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how to get paint off vinyl floor

In most cases, keeping your vinyl flooring clean is incredibly simple. However, if you’re dealing with spilled paint, you might wonder if your floor is ruined. Luckily, that isn’t the case, as it is possible to figure out how to get paint off vinyl flooring.

As for getting paint off vinyl flooring, your approach depends on the type of paint and whether it’s wet or dry. Depending on your situation, dish soap, rubbing alcohol, liquid wax, acetone, white vinegar, and several other options may be viable.

If you’re struggling to figure out how to get paint off vinyl flooring, here’s an overview of your options and step-by-step processes for three scenarios.

How to Get Paint Off Vinyl Flooring: 10 Easy Ways

Dealing with spilled paint is often challenging, regardless of whether it’s wet or dry. However, you can make it simpler by using the right approach.

Here are ten easy ways to get paint off vinyl flooring.

1. Dish Soap

If you’re dealing with water-based paint and the paint is still wet, a bit of dish soap and water might be all you need to address the spill. Water-based paint is water-soluble, so technically, you could potentially address the spot with water alone. However, the addition of the dish soap speeds the process up.

In most cases, you only need to add a few drops of dish soap to a container of warm water. Just make sure to stir it before you start working to distribute the soap.

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a solvent that can break down the paint, making it easier to clean up. It also addresses stains, which could be beneficial if the paint color is noticeably different from your flooring.

You’ll apply some to a clean rag with rubbing alcohol and wipe up the paint. If the paint is stubborn, you can press the rag into the spot and sit for 10 minutes before wiping. However, you don’t want to do this frequently, as rubbing alcohol could damage the flooring if applied too many times.

3. Liquid Wax

If you’re dealing with a stubborn paint spill, using liquid wax and some super fine steel wool could be a solid choice. You’ll simply apply a bit of liquid wax to the steel wool and scrub the spot using circular motions. Just make sure to keep the pressure light. Otherwise, the steel wool might harm your flooring.

4. Nail Polish Remover

Many people have nail polish remover on-hand, making this a convenient option for getting dried paint off vinyl flooring. Just make sure that you use a version that contains acetone. Additionally, do a test spot in an area that isn’t noticeable before you begin to ensure the nail polish remover won’t harm your floor.

Once you’ve finished the test, apply some nail polish remover to a rag. Then, wipe it across the paint to remove it.

5. White Vinegar

White vinegar is naturally acid, making it a great option for breaking down dried on paint. Plus, it’s typically safe to use on most surfaces.

After scraping up as much paint as possible, add one cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Then, dip a clean rag in the mixture and scrub the paint.

6. Baking Soda

Baking soda is abrasive and can address stains. As a result, you can use it to remove stubborn dried-on paint and stains on vinyl floors.

First, you’ll want to use a scraper to remove as much paint as possible. Next, apply a little water to some baking soda, creating a thick paste. Then, use a soft, clean rag to gently rub the paste on the paint or stain using circular motions.

After that, take a new clean cloth and wipe up the paste. Finally, rinse the floor with water or a water and dish soap mixture.

7. Acetone or Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits and acetone can both break down paint, making them solid choices if you’re dealing with dry paint on a vinyl floor. Before you begin, you’ll want to do a test spot in a hidden area of your flooring. That way, you can confirm the product won’t harm the vinyl.

After the test, apply the acetone or mineral spirits to a clean rag. Press the rag onto the dry paint and rub it across the paint to clean it up.

8. Magic Eraser

A Magic Eraser can be a surprisingly effective to remove dried paint stains from vinyl flooring. Simple wet one side of the Magic Eraser and rub it across the stain, using a gentle, circular motion. Then, remove any residue with a damp paper towel.

9. WD-40

WD-40 can break down the bonds in paint, allowing you to clean it up quickly. However, it typically only works well on wet water-based paint.

If you want to use this option, you spray some WD-40 onto a clean rag and use it to wipe up the paint. If you’re dealing with a small section of flooring with paint on it, you could also spray the WD-40 onto the spot directly.

Just make sure to work quickly. Additionally, rinse the area with dish soap and water once you’re done to remove residue.

10. Goo Gone

If you’re cleaning up wet paint, Goo Gone can make the job easier. Goo Gone also makes a product specifically for latex paint clean-up. It’s specially formulated for the task, ensuring you can deal with the paint quickly. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions to get the water-based paint off of your vinyl flooring.

However, Goo Gone won’t always work well on dried paint, and it is typically better suited for water-based over oil-based paint spills.

In some cases, you can combine Goo Gone with baking soda to create a scrub, giving you a better tool for dealing with dried paint or stains. However, other approaches may be better.

How to Get Water-Based Paint Off Vinyl Flooring

Here’s a step-by-step process for getting water-based paint off vinyl flooring.

1. Dab Up the Wet Paint

If the paint is still wet, the first step you want to take is soak up as much of the paint as possible. Use a clean, absorbent cloth or dry paper towels, and dab instead of wipe. That way, you aren’t spreading the paint around while you work.

2. Use Damp Paper Towels

Once you’ve dabbed up as much of the paint as possible, you’ll want to switch to damp paper towels. Wipe from the edge of the spill toward the center, ensuring you aren’t spreading any paint as you work.

At times, the damp paper towels are enough to handle the rest of the issue. If that’s the case, simply dry your floor. However, if you’re still seeing paint on your vinyl floor, move on to the next step.

3. Try a Dish Soap and Water Mix

If damp paper towels didn’t tackle all of the spills, it’s time for dish soap and water mix. Add a few drops of mild cleanser to a container of water. Give the mixture a quick stir, then grab a clean cloth and dip it into the cleaner. Wring out the excess moisture, then use the rag on the paint.

Continue dipping, wringing, and wiping until the paint is removed. If you have stubborn spots that won’t clean up, move on to the next step. Otherwise, rinse your vinyl floor with some fresh water and dry the area.

4. Use Rubbing Alcohol

If you’re dealing with stubborn paint, rubbing alcohol is the next option you should try. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a soft, clean cloth. Then, rub it on the paint.

If the paint isn’t coming up, add more rubbing alcohol to the cloth and press it against the paint. Let the rag sit in place for ten minutes, then try rubbing again. If the paint comes up, rinse the spot with water and dry the area.

5. Repeat the Dish Soap Mixture

In some rare cases, the paint may still be on your vinyl floor after the rubbing alcohol. If that’s the case, rinse the area and return to the dish soap mixture. Unlike rubbing alcohol, you can use that mixture as often as you’d like without harming your floor.

6. Turn to Latex Paint Remover

If you’ve followed the process above and the paint is still there, you may want to try a commercial latex paint remover. Look for a product that’s safe on vinyl floors and follow the manufacturer’s directions precisely. That way, you can reduce the risk of any damage to your flooring.

How to Remove Oil-Based Paint from Vinyl Flooring

Here’s a step-by-step process for getting oil-based paint off vinyl flooring.

1. Dab Up Excess Paint

The first step you need to take to address wet oil-based paint on vinyl flooring is to dab up the excess. Use a clean, dry cloth to soak up as much paint as possible. Additionally, dab instead of wipe, ensuring you don’t spread the paint around as you try to clean it up.

2. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Once you’ve removed the excess paint, apply rubbing alcohol to a clean, dry cloth. Press the rag onto the area with the spill, allowing it to soak for ten minutes. Then, add more rubbing alcohol and wipe up the paint, starting at an edge and working toward the center.

If that’s handled the paint, use a clean cloth and some water to rinse and dry the floor. Otherwise, give it a quick rinse and dry and move on to the step below.

3. Apply Liquid Wax

Steel wool dipped in liquid wax is the next approach you want to try. Choose super fine steel wool and dip it carefully into the liquid wax. Then, scrub the spot.

Make sure you’re gentle as you clean. Steel wool is incredibly abrasive, so it can damage your vinyl flooring if you apply too much pressure.

After making a few passes, move on to the next step.

4. Clean the Floor with a Dish Soap Mixture

The next step you’ll need to take is cleaning the floor. Add a few drops of dish soap to a water container and stir it. Then, dip a clean, dry rag into the mixture and wipe the spot. Finally, do a clean water rinse and dry the area.

If there’s only a little paint left, you can repeat the liquid wax step and clean the floor once that’s complete. If the paint isn’t coming up well, try the next step.

5. Try a Commercial Solvent

While the process above will typically get wet oil-based paint off vinyl flooring, it isn’t guaranteed. If you’re dealing with stubborn paint, you may need a commercial solvent like PEC-12.

Many commercial solvents are toxic, so you’ll want to wear eye protection, gloves, and a face mask. Choose a product that’s safe for vinyl flooring and follow the manufacturer’s directions to remove the paint.

How to Get Dried Paint Off Vinyl Flooring

Here’s a step-by-step process for getting dried paint off vinyl flooring.

1. Use a Plastic Scraper to Loosen Dry Paint

Whether the dried paint is water-based or oil-based, the first step you’ll take is using a plastic scraper to loosen the paint. Start with gentle pressure, moving across the paint instead of pushing downward. That way, you’re less likely to damage the vinyl.

If you don’t have a scraper, you can try a spoon or a razor. Just be aware that damage to your flooring is more likely if you use a razor, so work carefully if you go that route.

2. Apply Mineral Spirits

In some cases, the scraper alone will tackle the paint on your vinyl flooring. However, if it doesn’t, you can still remove the paint. Apply some mineral spirits to a clean, dry cloth. Then, rub the rag over the paint.

Repeat the process several times. If the paint is coming up, you can continue until it’s all removed. Then, skip stepping four.

If the paint is stubborn, use some water and a clean rag to rinse the spot. Dry the area and move on to the next step.

3. Try an Acetone-Based Option

If the mineral spirits were ineffective, you could move on to an acetone-based remover. This can include a commercial paint remover or nail polish. Just make sure that the product contains acetone before you begin.

It’s also wise to test the acetone-based product on your vinyl, choosing an inconspicuous spot on your floor. Acetone may damage the vinyl. By doing the test, you can confirm it won’t harm your flooring before using it in a spot that isn’t hidden.

Add a small amount of the remover to a clean cloth. Then, wipe the area to remove the dry paint. Continue adding more remover and wiping until the paint is removed.

4. Clean the Floor with a Dish Soap Mix

Once the paint is removed, you want to clean the floor. Add a few drops of dish soap to a container of water. Give it a quick stir, and then dip a clean, dry cloth into the mix. Wipe the flooring to remove any remaining chemicals, repeating the dipping and wiping process as needed. Then, rinse the area with fresh water and dry the floor.

5. Address Stains with a Magic Eraser

If you’ve removed the paint and cleaned the floor, but there’s still a paint stain, a Magic Eraser may be able to remove it. Wet one side of the Magic Eraser and use gentle, circular motions to scrub the floor until the stain is gone. Then, clean the floor using the process from step four.

Conclusion

If you were wondering how to get paint off vinyl flooring, you likely have some solid options at this point. You just need to consider the paint type and whether it’s wet or dry, allowing you to choose a strategy that’ll meet your needs.

Did you find out all you wanted to know about how to get paint off vinyl flooring? If so, let us know in the comments below. Additionally, if you know someone who could benefit from the information above, make sure to share the article.