Painting is a messy business, and it is hard to avoid a few drips or splatters during the process. It’s not likely that you’re going to have a perfect paint job, but you still don’t want your expensive flooring or backsplash tile destroyed from a little bit of paint. Learning how to remove paint from tiles allows you to take action as soon as possible.
Working with old paint stains takes a little bit more elbow grease than fresh paint. Still, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to clean up paint spills during your home improvement project.
Trying to remove paint from floor tiles is more or less challenging based on the type of tile and paint you’re working with. More often than not, a homeowner works with latex paint.
However, there are many different types of tile. How you remove dried paint from a ceramic tile floor differs from how you remove it from painted tile or porcelain tile.
Be careful when trying to remove dry paint because you don’t want to permanently damage the area with a solvent that is too acidic or tools that are too rough. Listed here are several effective ways to clean paint from tile grout and other tile surfaces.
How to Remove Paint from Tiles
Trying to get paint off tile floor without knowing what you’re doing is a gamble. For example, you never want to use steel wool on porcelain tile because the small steel particles could become embedded into the tile pores and cause rust stains.
Another example is using commercial paint remover on expensive painted tiles. Before you get to work, always try out your method in an inconspicuous area.
When you work on a small area first, you test your strategy on a place in the home where nobody sees it if the tile becomes permanently damaged. Once you are sure that the tile is safe, it’s time to work on the rest of the paint spills.
Ensure you have proper ventilation and protective clothing when working with harsh chemicals or DIY paint thinner solutions. Once you protect yourself, carefully start to remove paint from floor tiles with your chosen method.
How to Remove Paint from Floor Tiles
Removing dry paint from tile and grout is much more complicated than eliminating fresh paint. Whenever you accidentally spill or splatter wet paint, work right away to fix the problem.
Use a dry fresh sponge or clean cloth and warm water to wipe the wet paint. Most times, the paint won’t stick at all if you work quickly enough.
Don’t forget to rinse the cloth from time to time to keep from smearing more paint over a larger surface area. If this plan doesn’t work, you might have to move on to another method.
Using a DIY Paint Stripper
Removing paint might require a solvent, depending on the type of paint. For water-based paint, warm soapy water is usually enough to do the trick. However, you might have to use a hot vinegar solution or mineral spirits for oil-based paint spills.
To make this DIY tile cleaning solution, grab a large, clean bowl and fill it halfway with warm water. Stir in a few drops of dish soap, a sprinkle of baking soda, and a small amount of white vinegar. Dunk a clean rag or sponge into the paint remover solution and use it to scrub the paint spill.
Avoid using any type of steel wool or a scouring pad to avoid damaging your tile. Dry the affected area with a paper towel. This recipe is also a good cleaning solution to clean paint from tile grout and to get paint off a bathtub.
Removing Dried Paint from Tile
Dried paint is a little trickier to remove than wet paint. Luckily, most people find that they can remove the dry paint with a scraper easily. Try to use a plastic scraper or putty knife instead of a metal one to avoid damaging your flooring.
The Heat and Scrape Method
If you can’t remove paint from floor tiles with a plastic scraper, use a heat gun to warm the color before you scrape it. The heat softens the paint and lifts the edges with ease.
Hold the scraper at a 45-degree angle for the best results. Again, refrain from using a metal scraper or razor blade that could permanently harm the tiles. You may find that this method works well to remove paint from vinyl floor as well as laminate.
How to Clean Paint from Tile Grout
Grout is tough to clean because it has so many little nooks and crannies that seem impossible to get between. If you’ve tried every option possible to clean floor tile grout, consider applying a colored epoxy to the grouted areas.
The epoxy restores the color and seals the surface. Some people color match the epoxy to the existing grout color to save time. Touch-ups on the grout are easily applied with a toothbrush, and it only takes about an hour for it to dry.
Of course, this is possible for either a minor touch-up or a large area. When repairing an entire area, the whole room looks like it got a fresh makeover. It is a simple way to change the grout color without redoing the whole floor or backsplash.
Using a Commercial Paint Thinner
Commercial paint or lacquer thinner is one of your most powerful options, but it is also one of the most expensive. Still, some people think it is worth it based on how much time you save.
Keep in mind that while most tiles can withstand these potent chemicals, tiles with a softer glaze could be damaged during the process. Always test the paint thinner on a small, inconspicuous area before dedicating your time and money.
When you purchase a commercial paint remover, bring the hardware store attendant a sample of your tile if possible so they can recommend a brand or product that will be most effective and least damaging.
Paint thinner often works well as the best way to remove paint from concrete if you are working in a small area.
Safety When Using Chemicals
Always wear a pair of rubber gloves, long sleeves and pants, and a dust mask when working with chemicals. Keep one or more windows open at all times for proper ventilation.
To clean paint using paint thinner, start by cleaning the tiles first and then applying the paint remover. Allow the thinner to sit for several minutes before scraping at the paint.
When using a scraper, hold it at a 45-degree angle. Once removed, wipe the tile’s surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining residue. Dry the wet tiles with a new dry cloth or paper towels.
Trying to clean paint from tile grout and tiles is a little frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t have to pay a professional to come and do the work.
Instead, save yourself some money and test a few of these cleaning methods that are either free or incredibly cheap. What once seemed like a disaster will only become a minor hiccup during your home improvement projects.
If learning how to remove paint from tiles has saved you from replacing a large section of flooring, share these methods to remove paint from floor tiles on Facebook and Pinterest.