Tips on Cleaning Paint Spills from Different Surfaces
Removing paint from a surface that wasn’t meant to be painted is often a difficult task. Obviously, you are most likely going to be successful in removing a paint spill or splatter when you clean it up as soon as it happens. You’ll also find that certain types of paint are easier to remove than others. For example, water-based paints remove more easily than oil-based paints.
Before we start giving tips, remember that we cannot guarantee that your paint stain can be fully removed. Keep in mind that these are tips and tricks that some people have found effective, but they may not work the same for you.
Steps before you start to remove paint
- Before you attempt to remove paint from a surface, make sure that the method you are using will not destroy that surface. Read the directions of any paint removing solutions you buy to make sure they are safe for the surface you plan to use them on.
- If you’ve spilled paint that is giving off high fumes, be sure ventilate the room.
- Always spot test first in an area that will be concealed before you try to remove paint.
- Know what kind of paint it is you spilled so you can choose the best solution. Check your paint can for any special directions on removing that paint from a surface.
- Always use gloves when using any type chemical substance to remove a paint stain. You may need to wear a mask as well.
Cleaning up Large Paint Spills
When you’ve spilled a large amount of paint on a surface, always start by scooping up as much of the paint as you can without spreading it. You don’t want to start by wiping; it will only make the stain worse. You can use plaster scrapers to scoop paint back into your can or into another container. You can also use a spoon or even a dustpan to scoop up paint.
Removing Paint from Wood Floors
If you’ve already scooped away as much paint as you can, mix warm water with mild soap and wipe up the stain, working from the outside toward the center.
Soft paint that isn’t fully cured:
You can try scraping it right off the floor gently with a tool like a plastic putty knife or even a dull butter knife. Be careful not to scratch the floor.
For dry paint or soft paint that still isn’t coming off easily, soften the paint with a hairdryer. Set the hair dryer at the lowest heat setting and hold it above the stain about 3 inches. Do this until it softens enough to gently scrape away the paint. It’s best not to use a heat gun because it may be too powerful and end up softening the sealant on your floor as well.
You can also try using a little rubbing alcohol on a rag and rubbing at the stain to remove it.
If the paint is especially stubborn, you may need to use some Odorless Mineral Spirits to remove it (this may be necessary for an oil-based paint). Don’t soak the wood through with this, you’re far more likely to remove the finish that way. Only apply a little to a rag and rub the stain. NOTE: It’s still possible to remove finish this way but is less likely.
As an absolutely last resort, you can use paint thinner or Goo Gone to remove the paint. You will need to sand and refinish that area because those products remove sealant and varnish as well.
Removing Paint from Ceramic Tile
If the paint is wet, scoop up excess paint and blot away the stain with a rag dipped in warm, soapy water.
If the paint has dried, mix equal parts of water and vinegar and boil the solution. Apply the hot solution (don’t burn yourself) to a clean cloth and lay it over the spot on the tile to soften the paint. You may be able to rub the paint out of the spot with your wet rag, depending on the type of paint it is. Otherwise, scrape away the softened paint with a tool that won’t scratch the surface. Wipe up the loosened paint.
You can also take a scrub brush/sponge, apply a little paint thinner, and rub away the stain.
Removing Paint from Carpet
Carpet is going to be one of the most challenging surfaces from which to remove paint. Remember, if you spill paint, you are most likely to get it out if you act immediately.
- Once you have scooped away as much of the paint as you can, mix hot water with mild dish detergent.
- Dip your rag or paper towel in the soapy water and blot at the stain; do not scrub! Scrubbing will only work the paint deeper into the carpet fibers.
- Work your way from the outside in to keep from spreading the stain. Keep blotting until the stain is removed.
- For paint that has dried, scrape away as much of the paint as you can with a knife or blade (as long as that won’t ruin the carpet!).
- Remove loose paint from the carpet.
- Use hot, soapy water now to blot and work out the stain.
- You can try softening the paint with a handheld steamer. Your iron will work for this. Don’t put the iron down on the carpet but steam it, holding the iron a few inches away from the carpet.
- Continue blotting with your wet rag until stain is reduced or removed.
You may need to call a professional to fully remove the stain.
Removing Paint from Glass
Mix one part white vinegar and one part water. Boil the solution and dip a rag in it, careful not to burn yourself. Rub on the paint until it loosens and comes off.
If the vinegar solution doesn’t work, try using hot soapy water and then scraping away the paint with a razor blade. Wet the glass first to protect it and then hold the blade at 45 degrees to scrape away the paint.
Removing Paint from Vinyl Floors
Especially if the paint is wet or still soft, hot water, soap, and a little elbow grease will likely do the trick.
Otherwise, you can remove stubborn paint with a plastic scraper, being careful not to scratch the floor.
You can also try putting a little rubbing alcohol on a rag and rubbing at the paint stain to remove it.
Removing Paint from Concrete
As with all the others, scoop away all the excess wet paint before proceeding.
- If the paint is dry, start by scraping away as much of the paint as you can and then vacuum up the loose paint.
- Use a chemical paint stripper or thinner (follow the directions on the bottle) and apply to the paint for as long as directed.
- Wash away the chemical. A pressure washer will come in super handy!
As much as possible, always cover surfaces in your home that you want to protect before starting a painting project. Make sure your paint can is sitting on something where paint cannot penetrate and ruin your floor. And if you just dread all the work painting your home can take, contact Colortrends. We’d be happy to tackle the job for you.