How to Get Paint Off Hardwood Floors – Safe Removal

Get Paint Off Hardwood Floors 2022

Sometimes it becomes difficult to get paint off hardwood floors and you surely know the struggle if you have experienced this.

Hardwood floors are the most expensive and durable floors that should be taken care of properly. If you planned to paint your living room as a DIY project.

Now the paint has fallen on your precious hardwood floors. Do not panic because every problem comes with a solution. We all have been in such situations once in a lifetime.

Hence, I decided to come up with a detailed guide to ease your confusion. I will tell you the easiest way to remove paint from wood that will surely help you out.

Let’s move ahead and discuss each step in detail.

Type of Paint on Your Hardwood Floor

Before moving to the main point, it is important to know what type of paint has ruined your wood floors so that you can act according to it. Different type of paints requires different solutions.

In order to know the type, take specks of alcohol and rub in on the surface that has a stain. If the paint stain vanishes, it means that it was water-based or latex paint stain.

However, if it doesn’t, this type of paint is oil-based. Let’s have a look at each type of paint and how you can get rid of them.

How to Remove Water-based Paint from Wood

You can surely get rid of water-based paints by following the right method. You can do it with the different methods mentioned below. Have a look.

 Use Water and Soap1. Use Water and Soap

One can easily predict that water-based paint can be removed with water by adding soap to it. For this purpose, all you need is dishwashing soap however, you can also take laundry detergent.

dishwashing soap in water

Moreover, you need cotton rags and warm water. Now follow the below steps in order to remove water-based paint from the wood.

  • Take a bucket of warm water and add dishwashing detergent to it. Now mix the soap in the water with your hands to make a mixture.
  • Take a cotton rag and dip it into the water mixture. Once it is soaked properly, gently rub the stain with that cotton rag.
  • When you immediately follow this process as soon as the paint falls off, it will instantly be removed. However, the dry paint will take some time to be removed fully.
  • Keep repeating the process until the paint is removed fully.
  • Once it is removed, use a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture from the wood floor.

However, if this method is not useful for you, you can process with the second one.

Rubbing Alcohol and Lemon Juice2. Rubbing Alcohol and Lemon Juice

Here comes the second way that is also helpful in this regard. In order to prepare the mixture, in a container add 3 parts of rubbing alcohol and add 1 lemon juice and mix them with your hands.

Rubbing Alcohol and Lemon Juice

You can adjust the quantity depending on the size of the paint stain. Now follow the below steps:

  • Take a cotton rag and dip it in the mixture. Let it soak for the next few minutes so that it works effectively.
  • Now use the same cotton rag and gently start removing the paint. It will come out in the next few minutes. However, if it doesn’t, you can use a soft brush in order to remove paint spills.
  • Keep repeating the process unless you are succeeded.
  • Once you are successful, use a damp cloth in order to remove excess moisture.

How to Remove Latex Paint from Hardwood Floors

If the paint is latex instead of water-based then you need a different method to get it removed. It includes:

Use a Paint Stripper1. Use a Paint Stripper

For this purpose, you need different materials and tools including a Brass-bristled brush or steel wool, goggles, paint stripper, face mask, protective gloves, Odorless mineral spirits, paintbrush, putty knife, etc.

Paint Stripper

You should wear all safety precautions before starting work because chemicals might provide harm if you are not wearing gloves and a face mask.

Now begin the process.

  • Take a plastic bowl and add some paint strippers.
  • Now with a paintbrush, start painting the stained part and let it sit there for at least 15 or 20 minutes.
  • When you notice the bubbles on the painted area, it means that paint is ready to be removed.
  • Now use a paint scraper and start removing the paint by pushing it along the wood floor. Keep repeating the process unless the floor is paint-free.
  • Once all the paint is removed, use a damp cloth in order to fully dry the surface.

Use Heat Machine2. Use Heat Machine

It can be done with this second method as well if you don’t want to paint the surface. For this purpose, you need a heat machine that you can also buy on rent.

Heat gun for removing paint

Moreover, you need paint removers, heatproof gloves for your safety, and a facemask. The process includes:

  • On the heat machine button after attaching it to the power source.
  • Use the heat machine on the surface in a circular motion. Ensure that the heat machine is not touching the wood surface and is at least 8 inches away otherwise, it can provide harm to the wood.
  • Once you see that bubbles tend to appear, you can hold a scraper and start scraping the paint.
  • Keep repeating until all the surface is fully cleaned.
  • Now take a damp cloth and remove the debris and make the surface fully clean. You are all done. It is the best way to get paint off wood.

How to Remove Dried Oil Based Paint from Hardwood

If the paint is oil-based then follow the below method in order to get rid of it.


It doesn’t matter what type of paint is, Sanding can help you get rid of every type of paint. For this purpose, you need Different grit sandpapers, a vacuum cleaner, a power sander, gloves, a cotton rag, etc.


The steps you need to follow include:

  • With 60 grit sandpaper, start sanding the wood floor. If you keep the grit less, the chances of paint removal increase.
  • Now replace the sandpaper after vacuuming the dust. For the second round, it is better to use 80-grit sandpaper.
  • This grit will remove the entire paint if any is left.
  • For the next round, use 120 grit sandpaper. It will shade less because the paint is already removed from the surface. You will also notice that the surface looks and feel softer.
  • Once the entire sanding is done, use a vacuum in order to get rid of the sand. If you still notice paint stains that you can not reach, use handheld sandpaper for this purpose.
  • Now use a damp rag and give the final touch in order to get rid of residue.

Removing paint from the wood floors is no longer a difficult task.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s have a look at some frequently asked questions regarding floor paint for wood. The questions include:

How Do You Get Dried Paint Off of Hardwood Floors?

By using a steam stripper, you can remove dried paint from the wood floors. You can also use rubbing alcohol and lemon for this purpose.

Hence, various methods are involved in this regard and you can follow according to the convenience.

How Do You Get Paint Off Hardwood Floors?

It depends on the type of paint that has ruined your hardwood floors. For instance, if it is oil-based paint, a different method is used to get rid of it but if it is water-based, you need to follow different ways.

In this guide, you will get help according to the paint type.

What Makes the Paint Off of Hardwood?

If water-based paint has fallen on the wood surface, you can use a water and soap mixture or alcohol and lemon mixture. It will surely help you remove this kind of paint.

However, if it is latex paint, you can use a paint stripper or heat machine. On the other hand, if it is oil-based, sanding would be the best option.

Will Vinegar Remove Paint from Wood Floors?

Vinegar doesn’t thoroughly remove the paint from the wood surface because it helps to make the paint stain soft so that you can easily remove it later.

Will Rubbing Alcohol Ruin Hardwood Floors?

Alcohol is a perfect homemade solution that helps you clean every surface thoroughly. Hence, you can safely use it for different purposes without worrying about damage.

Final Words

I am sure you have been looking for different ways to get paint off the hardwood floors. Hardwood is a precious floor that should be treated with extra care.

If you are currently facing the same issue, I hope this article will help you in this manner. I have mentioned different methods that will help you get rid of different types of paint.

Apart from these mentioned ways, there are several other methods that also help you in this regard. I hope you will find this article informative.

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