How To Get Paint Off Laminate Flooring Without Damaging It

How To Get Paint Off Laminate Floors With Simple Solutions

Dec 16, 2021
It is not your fault when paint spills and splatters happen. But sometimes, the stains can go unnoticed for a very long time and dry completely before they come to your attention.

Luckily, you have plenty of options when you need to learn how to get paint off laminate floors. Laminate floors are generally durable and can resist scratches and stains better.

There are certainly some cautions, but the removal should not take too much effort. Knowing how to get paint off laminate floors will make them look brand new and spotless again. Let's see what you can utilize and have a try.

How To Remove Paint From Laminate Floors

Dish Soap

Read the label of your paint. If it's water-based, dish soap and water can lift it from your laminate floors.

In many cases, it is the best way to get paint off laminate floors. This solution is also a safe choice that is worth trying before you count on any harsh method.

Find a paper towel, add a drop of dish soap, and rub it against the paint drip. Wet the stain entirely with your paper towel so it can come off easier. Rub it back and forth with your full strength for a few minutes.

Deal with the paint on laminate floors as soon as possible. It's much simpler to remove when it hasn't dried yet. Add more soap and water if the paint has become too dry.

Dish soap can be helpful

Dish soap can be helpful

Scrape It

You can wait for the paint to dry and harden completely before scraping it on the edge. Any tool can be used, from a credit card to a plastic ruler. Avoid metal tools though as they can scratch your laminate flooring. Small paint drips will come off easily and leave no trace behind with minimal effort.

Use your vacuum (like the best laminate floor cleaner machine or the best mop for vinyl floors we have recommended) to clean the floor first so no debris or dirt can scratch it. Wipe it with a dust mop, too, to remove any remaining small particles or dust that your vacuum couldn't pick up.

For larger spots, you may need a bigger plastic tool as your scraper or use more strength to remove them. Angle your tool against the biggest edge of the paint stain and tap it sharply. Apply gentle pressure to peel it off the floor.

Plastic tools should not damage your floor because they will bend before penetrating the finish.

A simple solution like this will work in most cases before you need to know how to clean paint off laminate flooring with other methods.

The dried paint will come off right away with no evidence it was once there. But you may also need to clean up some residue ground into the finish of your laminate flooring. Try some methods below to get it off completely.

A Homemade Cleaner

Sometimes you can mix a few things available in your house to create a solution effective in removing paint from laminate floors.

Use a vacuum and dust mop to get rid of all debris and dirt that can damage and scratch your floors.

Mix rubbing alcohol, water, and white vinegar in equal parts in a small bucket. Then add a few drops of dish soap to this solution and mix every together with a spoon until you see soap suds.

The paint can be emulsified by soap and become easier to rub off, while alcohol and vinegar can dissolve the paint for removal. This mixture works best with oil-based paint and is easy to make.

Find a cloth rag and dip it in the bucket. Wring the cloth and scrub your laminate floors with it back and forth steadily.

Rinse the cloth in the bucket and scrub the paint mark again until you can't remove any more paint. Let the floor dry completely.

Remember not to pour this solution directly onto your floors. You won't want these ingredients to seep through the joints and swell the floorboards.

Nail Polish Remover

You can try a nail polish remover

You can try a nail polish remover

Acetone nail polish remover can get the paint off your laminate floor without damaging it. Try this if the methods above don't work.

Apply some of it into a soft cloth. Dab the cloth into the paint spot on your floor and leave the nail polish remover there for about five minutes so it can do its job.

Use another cloth and warm water to wash off the remover. Use tweezers to pull any paint that has been loosened by the removal.

Repeat this applying and washing off steps until you don't see any paint left on the floor. It might not be quite effective the first time, but you may see the results the second or third time. If nail polish remover doesn't work at all and the stubborn paint is still there, follow the next method below.

Clean the floor normally to clean up everything.

Denatured Alcohol

Wet the paint stain with denatured alcohol with a cloth. You can find this solvent online or at your local hardware store.

Let the alcohol sit there for a few minutes so it can absorb into the paint. Don't rush, or the denatured alcohol can't soak into the paint spot and break it up.

Try to scrub the paint off in a back and forth motion with a brush. Apply some pressure into the brush so its bristles can cover the entire paint stain.

If there is any remaining paint on your laminate floors, rub it off with a cloth and denatured alcohol.

Use a paper towel to remove the excess denatured alcohol and let the floor air-dry completely. Throw the paper towel and the cloth away.

Note: be extra careful when working with denatured alcohol. It's highly flammable, so don't put the cloth near open fires.

Wear protective clothing and gloves if you have them. Avoid any unnecessary contact with denatured alcohol, especially with your eyes.

Don't mix denatured alcohol with any ingredients or chemicals, as violent reactions may happen.

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Cleansing Pads

Buy alcohol cleansing pads designed for acne treatment. They consist of some acids that can break down paint.

Scrub at the paint stain with a single pad. Apply some pressure and replace it with a fresh one whenever it gets dried out or covered too much in the paint. Keep scrubbing and replacing pads until you have lifted the paint off your laminate flooring.

Window Cleaners

Ammonia is one of the most common ingredients used in window cleaners. It is known for the ability to break down and cut through common paint types, such as sulfur. This makes ammonia-based window cleaners a solid option you can try at home when other methods don't work.

Window cleaner

Window cleaner

Clean the laminate floor thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner (like the Shark DuoClean UV810) and a dust mop to make sure there is no debris or small particles left to damage it.

Make sure your room is well-ventilated. Spray a window cleaner into a small test spot first to see whether the solution can damage the floor.

If there is no sign of damage, apply it to the paint stain. Let it sit there for a few minutes so the cleaner can soak into the paint.

Later, scrub the stain with a soft brush or a rag until you can't remove any more paint. Don't use a hard-bristled brush, or you may damage your laminate floors.

Use nail polish remover to get rid of any paint residue. Rinse and clean the floor with warm water. Use a cloth rag to wash it off, then let it air-dry completely before use.

Paint Removers

Buy a paint remover for laminate floors from your local home improvement or hardware store.

Remove dirt and debris from the paint stain. Apply the paint remover directly to it with a swab or a cotton ball. Try not to spill the remover onto the surrounding areas of your laminate floors.

Wait for a few minutes to allow the paint remover to soak into the stain and break down the paint.

After about 15 minutes, use a paper towel or cloth rag to wipe away the broken down paint and its residue.

If the area is slippery or greasy, use water and mild soap to clean it and remove slip hazards. Allow the floor to air dry before use.

Paint Thinners

A paint thinner is designed for removing paint aggressively and can certainly work. You can find it easily in a paint or hardware store.

But your laminate floor is also at great risk of getting damaged, while these strong chemicals can pose some serious health hazards too.

Like how to get paint off vinyl flooring, only rely on this method as a last resort. Use paint thinners with caution and avoid it altogether if the paint is water-based.

Make sure the area is well-ventilated as the fume of paint thinners can be dangerous to breathe. Open any available windows and turn on a box fan near an open window if you have one.

Soak a cloth rag with paint thinner. Use a minimal amount. If you can't stand the smell of common paint thinners, opt for mineral spirits - a similar product with 100% petroleum distillates and no additives.

Rub the stain with the rag you have soaked in paint thinner. Apply some pressure and rub the cloth in a back and forth motion.

When the cloth dries out, apply more solvent and keep rubbing until the paint is gone entirely.

Use the clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue on your laminate floors.

Tips On Removing Paint From Laminate Flooring

Follow these recommendations to make paint removal as painless as possible:

  • Wear protective gear when needed.
  • Deal with the stains immediately when you realize them.
  • Avoid touching any cleansing and removal products. Don't let them come into contact with your eyes.
  • Prepare all the necessary equipment before removing the stains.
  • Learn how to shine laminate floors too if you want to erase every possible trace of paint stains.

How To Protect Laminate Floors When Painting

Splatters and spills are undoubtedly not a fun part of painting walls above laminate floors. But the thing is, they are inevitable and you will have to find a way to deal with them no matter what.

When mess-free painting isn't possible, it is better to protect your laminate floors from the paint instead of cleaning the stains later.

In addition to keeping the spills to a minimum, make sure that you cover your flooring as much as possible. You don’t need to learn how to get paint off laminate flooring if there is no paint stain in the first place.

Plenty of floor-covering options can work. Just choose one or two methods that you can get on your hand with minimal effort.


This is probably the most traditional way to deal with paint spills, especially if you happen to have a lot of old newspapers in your house.

Protect the floor with newspaper

Protect the floor with newspaper

They cost almost nothing and can be used if you are in a hurry. It is easy to maneuver and arrange newspaper pages around a floor. When they get messy, you can just replace them with new pages and carry on painting.

Using plenty of newspaper as a thin pad can allow the paint to soak through and stain your laminate floors.


Old cardboard boxes are another great DIY choice for floor protection. Lay each box flat on your laminate floors. After arranging, you can fix their positions with tape.

Cardbox is thicker than newspaper and can handle more paint before it soaks through. However, you still need to check the floor underneath frequently after every heavy spill.

You can comfortably walk on cardboard as it isn't slippery. In the areas where you are more likely to spill paint, use two or more cardboard layers.

Plastic Sheeting

You can find plastic sheeting for painting at most paint stores. They come in several shapes and forms, usually catering to particular items and furniture in the household.

These sheets are lightweight, cheap, and easy to use. They have many sizes and can be disposed of easily after painting. Most of them are see-through too, which can come in handy if you need to cover your windows or light bulbs as well.

But plastic sheets aren't the most durable covers out there. They tear easily, which can let the paint through if you don't notice.

Additionally, walking on slippery plastic covers while painting can be dangerous. You may slide on them like walking on wet ice and injure yourself. For this reason, the best place to use plastic sheeting is light-traffic areas of your laminate floors.

Canvas Drop Cloths

Drop cloths made from canvas are what many professional painters use to protect the below floors and other items from splatters. They cost more but the surface is not slippery, making them a perfect choice for heavy-traffic areas.

Canvas drop cloths

Canvas drop cloths

Despite the higher price tags, canvas drop cloths make sense from the value point of view as well. You can reuse them as many times as you want.

However, remember that canvas is not totally paint-proof. These drop cloths can resist only light paint. Big spills can soak through them and stain the floors underneath. If heavy splatters happen, check the floor immediately.


It is normal for paint spills and drips to happen on your laminate floors. This can cause big troubles, but it is not the end of the world if you notice the issue quickly and have a suitable method to deal with it.

Learning how to get paint off laminate floors before carrying out the actual painting will prepare you with the right knowledge about this common problem. Follow some simple steps, and you can wipe the stains off your floors quickly and safely.

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