How to Remove Paint From Wood?

Wooden floors are a beautiful flooring option that provides comfort and gives a rustic feeling to your home. Unlike tiles or marble flooring, wooden floors are cozy, especially in winter. They are also suitable for summer use and provide a relaxed vibe.

Sometimes, home renovation work after the flooring has been done can create a lot of paint drips on the floor. You may seem perplexed by seeing that your wooden floor has paint stains. Unfortunately, many people resort to different methods when encountering such an issue.

We recently wrote an article on how to Remove Permanent MarkerOpens in a new tab. from any surface. However, in this article, we will only discuss how to get paint off hardwood floors. If you want to learn more in detail about how to Get Hair Dye Off WoodOpens in a new tab., read our article.

How to Remove Paint From Wood?

You can use chemical paint strippers, rubbing alcohol, hairspray, toothpaste, heat guns, sanding, or vinegar to remove paint from wood. However, the best results you will get if you use rubbing alcohol or heat guns. Additionally, all cleaners based on sodium hypochlorite can quickly remove paint from wood.

remove paint from wood

Experts believe that having paint stains is not something to worry about. It would help if you began by working out whether the paint stain has dried out or is still wet. Remove the paint stain with a slightly damp cloth if it is still moist. However, make sure that the paint is not splattered more and is completely clean. If you notice that the paint stain has dried out, you can take a knife and ensure it is not too sharp. If it is a bit sharp, you can round the edges first to ensure it does not damage the wooden floor. After scraping the floor thoroughly, you can clean the floor with a wet cloth.

How do you remove paint from wood with vinegar?

To remove paint from wood with vinegar, warm the vinegar-water mix to a 1:3 ratio. Use a warm vinegar mix. Dab on the wood surface and then try to remove the paint using a rag. Before scraping, please use a vinegar mix for 10 minutes to soften the paint.

Determining the Type of Paint

Usually, when attempting to clean the paint from the floor, you should determine the type of paint dripped on the floor. There are two types of stains that you should know about:

  1. Oil-Based Paint
  2. Water-Based Paint

To determine which paint has been sprayed on the floor, you should take a cotton ball and apply some rubbing alcohol over it. It would help if you then cleaned the floor with it.

  1. If NO residue sticks to the cotton, then this means that the paint is OIL-based.
  2. If the residue sticks to the cotton, then this means that the paint is WATER-based.

Removing Water-Based Paint

To remove water-based paint, you can use soap or rubbing alcohol. It would help if you dipped a cloth in the liquid mixture and cleaned the floor. 

We will first discuss the removal of water-based paint from the wooden floors. Here are some used methods:

  1. Using Soap: Perhaps the simple and easy method to remove the water-based paint from the wooden floor is to mix soap or any liquid wash in lukewarm water. It would help if you dipped a cloth in the liquid mixture and then cleaned the floor with it. You can even try the knife method first and then use this mixture over it to have a more neat look at the floor.
  2. Using Rubbing Alcohol: The thing with rubbing alcohol is that you have to wait and let it sit for some time before attempting to clean the wooden floor. Again, you can use your knife to clean the floor and scrape the paint. After this, you can mix rubbing alcohol (three parts) and lemon juice and then apply it to the area on the wooden floor. After this, you should let the mixture sit for five minutes before using a rug or cloth to remove the excessive residue. You can also use a stiff brush if the carpet is not working well.

Removing Oil-based Paint

You can use a paint thinner or heating gun to remove oil-based paint from the wooden floor.

Now, we will discuss the removal of oil-based paint from the wooden floor.

  1. Using a paint thinner: Apart from the usual methods discussed above, you can also use a paint thinner for oil-based paint. Dip the cotton or cloth in the paint thinner and clean the wooden floor. You can keep the windows and doors open for air and ventilation. Subsequently, you can also use a paint thinner that has no fragrance.

Removing both oil-based and water-based paints:

The following methods help remove both oil-based and water-based paints.

  1. Using a heating gun: An ideal way to remove paint from the floor is to ensure the paint has softened up. To do this, you can apply some heat to the floor. You can use a heating gun to heat the color and remove it with a knife, cloth, or rug. Using a heating gun or simply heating the paint will make it soft and more accessible to remove. However, you should ensure you do not overheat the floor as it may damage the wood. Many people have also resorted to using hair dryers if they do not have a heating gun.
  2. Using Paint Removers: Like nail polish removers, paint removers are available on the market. They help you clean the paint from the floor very quickly. You can invest in a good-quality paint remover and clean the wooden floor immediately.

Removing Wet Paint

The last thing to discuss is removing the paint while still wet. There are many ways to go about it, but the idea is to use a cleansing pad. Specific paint removal pads are available on the market, and you can use them as well. If you paint regularly, it would be ideal to invest in one.

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You must use the paint removal pads when the paint is still wet. You must work immediately so that the color does not dry up.


Well, removing paint from the wooden floor is not unusual or impossible. You need to be smart with your purchases, and if you have everything available, you can clean the wooden floors and make them just as they were before. So fear not and let your creative side unleash!

Mark Brown

Mark Brown

Mark Brown is a construction engineer from California who has been working as an independent contractor and writer for the past 15 years. From 2022 onwards, Mark has also been contributing author of home repair articles at Read more on Mark Brown's biography page. Contact Mark:

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