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How To Get Paint Off Of Hardwood Floors The Safe Way

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Hardwood floors are a timeless and elegant addition to any home. However, paint spills and overspray from DIY projects can mar their beauty. If you find yourself looking at a paint-fueled mess and wondering how to get dried paint off hardwood floors, this guide will help you restore your gorgeous floors to their glory in no time at all.

While it’s possible to get paint off of hardwood floors, you may find that there are some instances where the assistance of a professional is worth the investment. We hope this guide will provide you with the tools you need to complete the job, but always know the help of a professional is just a phone call away.

Read this guide before starting to prevent any unplanned trips to the hardware store – that way you can get the job done as quickly as possible!


Identify the Paint Type That Was Spilled

Before attempting to remove paint, determine if it is water-based or oil-based. Water-based paints are easier to remove and typically require just soap and water. In contrast, oil-based paints need stronger solvents. Check the paint can’s label or test a small amount of paint thinner on an inconspicuous spot to determine the type of paint. Understanding the paint type will ensure you choose the right removal technique and avoid damaging your
hardwood floors.


Gather Your Supplies

Depending on the paint type, gather the appropriate supplies to make the process efficient and safe. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • For water-based paint: Soap, water, and a soft cloth
  • For oil-based paint: Paint thinner, mineral spirits, or rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic scraper or putty knife
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Clean, dry rags
  • Protective gloves and eyewear
  • Fan or open windows for ventilation

Having these items readily available will help you tackle the paint removal process with ease and confidence.


Scrape Off Excess Paint

Start by gently scraping off excess paint with a plastic scraper or plastic flat putty knife. Apply minimal pressure to avoid scratching the hardwood. Work in the direction of the wood grain and be patient. This process may take some time, but it is crucial to remove as much paint as possible before applying any solvents.

When working with larger spills, consider dividing the area into sections to make the process more manageable. Remove the paint from one section at a time, and periodically check your progress to ensure you’re not causing damage to the floor.


Apply the Appropriate Solvent

The assumption is made that your current hardwood floor has a urethane surface, since wax surface hardwood floors have not been manufactured for over 30 years. But if your floor has either a wax surface or the surface is so far worn that it is unfinished wood, then do NOT do the procedure below. Call the Tom Adams Service Department for some good FREE ADVICE. We are here to help you in all your flooring, windows, doors, roofing and siding needs and projects.

For water-based paint: Mix a solution of soap and water, then dip a soft cloth into the mixture. Gently rub the stained area, working in small circles. Repeatedly rinse the cloth and continue until the paint is gone. Wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove soap residue. For stubborn stains, use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the area. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, which could damage the floor’s finish.

For oil-based paint: Apply a small amount of paint thinner, mineral spirits, or rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth. Gently rub the paint-stained area, working in small circles. Refresh the cloth with solvent as needed. Exercise caution when using these chemicals; always wear protective gloves and eyewear and ensure proper ventilation. For tougher spots, use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the area without damaging the floor’s finish.


Clean and Dry the Area

Once the paint is removed, clean the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue. Dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, dry rag. Assess the area for any damage, such as scratches or discoloration. If you notice any imperfections, consider refinishing the affected area or consulting a professional like Tom Adams for advice on next steps.


How To Clean Paint Off Hardwood Floors: When To Call The Pros

With patience and the right technique, you can successfully remove paint from your hardwood floors. However, you may find there are instances where the assistance of a professional is well worth the investment. That can include when you’re unable to remove the paint yourself, worried about damaging your hardwood floors, or simply want to rest assured knowing that the beauty of your home is in the hands of skilled professionals. At Tom Adams, we’re passionate professionals who are here should you ever need any floor repair services. Even better, it’s easy to get a free quote, so it costs nothing until you hire us!

Get started with a free quote today.

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