How to Get Paint Off a Wood Floor, Laminate Floor or Vinyl (Quick Guide)

Got a paint spill? In this quick guide, we explain how to get paint off a wood floor, laminate or vinyl, for both WET and DRIED paint spills.


Painting for the purpose of space makeovers, post-construction, and even for just a simple activity to do with friends and family on a weekend or vacation day is something fun and creative to look forward to.

It is all good and fun, but things can change and take their toll when paint spills all over the floors of our work environment, homes, or space.

Here we present a step-by-step guide for how to get paint off a wood floor (including hardwood floors), how to get paint off laminate floors or how to get paint off vinyl floors.

Just a reminder: Never panic. Take it one at a time and follow these steps.


How to Get Wet Paint Off Floors Fast

Do you have a wet paint spill that needs cleaning up asap? Follow these steps.

How to Get WET Paint off a Wood Floor

  1. ACT NOW: Make sure to attend to the fresh paint spill immediately, as wet paint that is freshly spilled is easier to remove than the dry ones. Do not hesitate.
  2. BLOT THE PAINT: Whether the paint is oil-based or water-based, start by blotting away the spilled wet paint. Use a rag or paper towel, and do not rub the area. If you have a large spill, you can use a scraper to carefully scoop up the wet paint. Aim to lift the wet paint up and off the surface, rather than try to rub or wipe it off.
  3. WATER & DETERGENT: Simply use warm water and a mild dish detergent on it, and that should do the trick. The use of a surface-safe paint remover can be used as well, making sure to choose the right type for your paint (eg solvents for oil-based paint). If using paint removers, check the details to ensure it won’t damage the floor surface, particularly in the case of solvents.
  4. DRY & VACUUM: Lastly, let the area dry and vacuum the surface that was once spilled on.

How to Get WET Paint off Laminate Floors

  1. STOP & THINK: Not all laminate floors are made equal. Read through these steps, taking into consideration your own laminate floor, and make sure the techniques and solution will not damage your floor. If you are concerned, try the gentler method for wood floors instead.
  2. BLOT THE PAINT: Like with the steps on removing paint from wood floors above, blot away the majority of the paint spill with rags or paper towel.
  3. WATER + ALCOHOL + VINEGAR + DISH SOAP: Natural products can be a safe option to remove wet paint in laminate flooring. Mix equal parts of water, ethanol alcohol and vinegar, then add a few drops of dish soap to the solution. Stir well.
  4. APPLY & WIPE: Cover the surface with the solution above. Wipe thoroughly and check if more is needed. Repeat the process until wet paint is wholly dissolved and lifted from the laminated floor surface.
  5. DRY: Dry the surface with a towel or cloth. Keep in mind that some laminate floors are very sensitive to water, so it is a good idea not to leave the floor wet for very long to avoid potential swelling and warping of your floor (an even bigger issue you don’t want to deal with).

How to Get WET Paint Off Vinyl Floors

  1. GATHER SUPPLIES: Gather together a clean cloth or paper towels, shredded newspaper, and some rubbing alcohol. Prepare a mild soap and water mixture. Gloves and a sturdy piece of scrap cardboard or scraper may also come in handy, as well as a bin nearby.
  2. MOP UP THE PAINT: Immediately wipe the surface covered in paint with a cloth or paper towels. If the spill is large, cover it with shredded papers to mop up the paint, then lift up the entire mess and drop it into the bin. Sliding some cardboard or a scraper underneath the mass may help pick it up. Wipe away as much of the paint as possible.
  3. WATER CLEAN-UP: Moisten a cloth or paper towel with the water and soap mixture, then wipe away the rest of the paint from the vinyl flooring. Repeat until the desired outcome is achieved.
  4. ALCOHOL CLEAN-UP: Lastly, add ample alcohol in the area with the spilled paint and wipe. This will pick up any remaining paint residue.

If after drying you find there is still traces of paint on the floor, then proceed down to the steps for getting dried paint off a floor.

How to Remove Dried Paint from Floors

Now, this is a more tedious and dreadful part. Dried paint stuck on a surface when the paint was spilled can be tricky and requires more work. But fear not, it is possible, with these steps.

How to Get DRIED Paint off a Wood Floor

  1. With a blow dryer or a heat gun, try to heat up the paint that dried out to make the job easier. However, a regular hair dryer does not really get hot enough to remove paint properly. Instead, a heat gun designed for removing paint such as one of these is most effective and also relatively affordable (you can get a good one for under $40).
  2. Once the surface is heated, get a scraper and start to gently scrape off the dried paint on the surface it is on.
  3. Using mineral spirits that are wood safe in chemicals, gently rub the newly scraped wood floor, making sure to not cause too much damage.

Instead of mineral spirits, you can try using Isopropyl Alcohol and Lemon Juice to soften the dried paint spill. Acetone (nail polish remover) is also very effective at removing small paint spills, but it is very harsh and can damage surfaces, so be careful with it.

How to Get DRIED Paint off Laminate Floors

  1. Get some acetone nail polish. This is not just for nails! It is very effective at removing almost any paint, and can be used for getting paint off laminate floors too.
  2. Gently apply the acetone to the surface of the dried paint to soften it, then leave it there for a few minutes to dissolve the paint.
  3. Wipe off the paint using a damp or dry cloth. Try and try again until the paint is entirely off of the surface.

How to Get DRIED Paint off Vinyl Floors

  1. Try scraping the paint carefully, and use a little bit of water to soften or loosen it.
  2. Using dish soap, gently scrub over the dried paint spill.
  3. Repeat the process until the desired outcome is achieved.
  4. If you are not seeing results, try the steps for removing paint off a laminate floor.

Products for Getting Paint off Wood Floors, Laminate or Vinyl

Apart from DIY hacks and techniques, these products are worthy of being mentioned in helping remove and eliminate paint stains easily.

Heat Gun

Heat guns are great for paint removal

A heat gun is a versatile and useful tool for paint removal, as well as other DIY jobs around the home. The idea being that you apply heat to the paint using the gun, which loosens it enough for you to remove with a scraper. Heat guns are also surprisingly affordable. If you’re interested, take a look at our article on the best affordable heat guns for paint removal where we review the best models for under $40 that we’ve found.

Dumond Chemicals Peel Away Paint Remover

This Peel Away paint remover is just one of many of Dumond Chemicals long line of paint removal products. According to Dumond, it can be used in removing up to 32 layers of paint in just one coat. It is best suited to heavy-duty paint spills and removal, intended for commercial spaces or big building renovations, rather than cleaning up minor spills. Although it is a good product for removing paint, a special peel away paper such as this one from Dumond is needed to use it properly, and not just any ordinary ones can be used.

Sunnyside Corporation Ready-Strip Paint Removal Spray

Ready Strip spray is water-based yet surprisingly good at removing paint residue from surfaces like wood, brick, plaster, and concrete flooring. Not bad for a water based product, considering a solvent is usually needed to remove hardcore paint stains. To remove paint, simply spray the paint-covered surface then gently scrub the paint away. Of course, you’ll want to make sure it’s a surface that won’t be damaged by a bit of scrubbing, first.

Goof Off Paint Splatter Remover for Hardwoods

Goof Off is probably the most famous and best paint remover for household use, although it is a little pricier than comparable products. Goof Off paint remover for hardwood floors is specifically designed for getting dried paint off wooden floors, without causing too much damage. It is very effective. Too effective perhaps, as I discovered when I placed it on a nice lacquered table, not realizing that some of the product had dripped down the side of the bottle; a couple of hours later, there’s a mark on the table where the Goof Off has eaten through the lacquer. Not happy about that, but to be fair the Goof Off did the job, it was just my own stupidity that put it in the wrong place! Since it uses strong chemicals (in small amounts) to remove paint, it poses a bit of a health and safety hazard. Make sure to wear some protective gear when using this.

Wrap Up

With all the techniques shared here, it is best to weigh the situation first and list down the pros and cons of what the method can lead to. While paint spills may lead to a feeling of panic or dread, in most cases, a combination of hacks and trusted brands can get the job done.


  • Sara Kooring

    Hi, I’m Sara, co-owner of NestKoo. I’m trained as a fine artist and I love being close to nature. My main area of specialty in NestKoo is DIY house painting, where I bring my skills in fine art painting and contemporary design together into a practical home DIY context.

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