Dealing with pesky paint spots on your beautiful hardwood floors?

And trying to figure out if all these do-it-yourself solutions will really do the job like people say it will? We’re walking you through how to remove paint spots from hardwood floors, including the best (and worst) methods.


How to Remove Paint Spots from Hardwood Floors: Are These Common Methods Worth It?

Chemical Strippers or Solvents

Perhaps the most important part of how to remove paint spots from hardwood floors is that using chemical strippers or solvents— specifically random ones that aren’t approved for your specific hardwood floors— can damage the finish of your hardwood floors.

The big problem with this is that your chemical stripper needs to be formulated to dissolve the specific type of paint on the hardwood floor. In fact, they can cause discoloration, warping, patchiness or other forms of physical or visual damage to the hardwood.


how to remove paint spots from hardwood floors hand washing floor with yellow microfiber cloth


Sure, using a hairdryer could help soften the paint before scraping. And yes, many do find it helpful for smaller paint spots on hardwood floors. However, it may not be as effective for larger areas or stubborn paint stains ingrained into the wood for years.

Using high heat without knowing the type of wood you’re working with can damage both the wood and the finish. You should use this method cautiously (if at all).


It’s a pretty simple concept— scraping involves using a tool, like a plastic scraper or putty knife, to remove dried paint from hardwood floors. It’s a common, straightforward and inexpensive method for removing paint from hardwood floors, and is best only for small, localized paint spots.

The good thing about scraping is that it’s non-toxic method that doesn’t require any chemicals or specialized equipment. While it’s definitely a DIY-friendly solution, it can also be time-consuming and labor-intensive, even for a little spot. And for those larger areas? It’ll be nearly impossible to get everything off in under a few hours.

Probably the biggest issue with scraping is the risk of scratching or damaging the wood if it’s not done carefully. If you are trying this, method, be cautious not to apply too much pressure, as this can damage the wood.

If the paint spots are stubborn or extensive, it may be a sign that professional refinishing is needed.


scraper sitting on hardwood floor


Microfiber Cloth

You can also try your luck by dampening the cloth with a cleaning solution, such as vinegar and water, and gently scrubbing the paint spots to remove them from the hardwood floors.

We recommend microfiber cloths for cleaning specifically because they’re gentle on hardwood floors and can effectively remove dirt, grime, and paint spots without causing damage.

Microfiber cloths are also reusable, environmentally friendly, and safe to use on most hardwood floors without causing scratches or damage. However, they’re likely not going to be super effective for removing stubborn or dried-on paint spots.

And if they do, they require a good amount of some elbow grease to scrub away the paint. If you want to know how to remove paint spots from finished hardwood floor, some woods may be able to handle things like steel wool more than others. As mentioned, though, it’s always best to consult a hardwood floor professional before exploring different removal methods.


Baking Soda Paste

Mix baking soda and water and you’ve got yourself a baking soda paste! Ideally, you can apply it to the paint spots and allow to sit before you scrub it off.

It’s also known for its abrasive properties while being gentle on hardwood floors, with the ability to loosen and lift paint spots from certain hardwood floors.

It’s also a natural and non-toxic alternative to chemical cleaners, which is a positive for those who are eco-conscious. However, it’s not the strongest and most effective solution for removing stubborn or dried-on paint spots, and it could severely damage many types of hardwood floors, eliminating their shine and color. It can also leave a residue on the floor if you don’t thoroughly rinse it away.


Commercial Paint Removers

Commercial paint removers are chemical-based products designed to soften and dissolve paint.

These hardwood floor paint removers can be fast and effective, as well as requiring little (if any) effort in removing hardwood floor paint spots. You can find them in a few different formulas, specific to different types of paints and finishes.

However, commercial paint removers can contain harsh chemicals that can be toxic and irritating to the skin and lungs. And if it’s your first time trying your hand at this remover, it could damage the finish of hardwood floors. When using this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and test the product in a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage the wood.

how to remove paint spots from hardwood floors image of green paint spilled on floor


Frequently Asked Questions: How to Remove Paint Spots from Hardwood Floors

How do I know if paint remover is safe for my hardwood floors?

To determine if a paint remover is safe for hardwood floors, read the product label carefully. Look for a paint remover specifically formulated for use on wood surfaces. Check for any warnings or cautions regarding hardwood floors.

Something we always suggest when suggesting how to remove paint from hardwood floors is testing the paint remover in a small, inconspicuous area of your hardwood floor to help you determine if the remover causes any damage or discoloration before applying it to larger areas. It’s always helpful to consult with a professional if you’re unsure about the product’s safety for your hardwood floors.


Will removing paint damage my hardwood floors?

When done correctly, removing paint from hardwood floors shouldn’t damage the wood, but it’s always crucial to use the right methods and products to avoid causing harm.

Gentle techniques, like scraping with a plastic scraper or using mild solvents, are typically safer for hardwood floors than trying for chemical solvents before knowing exactly what they’re for.


How can I protect my hardwood floors from future paint spills?

Use drop cloths or protective mats when painting to catch any spills or drips, promptly clean up any spills or splatters with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying, and use painter’s tape when painting.

Hire a Professional at TriArt!

Ultimately, the best way to properly remove paint from hardwood floors— especially with stubborn stains or delicate finishes— is through bringing in a professional.

Hardwood flooring professionals have the knowledge and experience to assess the type of paint and finish on your hardwood floors. We know how to remove paint spots from hardwood floors without causing any damage to your home.

For more information or to schedule a hardwood floor consultation, contact us today!

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