How to Remove Paint from Laminate Floor

Published on:
Last Update:
How to Remove Paint from Laminate Floor

It’s not uncommon to accidentally spill paint onto the floor while undertaking remodeling projects for other parts of the house- such as the walls and the kitchen cabinets. If you have a laminate floor, such paint spills and drops can be easily wiped off the surface before it cures. But how can I remove dried paint spill from my laminate floor without damaging it?

You can get rid of wet paint by rubbing it off with a soft cloth and mineral water. For dried paint, you can wipe it off with a microfiber cloth with alcohol, vinegar, acetone, or commercial paint removers. You may also scarp it off with a plastic paint remover tool.

In this article, I’ll guide you on what to do if you want to strip off cured paint off your laminate floorboards.

Will dried paint damage laminate flooring?

Dried paint doesn’t directly cause damage to your laminate flooring, as this type of flooring boasts great stain-resistance capabilities. However, once the paint dries up, stripping it off can be quite a headache. You can damage the laminate flooring in attempts to remove dried paint off the floor surface using inappropriate methods.

Removing dry paint from laminate floor

How to get paint off laminate flooring

Use Denatured Alcohol

You can easily find a 500-ml bottle of denatured alcohol at your local store for $17-$20 dollars. Remember, though, that this is a pretty harsh paint remover/cleaning solution that shouldn’t be used directly on laminate surfaces. Using concentrated denatured alcohol will cause your laminate surface to appear faded.

Instead, dilute the solution by mixing one part of denatured alcohol with one part of water. This solution will still be strong enough to strip the dried paint off the laminate surface, but mild enough to prevent discoloration of the floor surface.

When using diluted denatured alcohol to remove dried paint from laminate flooring, it’s advisable to test it out first on a small section of the stained section. If there’s no damage to the laminate surface, you can proceed to use it on the rest of the sections with dried paint.

Also, when using a denatured alcohol solution, don’t let it sit on the laminate surface for too long. About 20 seconds after spraying the solution on the floor, wipe it (together with the stripped paint residue) off the laminate surface with a dry piece of cloth.

Use a Commercial Paint Remover

Commercial paint removers are great at stripping off paint from laminate surfaces without damaging either the finish on the laminate or the laminate itself. Commercial paint strippers usually leave behind paint residue, so you’ll have to clean up your floor with a vacuum cleaner after application.

When purchasing a paint stain removing product, it’s important to consider whether it’s effective on laminate surfaces. You can find this out by going through online customer reviews on sites like Amazon or checking the manufacturer’s website for such information. Fortunately, some commercial paint strippers are specifically formulated for use on laminate surfaces.

Another thing that you may need to factor in when buying a commercial paint remover for your laminate floor is whether the paint stripper is listed as pet-friendly. Some paint removal products have scents that are too strong for pets.

Use Vinegar and Soap Water Solution

If you’re working on a budget and can’t buy a commercial paint remover at the moment, a homemade cleaner and paint removing solution will suffice. Simply mix equal parts white vinegar and water- followed by a few drops of dish soap and stir the solution.

Then, dip a piece of cloth into the solution, wring it, and repeatedly wipe down the sections of the laminate flooring with dried paint. Never apply the solution directly onto the paint, as this increases the chances of damage to the laminate floorboards.

This method is especially great at stripping off water-based paints off laminate surfaces. For oil-based paints, you should add rubbing alcohol into the mixture. The vinegar and rubbing alcohol will break down the water-based and oil-based paints, while the dish soap will facilitate paint emulsification for easier removal when wiping off the residue.

Use an Ammonia-based Window Cleaner

Ammonia-based window cleaners are also great at stripping off old paint and stains from laminate surfaces. However, they also have the potential to cause damage to the laminate surface itself. You should- therefore- test it on a small portion of the stained surface before proceeding to spray it onto the rest of the stained area. After spraying, let the window cleaner soak into the paint before wiping off the residue with a dry piece of cloth.

Use a Plastic Scrapping Tool

If the paint hasn’t cured for too long, there are chances you may be able to remove it using a plastic scraping tool such as a plastic putty knife. Avoid using a metal scraper, as it will damage the finish on your laminate surface. If you can’t find any plastic scrapping tool around the house, a good alternative is a stiff-bristled brush. The bristles work to scrap the dried paint off the laminate floorboards, after which you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the residue off the floor surface.

Use Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits are also effective at stripping paint off laminate floor planks, but due to their highly reactive nature, they should be reserved for the most stubborn of stains/ very dry paint that has cured for days. You can also reduce the strength of mineral spirits by mixing with water in a ratio of 1:1. This will reduce the chances of damage to your laminate flooring.

Use Acetone or Nail Polish Remover

Just like mineral spirits, acetone and nail polish remover (which contains acetone) readily react with the compounds found on laminate flooring as well as various finishes used on laminate surfaces. They should- therefore- only be used as a last-resort solution for the removal of stubborn, old paint when all the aforementioned methods fail to work.

Acetone reacts with polyurethane finishes and bicarbonate, causing damage to laminate surfaces. This can leave your floor looking unsightly. To safely use acetone or acetone-based products such as nail polish remover on laminate flooring, mix the product with water and test it out on a small section to see if it removes the paint without deforming the laminate planks.

Will white spirit paint thinner damage laminate flooring?

White spirit Paint thinner is not recommended for removing paint from laminate flooring- as it will most likely discolor the laminate surface. Paint thinners typically contain various chemical ingredients that are highly reactive and will abrade the surface of your laminate flooring.

What’s more, laminate flooring planks feature melamine resin construction. It’s the formaldehyde and adhesives in the melamine resin that reacts with the chemicals in the paint thinner to permanently deform the laminate surface.

Keep in mind that using white spirit paint thinner will not only damage your laminate surface but is also not safe for human health. As the formaldehyde and adhesives react with the paint thinner chemicals, they evaporate and lower your room’s air quality. The airborne chemical compounds can trigger respiratory problems in both humans and pets.

Photo of author


Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

Leave a Comment