How To Remove Paint From Wooden Floors [Extensive Guide]

We have prepared this extensive guide on how to remove paint from wooden floors easily without spending extra bucks.

Renovating your home may be a labor of love, as any homeowner will attest. However, cleaning up the mess is not always easy. We are not talking about the untidiness or scattered things; we are talking about a real mess where you need to find out immediate way-outs.

There can be several types of a mess that you need to deal with afterward but let’s talk about paints first. When undertaking a home renovation project like painting, watch out for your favorite floor!

Your flooring might be ruined by paint drips and unintentional spills, making your property appear unkempt and messy. Also, out of your whim, you may have painted the wooden floor with the help of some amateur, and you realize that your floor is ruined.

Rather than crying over spilled milk, you need to figure out how to solve the problem. It’s essential to clear up a paint spill as soon as it occurs if it happens during a home repair project.

This is not always the case, though! It’s difficult, but not impossible, to remove paint from your wooden flooring. To answer all the queries whirling in your mind, we have prepared this elaborated guide on how to remove paint from wooden floor.

Initial Arrangements: Understanding The Type Of Paint

If you’re not using the putty-knife pop-off method to remove paint, the first step is to identify the type of paint you’re attempting to remove. Does it come in water or oil-based form? If you’re unsure, experts recommend this simple test.

Wipe the paint with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. If the cotton ball picks up any paint residue, then the paint is water-based. Oil-based products don’t come off quickly.

Choose one of these approaches and go to work once you’ve determined what has to be removed.

Preparation Of The Floor

Any floor surface maintenance action must begin with a thorough cleaning of the floor. To ensure that the paint drops are clearly visible, you remove any dust, debris, or grit from the surface.

Before doing anything else, make sure the paint is water-based or oil-based. To remove the paint, use a scraper or a solvent to dissolve it.  If you’re trying to remove old oil-based paint, you’ll have a more challenging time than if you were trying to remove old acrylic paint.

Before using commercial solvents to remove paint off the hardwood, consider other methods first. Our expert team has also reviewed some of the top deck sealers for you.

Removal Of Water-Based Paint From Hardwood Floors

Water-based paint stains have been used on hardwood floors for a long time because of their specific benefits. Oil-based paint takes longer to dry after painting with water-based paint.

In addition, it is safe for the environment and doesn’t have an odor, and is easy to clean and remove if paint drips or deteriorates on your hardwood flooring.

You can remove the water-based paint as well as haziness from hardwood using the following procedures:

Soap & Water

Because this paint is water-based, it can be washed off with a hose. This sort of paint can be thinned with water. As long as you add a bit of soap to the water, you’ll be able to get the hardwood floor looking new:

  • Fill a bucket halfway with warm water. Mix in a small amount of dishwashing soap with your hands to create a warm, soapy solution.
  • Rub the water-based paint on your wood floor with a cotton rag that has been dipped in the water and drained of excess solution.
  • To remove wet paint, use your hands to rub the surface. Alternatively, you can soak it in a moist rag for a few minutes.
  • Dry the cotton cloth and then use a damp cotton swab to remove any remaining paint residue. Ideally, the paint will come off.
  • In the event that this does not work, keep scrubbing until all of the paint is removed.
  • Dry the wood floor by wiping it down with an absorbent cloth to remove any paint residue and excess moisture from the surface.

Rubbing Alcohol & Lemon Juice

To remove water-based paint from wood floors, all you need to do is make up a batch of rubbing alcohol and lemon juice combination.

  • Get a jar and mix lemon juice and rubbing alcohol in 1:3 proportion. Using this formula, you can change and mix the ingredients for your painted floor according to its size.
  • When you’ve mixed the mixture, dip a cotton rag into it. Let the saturated rag soak on the painted wood floor for around 5 to 10 minutes. This helps loosen the paint.
  • Follow circular movements and rub the paint using the same mixture-soaked fabric. You can also use a floor scrub brush for the removal of paints.
  • Remove any remaining paint with a moist rag and allow the wood to air dry.
  • To remove all water-based paint from wood flooring, repeat the procedure until all of it is removed.


No matter how old and stubborn the paint is, sanding can be helpful to remove them, and water-based paints are no exception. You can follow this method to remove such paints. Please make a list of everything you’ll need and get to work assembling it.

If you wish, you can get an electric sander from any local hardware store. After that, make sure the house is well-ventilated, and block off any openings that could harbor dust. Put on a face mask and goggles, and then you’re ready to go.

  • Your electric sander must be connected to a power source in order to run.
  • Make use of the 60-grit sandpaper to sand your wood flooring. This will help remove several of the paint’s heavy coats. Take out all of the trash and sand dust with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Switch out the 60 grit sandpaper for the 80 grit variety. To remove more paint stains from your floor, continue sanding and then vacuuming.
  • You’ll need to switch out the 80-grit paper with the 120-grit variety now. Your hardwood floor’s paint or black water stain will continue to fade as long as you keep sanding. Get a fine sandpaper grit to ensure a smooth finish.
  • Using handheld sandpaper, sand the paint in between floors and around the corners.
  • A mixture of rubbing alcohol and lemon juice can be used to remove stubborn paint from wood. A moist cloth can be used to remove any remaining paint and sanding marks from the wood.

Removing Latex Paint From Wooden Floor

The majority of us have at least one thing, if not several, painted with latex paint. While it lasts, it’s a stunning finish. When it comes to getting latex paint off the hardwood, there are a number of options.

Paint Stripper

As a latex paint remover, you should consider using a chemical paint stripper designed for the job. The fastest way to remove paint is with commercial paint removers.

You may use it to remove even thick coats of latex paint because it quickly breaks down the paint. Using a non-toxic paint stripper will help keep mishaps to a minimum.

Gather all of the necessary equipment and supplies. Before you begin working, make sure the room is properly aired. Put on your safety gear like gloves, goggles, etc. Don’t forget that you are dealing with chemicals, and that can be extremely harmful.

  • Pour paint remover into a plastic container.
  • Add the paint stripper to the wood with a paintbrush. Apply a sufficient amount and allow it to sit for around 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. A section at a time.
  • When bubbles appear on the painted surface, the paint is ready to come off.
  • You’ll need a paint scraper for this. Wipe out the dissolved paint by angling it slightly away from you and pushing it along the wood grain. Peel off maximum wood grain to get a smooth surface.
  • Remove latex paint stains from all of your wood surfaces by repeating the technique described here.
  • Use steel wool and mineral spirits to remove paint that remains in between the floorboard.
  • Leave the wood to dry naturally after wiping it down with a moist cloth.

Other Resources You May Like:

Heat Machine

Dry or old latex paint on wood floors can be removed using heat as one method of removal. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use this technique.

  • It is time to turn on the heater.
  • The heat machine should go around your hardwood floor in circular motions. Maintain a distance of 8–10 inches between the heat source and the wood when using a space heater.
  • The putty knife can be used to scrape off the latex paint when it wrinkles and forms bubbles. It’s best to peel the putty knife away from the paint while heating it with one hand.
  • To remove the latex paint, repeat the technique on the entire floor.
  • After shutting off the heat machine, wipe your wood floor and adequately dispose of the waste.

Keep Reading: Effective Solution For Pet’s Urine Soaked Into Hardwood Flooring

Steam Stripper

You may want to try this procedure if you are sensitive to heat and chemicals. Both environmentally friendly and efficient, this approach is also an option. Slower than any of the others we’ve discussed, but patient perseverance pays off. Here is how you can do it.

  • Obtain a power source and connect the steamer.
  • The steamer should be held three inches away from the floor surface. For around 20 seconds, hold it there.
  • Check the latex paint for bubbles that are beginning to form. The bubbles are a sign that the latex can be removed.
  • For wood flooring, a plastic putty knife works well for removing latex paint.
  • All of the latex paint should be removed in this manner.
  • Switch off the steamer, remove the debris, and store the steamer in a safe place.

Lemon Juice & Rubbing Alcohol

Take note of the fact that latex paint can be removed using everyday household items. The good news is that these substances endanger neither you nor the environment. For example, you can use running alcohol and lemon juice to remove stubborn paint from your wooden floor. How? Check it out here.

  • The dried latex paint can be removed with a pull scraper or anything you have at your home, and you feel perfect for performing the job.
  • Use a moist towel to remove any paint smudges.

Removing Dried Oil-Based Paint

Painting is a simple method to freshen up a room. When allowed to dry for many days, oil-based paint provides a dazzling glossy finish and long-lasting durability. Remove oil-based paint from wooden flooring using these methods.


Wooden surfaces may be sanded to remove almost any form of paint. An exception to this rule is oil-based paint stains. Look around.

  • Begin the process with 60 grit sandpaper. The wood grain should be sanded. The less grit there is, the more probable it is that the paint will peel.
  • Make sure to vacuum up any loose sandpaper and replace it with new material. The 80 grit sandpaper should be used for the second sanding step.
  • Continue sanding in the direction of the wood grain. A little finer grit is used to remove any remaining paint from the first sanding.
  • Use 120-grit sandpaper instead of 80-grit. All paint will go off, and your wood floor will be a shade lighter after this round. The wood will also be easy to work with and appear uniform.
  • After sanding once more, use a vacuum to clean the floor.
  • It’s time to give your hardwood floor a thorough clean with a moist cloth and spare no residue.

Paint Stripper

If you need a paint stripper, there are many options to select from. Make sure you select one made for oil-based paint removal as your initial step. Non-toxic options are also available.

When handling these goods, be sure to follow the safety measures advised on the label. Keep all safety equipment handy before starting the work. Make sure that it is a well-ventilated space where you perform the job.


  • Brush on the paint stripper with a paint remover or a painting brush on the hardwood floor. Allow it to soak into the wood for 30 minutes to an hour before moving on to the next step.
  • Peel the dry paint with a hard plastic putty knife when it is flexible enough to lift it. If you have a metal putty knife, be strong yet soft enough to avoid damaging the wood.
  • Mineral spirit and a firm-bristled brush would be a perfect choice to remove old paint even from unreachable corners of the hardwood.
  • To ensure that the wood is clear of any chemicals or dried paint residue, use a moist rag to wipe it down.

Paint Thinner

Make sure the paint thinner you choose is designed explicitly for oil-based paint. In this case, you can use either mineral spirits, turpentine, or even acetone. Dissolve the paint with the paint removers, and you’ll be done with it.

  • Choose a paint thinner and soak a rag in it. In order to remove oil-based paint spots, use paint thinner.
  • Rub the rag on the paint as soon as it has been wet in paint thinner to begin the dissolving process.
  • After some time, rub off the paint thinner to prevent it from drying and ruining the paint.
  • Remove all paint from wood flooring by repeating the technique.
  • To avoid the chemical harming the wood, use a moist rag to wipe the floor clean.

Removing Old Paint From Wooden Floor

If you just moved into a property that has seen better days and dry and old paint, you may want to consider painting it. The old paint must be removed and replaced with new paint in order to make it more comfortable.

In this kind of issue, there are a variety of ways you might enhance it. Before committing to a vast region, try out your new technique in a small area first.


When using a pressure washer or sanding, be sure to clear the area and remove anything you don’t want to get wet or dusty. Make sure you’re wearing your face shield and gloves when you’re working with chemicals.

To be clear, we only recommend sanding hardwood floors with sufficiently thick coats of paint before attempting paint removal by sanding.

If you want to remove paint from your hardwood floors without sanding, there are several less expensive and less time-consuming options.


To get started, connect your sander to an electrical outlet. Sand the old paint with 60 grit sandpaper and remove old layers of paint that have built up over time.

Remove stubborn paint from the floor, between the floorboards using an 80-grit and finally a 120-grit abrasive sander. Finally, use a cleansing pad to wipe out the hardwood floor and dispose of the damaged paint.

Pressure Washer

If the old paint is chipped out, this approach may be helpful. It is a natural method of removing paint. Set up the pressure washer, attach a yellow nozzle to the wand, then turn on the power to begin cleaning the driveway.

Keeping your footing, position the machine at an angle above the old paint on the flooring, then release the trigger and begin spraying the water. The wood can be moved closer or further away, depending on the situation.

Using this method ensures that all of the previous paint is removed from the wooden floor’s surface. It’s time to clean up the wood after all of the old paint is removed. It’s best to let it dry naturally.

Final Words

When you find paint on your wood floors, it’s a real bummer. The cleaning of the same can put you in thick soup. The stress of getting back the old look of your floor may make you confused.

You may start thinking of calling a professional, but the hefty cost behind that may stop you. In this overwhelming situation, we ask you to relax. We know how to swiftly and successfully remove paint stains from wooden floors, whether they are latex or spray paint, and that’s what we have shared with you in this detailed guide.

The ways we discussed here are all recommended and followed by experts who will not harm your environment or floor. You may follow these safe methods to remove all types of paint stains from your wooden floor, and the best part is that your floor’s durability wouldn’t be affected because of these methods.

Hopefully, these steps on how to remove paint from wooden floors will help you, and you can get back the actual look and feel of your favorite wooden floor.

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