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Best Way to Get Paint Off Hardwood Floors

White paint spilled on hardwood dloors

No matter how hard you try most people do their best in trying to avoid paint hitting the floor. They put down tarps, canvas, blankets, paper, cardboard, and so on. Yet, despite their best efforts, the paint seems to make it to your nice hardwood floors.

When you are faced with this situation, there are some tried and true methods you can use to clean up that wayward paint. There will be some extra effort involved but keeping your hardwood floors clean and looking beautiful is worth that extra work.

Take a few minutes to get up to speed on these methods and pick the one that will work best for you.

Best Methods to Use to Clean Paint from Hardwood Floors

Scrapper being used on hard wood covered in blue paint

You do not need to use all of these methods at the same time. Assess the amount of paint on your floor and its condition, then pick the option that will handle that mess without harming your hardwood flooring material.

1. Scraping- It is best to use a plastic scraper as metal ones will scratch your wood floor when you make a mistake. Be gentle and go slowly as there is no need to rush. The type of paint you use will determine all the options you have at your disposal.

If it is dried oil-based paint, then you may need to use a hairdryer to loosen it up before scraping. Heat guns may damage the finish on your floors. Don’t forget to get the paint that goes between the joints.

2 pump bottles of liquid soap on a wood surface

2. Liquid Soap- This is a good cleaning option, especially for water-based paints. The detergent is mild enough to protect your floors from damage while strong enough to remove the paint.

If any paint remains after rubbing gently, then use a blunt knife or plastic scraper to get the leftover spill. The key here is to not put too much moisture on your floor as that can do some harm over time.

3. Commercial Paint Removers- This option is probably the easiest one of all. These cleansers are made to remove paint with little effort on your part. They have the chemicals that will break down the different paint types and make sure it is ready to be wiped up.

The trick here is to make sure you only put these paint-removing liquids on the paint only. If you get some on the flooring, you may ruin your finish or do some other damage.

Use a cotton ball, a cotton swab, like a Q-Tip, and similar items, then wait 15 minutes after application to clean up the paint.

Bottle of rubbing alcohol isolated on a grey background

4. Denatured or Rubbing Alcohol- This is a safer method than using the paint removers, but you still have to be careful when applying this liquid to the paint spills. If you get some on your hardwood floor just wipe it up quickly.

Then, you can use a rag or a cotton swab, etc., to apply the alcohol. After application, you need to wait 20 to 30 minutes before cleaning up the spilled paint. Some people say to use a scrub brush to get those paint drops but be careful.

If you rub too hard you may damage the floor. Pick a brush or rag that will protect as it cleans.

5. Cleaning Pads– These are usually alcohol-based and can go a long way in making sure those paint drips are picked up quickly. You may have to use more than one of these pads, but that is okay.

These pads should be safe and not harm your flooring. When the first pad dries out, use a second one and continue doing this until the paint is gone. You may need more than one package if the paint spill is large.

Metal cans of paint thinner on a store shelf

6. Paint Thinner- This is the last gasp, desperate option when all else fails. The reason you do not use this option first is that paint thinner can damage the finish on your floor as well as harm the wood.

Make sure to open the windows or have a fan in the room to ventilate the area. All you have to do is pour a bit, and we mean a little bit, of paint thinner on a rag and wipe it over the paint drops.

An alternative to this option would be mineral spirits. Just do not use paint thinner on water-based paint.

Some Final Words

Scarred old hardwood floors splattered with paint.

Accidents happen when you paint. No matter the source of the accident, the results are the same., Paint got on your beautiful hardwood floors. Depending on the type of paint you are using, one of these methods will help you remove those accidents and restore your floor to the way it is supposed to look.

The key is not to use too much of a good thing as you could harm your floors when cleaning up.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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