If you’re a homeowner, you know the struggles associated with renovation projects. Your floors are at the most risk when you take on a home improvement project like painting. Drips and accidental paint spills can do major damage to your flooring, leaving your home looking messy and unkempt.
If paint happens to spill during a home improvement, it’s best to clean a paint spill as soon as it happens. Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as that! While removing dried-on paint from your flooring is a difficult task, it’s not impossible.
Use this guide to remove the most common types of house-hold paints from your carpet, hardwood, or linoleum flooring.
House-hold Paints. Before you handle a paint stain, you’ll need to understand the type of paint that caused the stain.
• Oil Paint: Oil-based paints are commonly used for exterior applications because they grip the surface that they are covering better than a latex paint would. Oil paints take more time to dry than other types of paints due to the additives, which help to prevent the paint a glossier finish, but make it very difficult to remove.
• Water-/Latex-Based Paint: Water-based paints are typically used for interior applications. This type of paint dries rather quickly because the moisture in it evaporates. These types of paints aren’t as durable or as shiny as other paints, but they are very easy to clean up after. Typically, only soap and water are required to do the job.
Removing Paint Stains: The Process
Removing Oil Paints: To remove oil paints, the use of chemicals is usually required, including turpentine, acetone, kerosene, and various paint thinners. While these chemicals do a decent job of removing oil paint, they can also strip a surface of its original color, particularly carpet and hardwood flooring. If you are using a chemical remover, test a small portion of the surface first.
• To remove from carpet, apply turpentine to the stain and blot with a clean cloth until the paint is removed. Remember to avoid scrubbing, as this will only work the paint deeper into the surface. When most of the paint is gone, combine a tablespoon of dishwashing soap with two cups of cool water and use a clean cloth to sponge the remaining stain.
• If the oil paint landed on a hardwood or linoleum surface, you can quickly wipe it off with a damp paper towel. If the paint has dried on a wood surface, sand off as much of the paint as you can, then use the paint stripper to remove the rest. You can also heat up the oil paint on the surface and then scrape what melts off. Remove any excess by rubbing the surface with mineral spirits, safe for hardwood and linoleum.
Always remember to wear protection when using chemical strippers to avoid any health-related issues.
Latex Paint Removal: If you’re using latex paint, there are a few ways to clean up any spills that occur.
• Start by removing as much of the paint from the surface first. Again, avoid scrubbing to prevent further damage. Mix warm water with a teaspoon of mild dish detergent. Blot the area to remove most of the excess, working from the outside of the stain in. Once the paint is gone, let the area dry and then vacuum over the surface.
• For paint dried on hardwood or linoleum, scrape as much of the dried paint off. Use pliers or a putty knife to do so, taking care to avoid scratching the surface. Soak the area with a mixture of water and dish soap, scrubbing after a few minutes to begin removing the caked on paint. If there is still paint on the surface, use mineral spirits or alcohol to remove the excess. For more information on paint removal, check out Richmond Painters.
If soap and water aren’t cutting it, head to a local home improvement store for some guidance. You can find water-based latex paint removal products, which work just as well as chemical paint removers.
Don’t be afraid of paint spills – they happen. Remove them from your flooring with these helpful tips.