A lot has been written and said about how expensive and luxurious hardwood floors are. We all know how the right kind of wood floor can add to your home’s value when it’s time to sell it as well.  Keeping those floors well maintained and clean is an important part of making sure they remain great looking. 

That, however, is easier said than done, especially when you’re renovating your home. Sometimes, in spite of our best intentions and efforts, paint may spill and stain the floor. Here are six DIY tips that you can use for removing paint stains from your wood flooring.

Type of paint

type of paint

Before we get into the different ways you can remove paint from wood floors and get proper maintenance, it is important to find out what type of paint you need to remove. This is because the process for removing oil-based paints differs from what you need to do with water-based paints. The last thing you need is to use the wrong materials since that could potentially ruin the floor finish permanently. 

If you’re unsure of what kind of paint you need to remove, here’s a simple way to figure it out.

Apply denatured alcohol on a cotton swab and wipe the stain with it. If you see any paint residue on the cotton ball, it means the paint is water-based. If there isn’t a residue, the paint is oil-based. 

Knowing this will make it easier for you to decide which of the following methods will work best to remove the stains on your floor.

Tips and tricks

Soap and water

cleaning paint from wooden floor

This is the simplest way to tackle stains caused by water-based paints. Make a warm water and soap solution. Ideally, choose a mild detergent while making the soapy water.

Wet a rag in the solution and begin scrubbing the floor with it. As the paint begins to loosen, keep wiping it off using a dry rag.

In case some stains are very stubborn, carefully use a plastic putty knife to scrape the paint off before scrubbing it with soap and water. Take extra precautions to make sure you do not scratch or damage the floor finish.

Read more: Keep your floors nice and tidy

Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol

Using isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol as it is commonly known, is another effective way to deal with stains created by water-based paints.

Once again, remove as many stubborn stains as possible by scraping them off using a putty knife. In this case, the solution is made using three parts rubbing alcohol and one part lemon juice. 

Use a rag wet in the solution to scrub off the paint stains. If some of the stains are proving to be more stubborn than others, employ a toothbrush or scrub brush to scrub instead of the rag.

Heat guns

heat gun

Heat guns are effective in helping to remove stains caused by both oil-based and water-based paints. This method, although simple, also requires you to be careful. 

Turn on the heat gun and point it towards the paint stain with one hand. As the heat causes the paint stains to soften, scrape them away using a putty knife before finishing the job by wiping away the last traces with a rag wet with mineral spirits.

Caution must be exercised to make sure excessive heat does not damage the finish of the floor. So if you feel a heat gun is a little difficult for you to handle, you could use a hair dryer instead. 

Paint thinner

Paint thinners are among the strongest products you can use to remove stains from your wood floor. So before you begin, make sure you crack open all the windows in the room and ensure there is enough ventilation.

The process simply involves dipping a rag in the paint thinner and gently scrubbing the floor until the stain is gone, but making sure you’re not being vigorous enough to damage the finish.

Paint remover

Paint removers and strippers are a last resort when none of the above methods work. Most of these are available in bottles with instructions on how to use them. Follow these instructions and you ought to be able to get rid of all the stains.

Cleansing pads

So far, we’ve spoken about how you can tackle stains after they’ve dried up. However, there is a way to deal with the stains even earlier, reducing the amount of effort you will need to put in later. All you need to do is keep surface-friendly cleansing pads handy and wipe the area with the paint stains before they have a chance to dry up.

Pro tip

Chemical paint strippers and cleaning agents can be hazardous if they come into direct contact with your skin. Always use protective gloves while handling them.

Six tips on how to remove paint from wood floor was last modified: October 6th, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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It is important to test any solution in a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that it does not damage the wood