How to Remove Paint From the Floor

By Mary Smith. February 16, 2021
How to Remove Paint From the Floor

Even when we are being careful, it is so easy to get paint spills on floors when painting ceilings and walls. It is a common headache and removing the paint can be tricky, especially if it has had time to dry. The best thing to do is to remove the paint quickly and effectively, but there is no single method to get rid of spilled paint. This is because different types of flooring require different methods to lift the paint.

At oneHOWTO, we explain how to remove paint from the floor. In particular, we look at cement, wood and tile flooring, but we also provide some general tips to see how this can be done without damaging the floor in the process.

You may also be interested in: How to Clean Paint Stains Off the Floor

How to remove paint from cement flooring

Cement flooring is more common in garages or outdoor areas, but you have also have some exposed cement flooring if you are renovating the home. One of the tricky things about this type of material is that it is relatively porous. This means the paint can seep in, making it even tougher to remove. To do this you will need a product which contains muriatic acid.

This is an acid which is related to hydrochloric acid and it can be very caustic. For this reason, we need to be very careful. It should not be used on other surfaces and its use requires goggles and gloves. If you are using muriatic acid, it will need to be diluted in a ratio of 1 cup muriatic acid to 1 gallon of water.

  1. Wear goggles and gloves when cleaning the floor with this product and follow the instructions indicated by the product manufacturer.
  2. Apply the muriatic acid solution by dipping in a mop and spreading it over the areas affected by paint stains.
  3. Wait a few minutes for the product to act on the surface.
  4. Finally, clean the floor with warm water to remove the acid and the remains of paint. You may need to empty and refill the bucket a couple of times to make sure you have removed all the paint and acid well. Clean the mop thoroughly.

This is one of the best ways to ensure that paint is removed from cement floors. Other floors such as those using bricks or breeze blocks can also benefit from this type of cleaning method. If you want to find out more about cleaning stone, take a look at our article on how to clean granite floors.

How to Remove Paint From the Floor - How to remove paint from cement flooring

How to remove paint from wood flooring

To remove paint from wooden flooring such as parquet, it is important to clean the stains immediately. The wood is not only absorbent with the paint, but we can further damage the floor if we start to scrub it when cleaning. If you want to remove paint spills from wood floors, take a look at the following tips:

  • The type of paint will determine the method of removing it from the surface. If it is paint made with a water base, you can remove it with a clean towel and hot water. For particularly tough stains, you may want to use ammonia to clean wood, but only with caution.
  • On the other hand, if it is made with an oil base, you will have to use a solvent to remove paint.
  • The use of solvents with alcohol requires taking maximum caution with their application, since they have the ability to destroy the wood finish.

If you find dry paint stains on the parquet or wood floor, pour hot water to soften them and make them easier to remove. In this case, use a sponge to rub the dried paint residue off the surface. You can also opt for a sharp knife or paint scraper for large drops, but be careful not to damage, scratch or cut the wood.

If at the end of the process there are marks on the parquet, such as cuts or white spots, it is best to sand the area, paint and re-varnish it. Take a look at our article on how to remove scratches from wood for more info.

How to remove paint from tile floors

If the paint stains have occurred on a tile floor (usually most common in kitchen and bathroom flooring), we recommend that you follow these instructions to remove paint from porcelain floors. You can use special products for porcelain flooring, but only occasionally because they are acidic. If we use them too much, we can end up damaging the surface.

In addition, they are harmful to our health in case of overexposure, so you will have to use them wearing goggles, gloves and a mask.

  1. Apply clean water to the ceramic tile floor before adding the paint remover product. In this way, excessive absorption of chemical compounds in the porcelain floor is prevented.
  2. During the application of the product, avoid blows or pressure that cause deterioration of the tile or leaves marks.
  3. Follow the product manufacturer's instructions and, once the treatment is finished, reapply water to the floor to rinse it off and remove traces of chemical residue and paint.

Some paint spillages can be cleaned from a tile floor by using a white vinegar solution. However, it may not be enough for certain types of paint, so a commercial paint remover is better. Fortunately, porcelain tiles are quite sturdy and should hold up, even if you need to scrape them a little with a plastic scraper. Another trick is to use a heat gun to weaken the paint spill and it should lift of the tile more easily.

How to Remove Paint From the Floor - How to remove paint from tile floors

Other tips for removing paint from the floor

After explaining the different methods to remove paint from the floor depending on the type of flooring, we at oneHOWTO provide some more tips to get rid of them and to help avoid stains in the first place:

  • In cases where the cement or stone flooring is newly installed, avoid cleaning the surface with an acidic product. Cement reacts when in contact with acidity, preventing it from setting (giving the floor an uneven shape) and causing the joints to deteriorate.
  • Try to remove paint stains as quickly as possible. Treating then when wet will be much easier to remove with water, floor cleaner, a bucket and a mop. You can also use a metal or plastic scraper for a stain that is more hardened on.
  • When the stains are from acrylic, plastic or latex paints, you will need a mixture of detergent and hot water to remove them if they are recent. The detergent ideally should use a mild ammonia solution.
  • To remove varnish or synthetic enamel stains from the floor, choose a solvent or paint thinner with soap and water. If you don't want to use a product that is so aggressive on the surface, go for weaker alcohol with soap and water.

If you have other types of spillages, you may want to look at our article on how to remove oil and grease stains from a concrete floor.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Remove Paint From the Floor, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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