How To Remove Old Paint From A Wooden Floor?

October 19, 2016

You may need to get rid of the paint from your wooden floor for several reasons. Those include a spill or a need to renovate your old flooring. To some extent, it’s much easier to deal with spills than to remove paint from a wooden floor which you want to renovate. You may wonder why.

The reason is simple – when cleaning up a paint spill you will most probably at least know the type of the substance you need to remove. On the other hand, renovation of a floor often requires you to remove pain that has been used years ago – so you often don’t remember its type and so, the process of removing it is based on hit-or-miss style.

Type of paint

The first thing I would recommend you to focus on when removing paint from a wooden floor is to identify the type of paint that’s been used. There are various types of paint, including water-based or oil-based ones or alternatively latex paint. The method of removing paint and the cleaner which should be used in the given case depends on the paint type.

Removing paint

If the paint you’re struggling to get rid of is latex- or water-based, the best time to remove it from the floor is while it is still wet.

So, if it’s still wet, then use a damp cloth– hot water and a cloth should perfectly resolve the problem. However, if you haven’t managed to get to it when still wet, and it has already dried, wipe the paint with a cloth soaked in hot water, as this will moisten and soften the paint. See if the paint has already become “liquid” again. Then, try rubbing it with a damp cloth, soaked in hot water, trying to get rid of the paint.

But, if the stain from a water- or latex-based paint is old, try removing the paint with a hot, wet scrubber and a sponge. It would be recommended to use a small amount of vegetable oil, applying it onto the scrubber, before you start. This will protect the cleaned surface to a certain extent and minimise the possible damage, such as scratching and dulling of the surface.

Water based paints

In the case where the paint is oil-based and still wet, the solution is using a proper thinner for the paint that you’ve used. But, if this sort of paint has already dried, it’s impossible not to damage the floor finishing while removing it. If you’re struggling to eliminate a dried-in oil paint spill, the only option you’re left with is scraping it or using a chemical product (for instance a nail polish remover with acetone).

Both of these methods will damage the finish of the floor. If you decide to scrape off the paint, you’ll scratch the surface away and if you choose to use acetone, you’ll remove the finish. No matter which option you will choose, you will be left with patches of floor that require refinishing. If the floor surface got seriously damaged, it may require resanding and resealing. You’ll find help to get rid of these patches, and don’t worry – a professional is able to repair the floor, making it look great again.


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