11 Best Techniques To Remove Paint From Wooden Floors - Easy & Quick Steps

11 Best Techniques To Remove Paint From Wooden Floors - Easy & Quick Steps

Last updated: 21 May, 2021

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"If you accidentally spill the paint on your newly designed floor, it is recommended to follow the proper practice. Avoid using sharp tools such as knives to remove the paint. This article encapsulates step by step guide of the 11 best techniques of removing paints from wooden floors".

This article encapsulates step by step guide of the 11 best techniques of removing paints from wooden floors. Wood-based floors are undoubtedly the best and most extravagant flooring surfaces. These materials are susceptible and must be taken care of properly to avoid damage.

Instead, it is advised to identify the nature of the paint, such as whether the paint is water-based or oil-based. Afterward, use soap solution, heat gun, paint thinner, paint remover, and other related materials to remove the paint effortlessly. Hence, this article encapsulates the 11 best techniques to get rid of various kinds of paints from wooden floors.

11 Best Techniques for Removing Paints from Wooden Floors

Identification of Paint Type

The first step involves the identification of the type of dye spilled on the floor. This step focuses on investigating whether the product is oil-based or water-based. This can be done by taking a cotton pad and applying some alcohol over it. Now, rub the cotton over the paint and observe if the residue comes off.

If it does, it means that the paint is water-based. However, if the dye remains unaffected after wiping it over and over again, it suggests that the pigment is oil-based. After you have recognized the type of dye, the next step involves the adoption of necessary methods to remove the color, which is discussed below in detail.

Removal of Water-based Paints

Water-based paints are those that utilize water as the carrier for pigment and binder. These products are also known as latex paints, and examples of these products include acrylic and vinyl paints. These pigments are easier to apply and difficult to clean as compared to oil-based materials and are often less expensive. Following methods can be adopted for the elimination of these substances from wooden floors.

1. Soap & Water

The best way to get rid of water-based pigments is the use of soap solutions.

  • The method involves mixing warm water with the soap.

  • After the solution has been properly prepared, use a dampened rag to wipe off the paint. Mostly, it will easily come off with a little bit of scrubbing.

  • However, if it does not, it is advised to use a putty knife to perform the task carefully. While doing so, you should be mindful of harming the wooden surface.

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can also be used as an alternative to soap solution, especially if the former one did not completely wipe the substance from the floor. Rubbing alcohol is also known as isopropyl alcohol and can efficiently eliminate the variety of dyes from the floors.

  • The step involves the use of a knife for scraping off the dried stains.

  • After some amount is removed, dip a rag in the rubbing alcohol mix (3 parts of rubbing alcohol in 1 part of lemon juice).

  • Pour the solution over the paint and let it sit for 5 minutes.

  • Afterward, use the rag to wipe away the product. You can also use a brush instead of a rag if it seems difficult to scrub.

  • Finally, use a wet rag to clean the surface completely and swab any residual alcohol mix, and you are done.


Does vinegar remove paint from the wood?

Yes, vinegar can efficiently get rid of pigments from the wooden surface. It is not only easier to apply but also cost-efficient and can remove the dirt as well without damaging the surface. The reason for this is the absence of the toxic chemicals and fumes produced during the process. Hence, generating outstanding results.

Does baking soda remove paint from wooden floor?

Indeed baking soda is an effective remedy to wipe off the paint from different surfaces. The method is prevalent and is extremely efficient. The process can be carried out by the combination of baking powder and hot water. Then, the mixture can be rubbed on the stained surface with the help of a cotton pad. The method displays extraordinary performance on metal surfaces, where they lose the bonds between the paint and method and then wipe it away effortlessly.

What is the best paint removing unit for wood?

Citri-Strip Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel are considered as some of the best products for the removal of dyes from wooden surfaces. These items stand out among their counterparts because of their time efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Similarly, Dumond Smart Strip Advanced Removing Agent is another outstanding model in this regard and is highly popular among consumers.

Is it better to strip or sand furniture?

Stripping is often better than sanding. The reason for this is the faster and safer nature of stripping. The former does not damage the furniture and quickly gets the job done. Also, sanding is difficult and might require a lot of hard work and patience on the user's part. Sandling is only useful if the varnish is already coming off and you are not worried about damaging the equipment

How can I refinish my furniture without sanding?

Some alternatives to sanding while refinishing the furniture include; mineral paint, which is very similar to chalk-style paint. Furthermore, milk paint, along with a bonding agent, can also be used instead of sandpaper. Last but not least, bonding primer is also highly recommended and performs extraordinarily.

What is a natural paint-removing substance?

Baking soda and boiling water are the best natural ingredients for the removal of spots from wooden surfaces. Apart from these, boiled linseed oil and linseed oil paste with rottenstone can be used to wipe away the color from the wooden floor. These are not only organic but also easily available in the market.

3. Heat Gun

A heat gun is also highly efficient in this regard. The trick is not only cost-effective but also time-efficient as well. The heat gun can be used to soften the paint. Thereby making it easier to clean it from multiple flooring surfaces.

Another benefit of this method is its outstanding versatility, which allows you to use it on oil-based and water-based. The step involves;

  • Firstly, use the heat gun near the paint to melt it.

  • Then, consumers are required to scrape off the stains using a knife.

  • After the pigment has been removed, use a damp cloth to wipe the surface for better results and clean the surface.

  • But, remember to balance the heat while using the heat gun as overheating might damage the wooden floor.

  • Similarly, a hairdryer can also be used as an alternative to a heat gun. This is highly recommended for those who are not experienced with heat guns and are worried about damaging the floor.

4. Paint Remover

If your home remedies are not effective against stains on your wooden floor. It is time to shift towards market-based products for remarkable results. For this purpose, the paint removers are highly recommended and are extremely useful. The items such as Spot Removal Guide and Goof off Paint Splatter are some of the best available in the market for the removal of stain from multiple flooring surfaces.

Similarly, these models are also highly compatible with water-based and oil-based units and can be used to clean both types effortlessly. Consumers are required to read the user manual and instructions on the package carefully before using the product on the floor. This will not only provide the correct way of applying the removing agent but will also provide information about the compatibility of the material to wood.

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The process focuses on;

  • The direct application of the substance on the paint with the help of a rag or cotton pad.

  • Then, leave the product to sit for around 15 minutes before removing it with the help of a rag or paper towel.

  • It is advised to apply the chemical to the areas where pigment is present and try to avoid the rest to prevent its damage.

5. Cleaning Detergent

Another incredible method of eliminating dried spots is the use of cleaning detergent or dish soap solution. This solution can be used in combination with a towel or rag to clean the pigment from the surface. This can be achieved by;

  • Repetitive rubbing of the stained surface for some time with the help of a dry rag or towel.

  • After some time, the pigment will become moist and will be easily removed using a blunt knife or other sharp materials.

  • However, try to be very careful while using the knife and try to avoid damage to the floor.

Removal of Oil-Based Paints

Oil paints are a well-developed class of dyes that is associated with the particles of pigment suspended in the oil. These belong to the category of slow drying products and are highly expensive. Furthermore, the users can change the viscosity of the substance depending on their needs by the addition of turpentine.

The addition of such materials can also enhance the glossiness of the dye to a great extent. Thereby improving the shine on the wall and amplifying the performance of the item. Following methods can be used in case of oil paint spillage on wooden floors.

6. Paint Thinner

Suppose none of the above-mentioned techniques works for you, especially if the paint belongs to the category of oil-based colors. Your last resort can be the use of paint thinner. However, the process is perilous as slight negligence might lead to the removal of wooden finish on the floor as well.

Therefore, it is recommended to use the thinner with caution, only on the surfaces where stains are present. Also, make sure to keep the room ventilated for evaporating the thinner. The technique can be performed by soaking a rag inside the paint thinner and using it to rub off the dye.

Likewise, the mineral spirit can also be used as an alternative to the thinner, specifically if you feel annoyed due to the strong smell of thinner. This method is not only performance-oriented but time-efficient as well. But, remember never to apply the thinner or spirit on water-based items as it will quickly lead to the removal of the wooden finish.

For this purpose, the following steps can be performed.

  • Firstly, dip the cloth inside the paint thinner until it becomes damp.

  • Then, use the cloth to rub the color spilled on the floor.

  • Be careful while rubbing to prevent damage to the wooden floor.

  • After the pigment has been wiped off, use a wet cloth to clean the surface.

  • Reapply the wooden finish if it has been damaged in the process.

7. Acetone

Acetone can also be used for paint removal for wooden surfaces. Similar to the above-mentioned compounds, acetone also has the tendency to damage the wooden finish on your floor. Thus, you should be very careful while applying it. Following steps are involved in the process;

  • Firstly, apply acetone to a cloth till it becomes damp.

  • During application, it is recommended to wear gloves on your hands to protect them from the chemical.

  • Later on, rub the stains using the cloth.

  • This chemical compound is capable of dissolving the color layer by layer.

  • Thus, it performs extremely well in wiping off stubborn stains from a wide variety of surfaces.

  • Afterward, keep applying the acetone till it is completely eliminated.

  • Meanwhile, let the acetone sit on the substance for two to three minutes.

  • Then, scrap it with the help of a plastic knife.

  • Similarly, a toothpick can also be used for the purpose of the stain being smaller in size.

  • Keep repeating the process till the desired result is achieved.

  • Lastly, use a wet cloth to clean the surface and reapply the varnish if required.

8. Boiled Linseed Oil

Linseed oil is a natural remedy to dried stains and is exceptionally effective against stubborn pollutants. The product is cost-effective and is available around the market with ease. Thus, it is highly recommended for use. Another remarkable advantage of this organic material in the absence of chemical substances that might damage the wooden varnish. Hence, it is safe to use.

The method is characterized by the following steps;

  • First and foremost, dip a clean cloth in the boiled linseed oil.

  • Then, use the cloth to rub against the spots for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  • This will allow the oil to soak into the color and make it soft completely.

  • Afterward, use a soft cloth to wipe away the already softened dye.

  • Finally, use a dry rag to clean and dry the surface.

10. Linseed Oil Paste

Apart from boiled linseed oil, linseed oil paste can also be used for the removal of stains from a diverse range of flooring materials. In addition to this, this method is highly recommended for dried spots due to its enhanced efficiency. The paste is made up of linseed oil and rottenstone and can be prepared by the following technique.

  • Boil the linseed oil at optimum temperature.

  • Mix linseed oil and rottenstone in appropriate ratios to form a thick paste.

  • During preparation, it is advised to use a wooden chopstick.

  • After the paste has been prepared, use a clean rag to apply it to the surface where the paint is spilled.

  • Rub the paste on the wooden floor along the grain.

  • Wipe away the mixture with the help of a soft clean rag.

  • Use a dry cloth to dry the surface, and you are done.

11. Sanding

Sanding is another way of wiping off the paint. However, the process falls under the category of forced measures taken to get rid of stubborn marks from the wooden surface. Before beginning the process, it is advised to wear safety goggles and a mask. This will provide protection against the wood dust, which will be produced during the process.

For Delicate Wooden Objects

For delicate wooden objects and the paint spilled in the cracks, it is recommended to sand the pigment by hand with the help of sandpaper as mechanical objects might damage the tool. The following steps are involved in the process.

  • Firstly, use coarse sandpaper with an open coating. This type of sandpapers is preferred over their other counterparts because they do not get clogged easily.

  • Then, use the sandpaper to rub the marks on the wood in a similar direction.

  • Once you observe it coming off, reduce the original force and decrease to the medium grit paper.

  • Similarly, use fine grit paper when only small bits of pigment is left on the surface.

For Large Objects

For large and hefty objects, it is suitable to use mechanical objects with sanding abilities to get the job done. A mechanical hand sander and power sander are the perfect choices in this regard and reduce the workload to a great extent. A hand sander is mostly recommended if you want to preserve the wooden surface under the paint.

Contrary to this, a power sander applies more force and is time-efficient but will damage the varnish on the floor. No matter what your choice is, the steps involved in the process are similar to all objects. Following are the steps that should be taken in the case of larger wood objects such as wooden floors.

  • Firstly, use coarse sandpaper with an open coating and place it on the mechanical sander.

  • Sand with the grain of the wood to minimize the damage to wood. Remember to always sand in the direction of wood rather than against it.

  • When most of the paint has been sanded, and only a little amount is left, you can switch to fine-grit sandpaper for efficient results.

Paint Strippers

Paint strippers can also be used to wipe the dye from wooden surfaces. But they are specific to the type of item used and must be used carefully. Along with this, these materials are available in both liquid and paste form and must be selected on the basis of requirement. The spray or liquid strippers are highly useful for a few layers.

In case of heavy coating and more layers, chemical strippers are an ideal choice. These strippers are capable of removing up to 10 layers and are excellent in terms of performance. It is also advised to read the instruction on the packaging for the proper method of application. Mostly the process is as follows.

  • Pour a little amount of stripper on the paint and spread it on the surface with the help of a flat paintbrush.

  • Apply evenly and in the thick coating to improve the results.

  • Similarly, if you are using a liquid or spray stripper, spray it over the place evenly, keeping the bottle 4 inches away from the floor.

  • Apply thick and even coating to create a foaming layer.

  • Let the stripper sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Remember to keep the room well ventilated to avoid the congestion of fumes inside the room.

  • Afterward, rub the scrapper over the surface in a circular motion and observe whether it comes off.

  • If it does, repeat the process until it is completely eliminated.

  • If it does not, shift to a metal scraper and repeat the circular motion until the dye comes off.


There are a variety of methods to clean the paint from the wooden surfaces. They are classified into chemical methods, heat treatments, and forced removal. Similarly, the process for cleaning the water and oil-based substances differs from each other and must be strictly followed. The most efficient techniques include the use of linseed oil and paste, paint strippers, and rubbing alcohol. Thus, they are highly recommended for the quick removal of paints from wooden floors.

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