucket or container, add several squirts of liquid dish soap, and a splash of lemon juice. Agitate the soapy water with your hand and dip the corner of a sponge into the liquid or dampen some paper towels.
Dab at the stain with the damp paper towel or sponge and avoid spreading the stain as you work. Continue working on the spot with fresh paper towels or another section of the sponge until the stain is gone, and wipe the floor with a dry rag.
To remove dirt, soapy water is ideal to clean painted wood siding or painted flooring or a good start when you need a way to get spray paint off wood, whether indoors or out.
Using Commercial Products to Get Paint off Wood Floors
If you’d rather use a commercial paint remover like Goof Off, many are available at your local home improvement store to get water based paint off wood. However, it’s essential to read the product label before using it to ensure you choose the right one for your paint type.
Follow the instructions for your paint remover brand and apply it to the paint with a cotton ball or swab. Let the remover sit for about 15 minutes to soften the stain, and use a plastic scraper to pull the paint off the floor. Wipe the area clean with a paper towel or clean cloth.
Use paint remover to strip paint from old cabinets, as well. It’s helpful to remove the doors and hinges first.
How to Get Paint off a Wood Floor with Denatured Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a minor cleaning solvent used as antiseptic and denatured alcohol is a strong solvent solely used for finishing purposes. While both are useful for removing paint, denatured alcohol works better for tough stains.
Apply some denatured alcohol to a rag and let it soak on the stain for about half an hour as the paint absorbs the alcohol. When you use this as the way to get paint off stained wood, be sure to apply the denatured alcohol just to the stain and not the wood surrounding it to prevent damage. You don’t want to have to remove alcohol stains from wood in addition to your paint stains.
Use a scrub brush or old toothbrush to scrub the area with a back and forth motion and clean up paint residue with paper towels as you work. After the paint is gone, clean the area with water and a soft towel.
Using Paint Thinner to Remove Paint from Wood Floors
Paint thinner is most famous for removing paint, but it is the last resort for getting paint off a stained wood floor. Mineral spirits are a great alternative if you hate the smell of paint thinner.
Before using paint thinner, open the windows to ensure the room has plenty of air circulation. Soak the corner of a rag with paint thinner and use that section to rub the stain with a side-to-side motion.
Soak another section of the rag with more paint thinner as each part accumulates paint. Continue the steps until the stain is off the floor, and clean the area with mild soap and warm water. Finish by drying the floor with a clean towel.
Clean paint off concrete with paint thinner if there is a small spot or use a pressure washer if it is larger.
Using Alcohol Pads for Cleaning Paint off a Wood Floor
The quickest way to remove paint from hardwood floors if the stain is small is to use alcohol pads. These are available at your local drug store, and the small packets contain cleansing pads soaked with alcohol that dissolve paint from the wood surface.
Open a packet of alcohol cleansing pads and wipe the stain back and forth along the wood grain.
If the pad dries out or collects too much paint, use a fresh one and continue working the area until the stain is gone. To ensure no residue remains, clean the area with water and dry it with a clean towel.
A newly finished wood floor looks stunning, and a lot of work goes into the restoring process, especially if you are removing old paint. Fortunately, there are several paint removal solutions that work wonders and make the job easier.
We hope that discovering how to remove paint from a wood floor keeps your flooring looking beautiful, and we’d love it if you’d share our wood floor paint removal methods with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest.