How To Remove Paint From Wood Floors (2021 Guide & Tips)

Have you ever dripped paint on your beautiful hardwood floors? Or maybe you are interested in redesigning your home and want to know how to remove paint from hardwood floors.

Well, it is not as hard as you might think. With the right tools and guidance, you can remove any kind of paint from your hardwood floors. Check out our guide to removing paint from wood floors.

Some of the most common paints found on hardwood floors are acrylic, latex, oil, and spray paint. You must know what kind of paint is on your hardwood floors before you try to remove it since each of these paints might require different removal techniques.

You should test a small part of the hardwood floor before you move on to the removal process. A good way to do this is to clean a small part of the floor with water. Then, dip a cotton ball into rubbing alcohol and wipe a small section of the floor.

If the paint comes off, then you have acrylic paint. If it does not, then you have enamel or oil-based paint.

Remove Paint From Wood Floor

Prepping Hardwood Floors for Paint Removal

Paper Towel

This should be used to dry off any water that may be left on the surface of the wood floor before using chemicals.

Clean Rags

You should always have these nearby to wipe up any spills. They can also be used to wipe the surface of your hardwood floors after you clean them. 

Dishwashing soap

We recommend using dishwashing soap as your go-to cleaning liquid for latex paint removal.


You should use a mixture of water and commercial cleaning products or sap for almost all paint removal jobs.

Denatured Alcohol

This remover is ideal for oil and acrylic paints.

Dull Knife

You should use a dull knife to scrape away as much paint as possible before moving on to more harsh cleaners.

Scrub Brush

You can use a scrub brush to remove spray paint drips and latex paint.

Paint Thinner

This is a harsh chemical solvent, which should be used for oil-based or difficult to remove paint.

Products That Help Remove the Paint

Commercial Paint Remover

You should consider paint strippers as a last resort option since they can often remove varnish from hardwood floors. They work best with oil-based paints or other spray paint.

Rubbing Alcohol

This can be used to remove acrylic or latex paint. It is not suitable for removing oil-based or enamel paint from hardwood floors.


This substance can be used to soften the paint and make it easier to remove, but it will not completely remove the stain.

Soap and Water

This is useful for cleaning the surface before you start removing the paint. It can also be used to soften up large patches of paint.

Heat Gun

Using a good quality heat gun is an easy way to remove oil and water-based paints without using any chemicals. You can point the heat gun at the paint and scrape it away with a putty knife. A heat gun is also quite good to have for removing paint from concrete and other surfaces.

Paint Thinner

This can be used to remove oil-based paints and other spray paints. These paints can be difficult to remove from hardwood floors. Be careful when using paint thinners since they can be harsh for you and your hardwood floors.

Remove Dried Latex From Wood Floor

Remove Paint From Hardwood Floors: Detailed How-To Guide

In this guide, we will walk you through the different types of paints and the products you should use to remove them from your hardwood floors. You should be prepared and have all of the necessary tools beside you for this process.

Throughout this detailed guide, we will help you remove acrylic, latex, and oil-based paint from your hardwood floors.

Remember to check the manufacturer’s instructions for all of the products you plan to use to avoid damaging your floors.

How to Remove Dried Paints

Oil-Based Paint

  • Step 1: Oil-based paint is difficult to remove without chemicals. We recommend buying a paint thinner or stripper to remove this type of paint from your hardwood floors.
  • Step 2: Sand the area where the dried paint is located as much as you can.
  • Step 3: Apply the paint thinner to the sanded area to remove the rest of the paint.

Latex Paint

  • Step 1: Use a dull or putty knife to remove as much of the dried paint as you can.
  • Step 2: Use soap and water to gently remove the rest of the paint.
  • Step 3: If some paint remains, then you can use rubbing alcohol to remove the rest.

Water-Based Paint

  • Step 1: Clean the surface of the hardwood floors.
  • Step 2: Use rubbing alcohol to remove the paint.

How to Remove Wet Paint

Oil-Based Paint

  1. 1
    You should be able to quickly wipe up a wet oil paint spill using a damp paper towel. When oil paints are wet, they are easy to remove.

Latex Paint

  1. 1
    Wipe up as much of the wet paint as possible by using a damp cloth. Avoid scrubbing the surface of the wood to prevent the paint from seeping into the wood grain. 
  2. 2
    Mix water and some mild dishwashing soap to further remove the wet paint.

Water-Based Paint

  1. 1
    You should be able to remove wet water-based paint by simply wiping it with a damp paper towel.
  2. 2
    You can also use soap and water if the wet paint is still there.

How to Remove Other Paints

If you are dealing with a different type of paint spills, such as overspray paint drips or spills, you can similarly remove them as we mentioned above.

Large Paint Spill and Spray Paint Splatter

  • Wipe up as much of the spill as you can without spreading it further onto the hardwood floor. You can use a clean rag with soap and water.
  • Use a heat gun and a putty knife to remove the large spill. Once it heats up, you should be able to scrape off the spill with ease.
  • You can use a directed heat gun to remove small spray paint splatter.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do you get paint off hardwood floors without damaging the finish?

When you remove oil paint from a hardwood floor, it might be difficult not to damage the finish. We recommend isolating the area where the paint is and using a sander to remove the paint and finish. You can refinish the hardwood floor when you are done. For other paint types, you do not need to sand the surface to remove the paint.

Does nail polish remover damage hardwood floors?

Yes, nail polish remover can damage hardwood floors. We recommend using denatured alcohol to remove paint instead. You should avoid using nail polish remover since it can take off the finish.

Will baking soda remove paint from wood floors?

You can use baking soda to soften the paint spots on hardwood floors. Baking soda can act as a scrubbing agent as well.

Will Goo Gone remove dried paint from a hardwood floor?

You can use Goo Gone to remove paint from your hardwood floors. It should be used to remove latex paint.


In this guide, we provided you with all of the necessary tools and removal techniques to ensure you keep your hardwood floors paint-free. We recommend checking out this guide to remove all paint types, whether they are wet or dry.

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