How to Remove Dried Paint from Floor, Wood, Plastic, and others

how to remove dried paint

There are different ways to remove paint, alkyd paint, and acrylic paint from various surfaces. This can be plastic, wood, or clothing, as well as tiles or glass. Below you can read from which surface you can remove the paint, what you should pay attention to, and how you can do this. But first of all: How can you remove dried paint?

Tips: Scrape paint from smooth surfaces such as mirrors, tiles, or glass with a paint scraper. In the washing machine, you can remove dried paint from clothing with water or white spirit. You can also remove paint from plastic with paint with a stripper, wood, or other hard materials.

There is more to getting rid of dried paint. It is a job with porous materials to get that off again. With hard, smooth surfaces, it is almost no art.

If you use paint dissolvers with alkyd paint, it is advisable to use the right paint dissolvers for the suitable surface. You must therefore know whether you have used water-based or oil-based paint. That makes a big difference when removing paint from any surface.

Why do you need to Remove dried paint?

If you have spilled paint, it is important that you remove it as soon as possible. But yes, when you are busy, you do not always immediately notice that you have spilled on clothing, the floor, or the wall. You’re left with a blob of dried paint you know you need to remove later.

In many cases, this is possible, especially when the surface is not porous. It can sometimes be a thing with clothing, especially when it has dried completely.

You can still manage with water-based paint, but this becomes very difficult with turpentine-based paint.

There is also work to be done with porous walls. Once the paint has set into the wall and has dried, you will need to take the time to remove this paint.

It makes a big difference, removing dried paint on a water or white spirit basis.

Removing Dried Turpentine-Based Paint

When you have a dried blob of turpentine-based paint, it is good to know what surface you have to choose a paint stripper. Not all paint strippers can be used on all substrates.

Always read the instruction on which stripper you have at home and whether you can use it for the surface from which you now want to remove dried paint! It may be different that the surface will discolor, dissolve or react differently than you had thought and wanted.

Read and follow the instructions on the paint stripper package to remove the dried paint. It’s aggressive stuff.

You can also try using benzene, acetone, or nail polish remover on this paint to remove it from all materials (except natural stone). Try a corner of the cloth and see how the material reacts after being treated with the solvent. There are also real professional resources for wood, stone, clothing, and the like if you want to go safe.

Remove Dried Water-Based Paint

You can usually remove the dried water-based paint with a cloth and warm water. Let the paint soak for a while by placing a cloth with warm water on the paint spot and then removing it by rubbing.

If that doesn’t work immediately, you can use soapy water with washing-up liquid. You can only try using a scouring pad if the surface is not soft. So wood, for example, can get scratches when you go over it with a scouring pad. And usually, that is not necessary when you want to remove dried water-based paint.

How to Remove Dried Paint From Clothes

The question to start with, before removing dried paint from clothing, is what paint you used. The paint is water-based or turpentine-based.

To remove water-based paint:

Did you get water-based paint, so acrylic-based, on your clothes? Then you should try to remove this blob of paint as quickly as possible. The sooner you take it off, the easier it is to remove.

  • Run the garment with (almost) dried paint under the tap.
  • Rub the paint out of the garment as best you can.
  • Then throw the garment in the washing machine and wash it according to the instructions on the label. So don’t wash the garment any hotter because you want to get the paint out, because then your garment can shrink and it will be of no use to you!

Remove paint based on turpentine

It is difficult to remove if you have spilled turpentine-based paint on your clothing and it has dried. You can try to dissolve the paint with white spirit. It depends on the clothing materials, whether you will get it out or not.

  • Try to dissolve the paint with turpentine and remove it from the clothing as quickly as possible. The sooner you start that, the better. (You can try a corner and see how the fabric reacts, but a dollop of dried paint will probably make the garment unwearable anyway)
  • Wash the clothes alone, in the washing machine. Do not do this with other clothing. They will ‘certainly’ smell like turpentine…

How to remove old paint from wood

You can ‘just’ remove a dollop of a dried water-based paint with a cloth and warm water, possibly with a washing-up liquid or all-purpose cleaner.

  • Make soapy water with warm water and loosen the paint again.
  • Scrape the paint off the wood with a scraper or scouring pad.

This is different from paint based on turpentine (alkyd). Use a solvent or paint stripper for a blob of paint that has dried and spilled onto the wood.

If you want to get rid of paint from an entire wooden plank, wall, or furniture, a paint scraper and a paint hair dryer are good solutions.

  • Hold the paint dryer 10 inches from the wood.
  • Heat the paint until it starts to peel.
  • Scrape off the still warm paint with a paint scraper. Be careful not to blow dry in one spot for too long. Wood can burn naturally.

Also readHow to Stain wood

Removing Dried Paint From Tiles

If you want to get rid of dried paint from glazed tiles, you can easily do this with a paint scraper or putty knife. 

Turpentine-based paint :

  • You can use white spirit or white spirit to dissolve the paint, but you can also try scratching the dried paint off the tiles first.
  • Hold the putty knife or paint scraper straight on the surface so there are no scratches or grooves.
  • Scratch the paint from the surface.

Water-based paint :

  • Soak the stain off with warm water.
  • Remove the paint with a cloth.
  • You can remove the remaining edges with a paint scraper.

Natural stone tiles:

There are natural stone types that are very porous. This natural stone, when not processed, absorbs quite a bit of liquid material. This is difficult to remove from the natural stone. So always ensure that the floor is protected when you start working with paint.

Unfortunately, an accident is just around the corner! Never use a stripper or vinegar for natural stone unless you have inquired whether your beautiful natural stone wall or floor can withstand it.

Ask your natural stone dealer which product you can best use for your natural stone type. There is quite a difference. You can try to remove the paint with acetone, paint stripper, or nail polish remover at your own risk, but that is really at your own risk if you have not asked!

Removing Old Paint Residue From Glass

Try scratching the paint off the glass with a paint or glass scraper. This is the quickest and usually the easiest when you have dried paint on glass. You can also use a paint remover that dissolves turpentine-based paint. Then you can easily remove the stain with a (paint) scraper. remove dried paint from the glass

  • Wet a cloth with white spirit and soak the paint, so it becomes dissolved.
  • Now scrape the paint off the glass with a paint scraper. Note: Glass can get scratched, so do it carefully and with care!

Removing Old Paint From Plastic

You can remove old paint residues with a paint scraper. You can use solvents, but some plastics can’t stand the solvent or stripper. It can deform or dissolve.

  • Scratch the old paint with a paint scraper. You will most likely get this off easily.
  • For residual stains, you can remove them with a little bit of rubbing alcohol or acetone on a cotton swab.
  • You can also try sanding it with fine-grit sandpaper initially. Be careful as this can scratch the plastic.

You have now read several methods to remove dried paint from different materials. Good luck with removing the old dried paint!

Disclaimer: On this page, various “tips and tricks” are discussed on different ways to remove dried paint from plastic, clothes, wood, floor, etc. Applying one of these methods and following the recommendations is entirely at your own risk.

About Christian

I am passionate about indoor and outdoor design, woodworking projects, painting, plastering, cleaning after jobs, wallpapering techniques, and helping others. I appreciate doing the research required for my job to keep my articles relevant and engaging, so everyone can benefit from them.

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