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How To Get Paint Off Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors give your house a posh and classy look but getting paint off the wood floors can be a tough grind. Don’t worry! We got the solution on how to get paint off hardwood floors

The best time to remove paint is when it is still wet. Otherwise, you have to use scrap or a dissolvent to remove the paint when it’s dried. Also, oil-based paints are harder to remove than latex paint. Dissolvents can also cause damage to the floor, ruining the matte finish. 
That’s why we have come up with effective and easy-to-follow methods on how to get paint off hardwood floors easily.  

7 Effective Ways To Get Paint Off Hardwood Floors

Using Paint Scraper

This method is suitable for water-based paints. If the paint hasn’t completely cured, it is better to scrape off the floor. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape, along with the help of a hammer, to tap the scrape and get rid of hardened paint.

A pull scraper is available to remove dried paint between the board’s joints. Oil paints may still be hard to remove, so use a hairdryer to warm the paint. Set the hairdryer on maximum heat and keep it 3 inches above the surface to warm the paint for about 20 seconds.
Never use heat guns; they can damage the finish, and don’t over scrape the floor to avoid scarring of hardwood.

Using Mild Detergent

Using liquid detergent is another effective and easy technique for water-based paints as detergent and water will act as a thinner for the paint. 
First, make a soap solution in warm water and soak a cotton rag. Now wring the excess water from the rag and rub it all over the dried water paint.
If the paint isn’t much dried, it will come off right away. Or soak it for a few minutes and then rub again. In the end, use a blunt knife to scrape the remaining paint and sweep the floor.

Using Commercial Paint removers

A quicker but slightly pricey alternative to removing the hardened paint is commercial paint removers. Buy any suitable paint remover from Home Depot. Apply it directly on the stained surface using cotton balls or swabs. 
It is better to let it soak for around 15 minutes to break down the paint. Be careful not to apply the remover on the unaffected areas. Use a towel or rag to clean away the chipped paint. For a slippery floor, use soap to clean to avoid any slip hazard.

Using Alcohol and Lemon

This mixture can easily be created and effectively gets paint off the hardwood floor.  Mix one part of lemon juice with three parts of denatured alcohol in a container. Then damp the rag in and rub it over hardened paint. Leave for 20 minutes so alcohol can dissolve the paint and is easy to remove.
You can use a scrub brush back and forth to wipe off the excess paint. Make sure you completely dry the surface so the mixture doesn’t affect the floor further.

Using Cleaning Pad

Alternatively, you can also use alcohol-based cleaning pads for small paint drips. Scrub the stain with a cleansing pad. When the pad dries, use the new one until the paint stains are removed completely.

Using Sandpaper

This method is, particularly for oil-based paints. You will need a power sander and palm sander. Use 60 grit sandpaper initially to sand around the wood grain. Vacuum the dust and then use 80 grit sandpaper in the second round. 
Wipe the residue again and use 120 grit sandpaper in the end to remove any remaining paint. Finish it off with a palm sander—vacuum and clean with a damp towel to properly wipe the floor.

Using Paint thinner

Another useful trick to remove oil-based paint is a paint thinner. But be careful while using paint thinner not to damage the finish. You can also use mineral spirit if you aren’t comfortable with the smell of thinner.
First, make sure the room you’re working in has adequate ventilation. For paint, soak the small part of the rag in thinner and rub until the paint completely comes off. Don’t ever use this method on water-based paints. 


If you’re looking for a solution to get paint off your hardwood floors, we have the answer. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips from around the web on how to remove not only dried latex paint but also oil-based paints and stains from wood surfaces. When in doubt, ask us! Our team has been renovating kitchens and bathrooms since 1991 – that’s a lot of experience removing tough messes like this one! So if you want help getting rid of stubborn paint or need any other advice about home renovations, contact Kitchen and Bath Renovations today.

Jeff Kennedy

Editor in Chief

of Vade Mecum of Luxury Journal, multiple site contributor, writer, renovation professional He has been an active participant in the construction industry for 32 years, doing everything from design to finish work.
He shares his unique perspective on renovation and construction through writing about professional experiences. Jeff’s motto is that “enjoying what you do is the best feeling.” If you enjoy your job with friends, then you will never have to go to work!

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