How To Remove Paint Stains

Before setting out to paint your masterpiece or give your living room a fresh look, knowing how to remove paint stains properly can save you a lot of time and frustration. The most important thing to do is to first cover every surrounding surface to help minimize the potential for spills and stains, and to also be aware of the type of paint that you are using. Using the wrong cleaning products on latex based paint could leave you with a gunky mess that takes even longer to clean up.

How To Remove Paint Stains

When you are painting your kitchen you likely do the responsible thing and cover all of the surfaces with plastic sheeting and also use painters tape to ensure that you get clean painted edges. However, even with the best of efforts, you may still find yourself with a splatter of paint on your cabinets, flooring, or appliances. You may also find that you inadvertently brush up against a still-wet surface, leaving a paint stain on your brand new sweater!

Try as you might, paint stains are going to find their way to where they are most unwanted. If you know how to remove paint stains effectively, you’ll be a lot less fussed when you spill bright red paint on your beautiful wood floors or your beige carpet!

How To Remove Oil-Based Paint Stains

What You Will Need Before You Start

  • Turpentine or paint thinner
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Clean sponge
  • White absorbent towel
  • Paper towels

Oil-based paint stains can be very tricky, and some of them might not actually be able to be removed. However, if you know the best steps for how to remove paint stains from the various surfaces in your home you may just be able to reclaim your favorite t-shirt or your carpet.

Discuss your paint stain with a professional at your hardware store, you may already have the right paint thinners on hand to clean your brushes and paint rollers however. Be sure to use extreme caution when using these types of products because they are not only highly combustible but also pose a potential for hazardous fumes. So crack a window and leave the fragrant burning candles snuffed.

  1. Place stained fabrics onto a flat surface, on top of the white absorbent towel. Blot at the stain with the paint thinner, or turpentine. Rinse thoroughly with clean cold water. Repeat if the stain is still visible, you may need to do this a few times if the stain is very large or has dried. Add a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent directly to the fabric and rub it with your fingers; this will help to remove any lingering oil. Rinse thoroughly and launder as per the care instructions on the garment tag.
  2. Clean stained carpeting by directly applying paint thinner to your clean sponge and blotting at the paint stain. Use paper towels to lift up the stain and repeat as many times is necessary to completely remove the stain. Create a cleaning solution using two cups of cold water and a teaspoon of dish detergent. Blot it onto the area and use additional paper towels to lift up the excess moisture. Repeat this using cold clean water in order to remove any sudsy residue.
  3. Oil-based paint stains on wooden surfaces can be very tricky, but knowing how to remove paint stains from wood may just save your cabinets or flooring from excessive damage. Blot a bit of rubbing alcohol carefully onto the stain, quickly wiping it up with a clean paper towel. Repeat this as often as is needed to thoroughly remove the paint stain. Wipe down with warm soapy water and allow it to dry.

In a pinch you can try to use nail polish remover or mineral spirits, just remember to do a colorfast test in an inconspicuous area before you get to work at removing the stain.

How To Remove Latex-Based Paint Stains

What You Will Need Before You Start

  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean sponge
  • Paper towels

Latex-based paint stains can typically be removed relatively easily. A lot of times they can simply be wiped up or scraped up from hard surfaces like tiled or wood floors, or from kitchen counters. With a bit of elbow grease, and a few things you already have around the house, you can swiftly get the stains out.

  1. Apply rubbing alcohol directly to stained clothing, blotting swiftly with a sponge and paper towels as the paint starts to thin. Rinse with cool water. You may need to repeat several times to thoroughly get the stain out, but be sure not to rub at the stain or you risk damaging the fabric. Once the stain is gone, soak the garment in a bit of laundry detergent and cool water for up to fifteen minutes. Launder as per the care instructions on the tag.
  2. We’ve already covered how to remove paint stains from wood or tiled floors, but if the spill is on your carpet then you have a bit more work to do. Scrape up any excess paint using a putty knife; this will work whether the paint is dried or still wet. Blot at the stain with rubbing alcohol on a clean sponge, blotting with paper towels between blots with the rubbing alcohol. Once the stain has been removed you can blot at it with a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent in cool water, to completely remove any paint residue.

Latex paint spilled on finished wood trim will be easy to remove if the paint is still freshly spilled, simply wipe it up with a paper towel or paint rag. If the stain is very large then you may need to lightly stain the top portion of the stain to break it down into a more manageable and workable area. A bit of paint thinner, or even nail polish remover, can help to remove the rest of the stain.

How To Remove Water-Based Paint Stains

What You Will Need Before You Start

  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Nail polish remover
  • Clean sponge
  • Paper towels

Water-based paints are a lot easier to remove than other types of paints, but it is still imperative that you work on the stain as soon as possible. As with all stains, paint stains need to be treated swiftly in order to ensure that the stains are readily removed without any long-lasting damage to the surfaces.

  1. Mix a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent with warm water and place stained garments into the soapy solution for up to fifteen minutes, making sure to agitate it a bit to work the cleaning solution into the stain. Rinse thoroughly and examine the stain, if it is still lingering then you can apply a bit of nail polish remover to a clean sponge and blot at the stain.
  2. Carpets and hard floors can be cleaned using the same type of cleaning solution, liquid dish detergent and warm water. You may need to scrub at the stain a bit with a soft-bristled brush, but it should readily come up with just a little bit of elbow grease.

One of the things to remember about how to remove paint stains from surfaces like leather, wool, and silk is that you will need to read what the care instructions say before you get started. These can be difficult materials to work with because they can be so readily damaged if you do not take the right steps.