How to Get Paint Off of Carpet, Tile, and Wood Floors

Check out these tips on removing paint from almost any surface.

We’ve all felt the pain of a wayward drop of paint, or worse, dropping an entire roller full of paint and watching it clatter to the floor in slow motion as we watch helplessly. Attending to the paint stain as soon as possible is obviously the best way to go, but sometimes that’s just not possible. This is especially true for smaller stains that you might not notice right away or that were left by a previous resident.

If you happen to find an old splatter of paint on your tiles or carpet, never fear! There are some simple tricks to try before losing hope and replacing some of the flooring.

How to Remove Paint From Tile

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This is a pretty severe case, but I bet even those massive paint stains would come off with a bit of elbow grease! You might look at this mess and shudder, but it’s surprisingly easy to get paint off of a non-porous surface like tile. You don’t even need any special cleaners or brushes. I bet you have everything you need right in your medicine cabinet!

Go ahead and grab some rubbing alcohol and a few Q-Tips or cotton balls. Dip your cotton of choice in the rubbing alcohol and get to scrubbing! That’s really it. This works for tile, tubs, sinks, and yes, even grout. The grout might take a bit more effort to scrub, but the paint will eventually loosen and come out.

Pro-tip: Test a small area of your tile in a hidden corner to make sure the rubbing alcohol won’t discolor the tile. The good news is, rubbing alcohol dries super fast, so you won’t have to wait long to see if it passes the test.

Wood Floors

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Don’t lose hope for your precious wood floors yet! The experts at ColorTrends Painting have a few helpful methods for removing paint in all stages of drying. For wet paint, obviously it’s best to clean it up right away. Once you’ve soaked up the majority of the mess, gently clean the remaining stain with warm water and mild dish soap, working from the outsides towards the center.

For “soft paint,” that is, paint that hasn’t fully cured yet, you can gently scrape off the stain with a dull knife or even a credit card. Once you get the edges loose, you’ll be able to peel back the semi-dry paint a little bit at a time.

For paint that has fully cured, go ahead and grab your hairdryer. Soften the dry paint stain by switching your hairdryer to the lowest setting and holding it about 3-inches away from the stain. When it’s soft enough, go ahead and gently scrape the edges and peel it off, like you would for the soft paint stain from above.

Carpet

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Carpet is one of the most difficult materials to get paint out of, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. First, you’ll want to grab an iron and a white rag – and yes, it’s important that the rag is white, as a colored rag could transfer its color onto the carpet, which would defeat the purpose. Lay the rag or towel over the stain and then rub small circles over the rag with your iron on the steam setting. This won’t remove the stain, but it will loosen the paint from the carpet fibers.

Next, get a clean white towel and dampen with warm water and dish soap. Make sure to wring out the rag so as not to get the carpet too wet. Then blot at the stain, which should come off a little easier now that it’s loosened by the steam.

Repeat this process until you’ve gotten as much out as you can, then let the carpet dry. If you see any remaining paint particles, grab some scissors and get down on your belly – it’s time to cut the stain out! Now, don’t freak out here. I’m not saying to mow down your carpet or anything. Take a careful look at the stained area and isolate areas that still hold paint. Then, gently trim away the fibers and move onto the next one. It’s tedious, but I think we can all agree it’s well worth the effort considering the alternative!