Home Improvement

How To Remove Paint Stains

Painting can be a messy project if it’s not handled properly. Drips and accidental paint spills can do major damage to flooring, clothing, furniture and even skin. As a general rule, you want to clean up a paint spill as soon as it happens. Unfortunately, this can’t always be done, and a dried paint stain must be dealt with. This guide explains the two most common types of paint used in house-hold applications, and the best methods to remove them.

Types of House-hold Paints

Before you handle a paint stain, you’ll need to understand the type of paint that caused the stain.

Oil Paint:  Oil-based paints are typically used for exterior applications because they grip the surface that they are covering better than a latex paint would. Oil paints take more time to dry than other types of paints due to the additives, sometimes as long as 24 hours. These additives give the paint a glossier finish, but make it very difficult to remove.

Water-/Latex-Based Paint:  Water-based paints are best for interior applications. This type of paint dries rather quickly because the moisture in it evaporates. While water-based paints aren’t as durable or as shiny as other paints, they are very easy to clean up after. Typically, only soap and water are required to do the job. Latex paints tend to last longer than other paints, having a better resistance to cracking and a better color retention.

Paint Removal

Oil Paint Removal: Oil based paint is difficult to remove from a surface, but it’s not impossible. Normally, the use of chemicals is required. Turpentine, acetone, kerosene, and other varieties of chemical paint thinners do a decent job of removing oil paint, but they can also strip the surface of its original color, particularly in clothing. Test the surface you’re trying to remove the paint from prior to emptying a container of paint stripper on it.

Once you’ve purchased a chemical paint remover (which you’ll find available in pastes, liquids, sprays, and other forms).

  • If the oil paint landed on a wood surface, sand off as much of the paint as you can, then use the paint stripper to remove the rest.
  • If the oil paint landed on a carpeted surface, you can try pulling as much of the excess paint out first , then using the paint thinner to remove the rest.
  • To remove oil paints from the skin, wash with soap and water first. If that doesn’t remove the paint completely, use baby oil, a combination of olive oil and salt, a homemade sugar scrub, or even mayonnaise to gently strip paint from your skin.

To make the job even easier, heat up the oil paint on whatever the surface may be, then scrape what melts off. Finish the job with the chemical paint remover of your choosing.

Always remember to wear protection when using chemical strippers to avoid any health-related issues.

Latex Paint Removal:  Luckily, there are a few ways to clean up a latex paint spill. If the paint spill is still wet on any kind of surface, soap and water will usually remove it.

  • To take latex paint off of most surfaces, remove as much of the paint from the surface first, then use the soapy mixture to gently dab the surface clean. If the paint is on clothing, soak it in water first and then machine wash regularly.
  • If the latex paint has dried on a surface, scrape as much of the dried paint off. Use pliers, putty knife, or another type of scraping device, taking care to avoid scratching the surface. Then, soak the area with a mixture of water and dish soap, scrubbing after a few minutes to begin removing the caked on paint.

If you’re struggling to remove latex paint with soap and water, you can find water-based latex paint removal products in a home improvement store. These solutions are mixed with water and then blotted on the paint stain. When you’re shopping, check the type of remover before you make a purchase – there are a variety of options available specifically designed to work on certain surfaces.

Remember, paint stains are preventable! Trust experts, like those at Richmond painters, to tackle your interior or exterior painting project mess free.