10 Tips on How to Get Dried Paint off Hardwood Floors

Hardwood is a great flooring option for your business office. It’s natural, beautiful, and easy to care for. The downside, however, is that paint stains can be easily noticed. Removing these stains without destroying the appealing lustre of the hardwood floors can be a challenge.

Your beautiful engineered hardwood flooring deserves to shine and radiate without any paint stains. Below are ten tips on how to get dried paint off hardwood floors:

1. Prepare the Hardwood Floor

Before carrying out any activity on the floor, give it a thorough clean to remove dirt, grit, or dust so that the paint drop is visible.

Confirm if the paint is oil-based or water-based before starting the process. To know the type of paint you’re trying to remove, wet a small piece of cloth or a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe over the stain. If nothing comes off on the cloth, the paint is oil-based, but if there’s a residue, then it’s a water-based paint. Compared to water-based paint, oil-based paint is challenging to remove.

2. Scraping

Scraping is one of the most effective ways on how to get dried paint off hardwood floors. This method works well when removing water-based paint. To remove the paint without causing damage to the wood floor finish, use a rigid plastic putty knife. If you encounter hard paint spots, tap the putty knife gently using a hammer.

In case the paint has dried between two boards, use a pull scraper to gently remove it from the sides of the boards. To remove paint stains from wood grain depressions, use the corner of the pull scraper.

3. Commercial Paint Removers

This is a quick method of removing dried paint off hardwood floors. Paint removers are available at home improvement stores. Use a cotton ball to apply the paint remover directly to the paint stains, and leave it on for 15 minutes.

During this waiting time, it breaks down the paint, making it easy to remove. Ensure you don’t apply the remover on areas that don’t have the paint stain because it will cause the paint finish to chip and lose its shine. Removers are mostly used for oil-based paint stains. After the paint has loosened up, you can wipe it off using a rag or a paper towel. For greasy floors, use soapy water to avoid the risk of slipping.

4. Cleaning Detergent

Damp a paper towel with dish-washing soap and wet the stain. Next, rub it back and forth for a few minutes and wipe off with an absorbent rag. This softens the paint stain, making it easy to scratch off using a putty knife to avoid damaging the floors. This method can be used to remove a water-based paint stain.

5. Cleansing Pad

You can buy cleansing pads at a drug store or find them in your first-aid box. Use the pad to scrub the stain until it dries out. Repeat this process until the stain disappears from the floor.

6. Denatured Alcohol

Use a rag to rub the alcohol on the paint stains and let it soak for about half an hour. This will break up the paint for easy removal. After this, use a scrub brush in a back-and-forth motion to remove the chipped paint. Next, wipe off the floor with a damp rag and leave it to dry. This can be used for both oil- and water-based paint stains.

7. Paint Thinners

This should be the last option when removing paint stains from wood floors since it removes the clear finish on the floor surface as well. Ensure the room is well-ventilated before you begin the process. Soak the edge of a rag in the paint thinner and rub it on the stain until it clears completely. Next, use soapy water on the floor and then dry it off. Thinners work fast in removing oil-based paint stains but should never be used to remove water-based paint.

8. Heat

Some paints such as oil-based enamel cure to a hard consistency, which might be challenging to remove with a scraper. To avoid scratching the finish while struggling with stubborn paint stains, add some heat.

Don’t use a heat gun because it might destroy your finish. Instead, use a hairdryer.

Set it to its maximum heat level and hold it for about 20 seconds at three inches above the paint stain, and then scrape it off. You can use heat to remove both water-and oil-based stains.

9. Mineral Spirit

This is the strongest oil-based paint remover, which can be used safely on hardwood. If you can’t stand the smell of paint thinner, use mineral spirit instead. Soak a small rag in the spirit and place it directly on the stain, and then rub back and forth until it clears.

10. Extreme Measures

Some paint stains combine with the finish inside the grain and may be a challenge to remove. To some extent, you can get them out, but you might end up damaging the finish. In this case, run a pull scraper along the grain to carefully remove a thin layer and avoid exposing the wood. Repeat until the paint stain is gone. Next, use a rag or paintbrush to spread a layer of finish over the area. Leave it to dry.

Whether the paint is oil-based or water-based, try other removal methods before resorting to solvents, which can damage a floor’s finish if not used correctly.

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