how to get paint off wood floors

How to get paint off wood floors

Soap and water works best on fresh paint spills or stains that are relatively small. Any mild soap that is safe for wood floors should do the trick.

If soap and water doesn’t work, try rubbing the stained area with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. This should remove latex or water-based paint stains from the wood floor without damaging the finish.

Soap and water

If you have a small area of water-based paint stain on your wood floor, try using soap and water. This is an inexpensive and non-toxic option for removing the paint. Simply use a sponge with warm water and some mild dish detergent. Then gently scrub the stained areas. If the stain feels loose, Harrison suggests using a plastic putty knife or scraper to carefully scrape it off. It’s important not to apply too much pressure, as you don’t want to damage your wood floors.

If the paint seems to be still firmly attached, you may need to try other options, including rubbing alcohol and heat. Rubbing alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol) works well to remove paint stains, especially when used with lemon juice. The mixture is easy to make, and it can be spread on the stain with a cotton rag. It’s also less toxic than some of the other methods, but you should still wear a respirator to protect yourself from the alcohol fumes.

Another option for removing oil-based paint stains is to use a heat gun to soften them. However, you should only use this if the stain is light in color, because it can darken the hardwood underneath. Also, the heat could cause some of the oil-based paint to crack or wrinkle.


Rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol) works wonders on water-based paint stains. It’s a good option if you need to remove paint splatter from your wood floor in a hurry. It’s a bit stronger than soap and water, but it’s also non-toxic and won’t harm your floors. After carefully scraping off as much of the paint as possible with a putty knife, dip a rag into a solution of three parts rubbing alcohol and one part lemon juice. Apply the solution to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a brush or clean rag.

Alternatively, you can use cleaning vinegar, which has enough acetic acid to help soften the paint and make it easier to scrape off. This is a great choice for larger areas that can’t be cleaned quickly with a rag and is also a safe alternative to toxic chemicals.

Before putting any solution on the floor, try to determine what type of paint you’re working with. Take a cotton ball and rub it on a small area of the paint stain to see if residues come off. If they do, then it’s probably a latex or water-based paint; if none of the residue comes off, then the stain is likely oil-based.


The good news is that if your paint stain is old and dry, it can often be removed with heat. This will soften the paint and make it easier to scrape off with a metal putty knife or another tool with a straight edge.

To remove old oil-based paint, you can also use a commercial paint thinner or mineral spirits. These solvents are meant to break down and dissolve the paint, making it much easier to wipe away. To use these types of products, soak a rag in the liquid and then apply it to the stained area. The rag should be allowed to sit on the paint for several minutes, then you can scrub it off using a brush. Be careful not to over-saturate the rag or you could risk damaging the hardwood floor beneath.

If you’re trying to decide how to get paint off wood floors and don’t have access to a commercial product, you can also try using rubbing alcohol or lemon juice. However, it’s important to know whether or not your paint is water-based or oil-based. To determine this, secure a cotton ball and dip it into your rubbing alcohol. Rub the stained area and note if any residue sticks to the cotton ball. If it does, your paint is water-based; if not, it’s likely oil-based.

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