Affordable, durable, and stain-resistant, laminate floors only continue to grow more popular even as decor trends come and go.
One notable downside, however, is that removing dried paint residue from laminate floor can be challenging. Like removing paint from a hardwood floor, you want to use caution so you don’t damage the flooring.
In this guide, learn how to get paint off laminate flooring, including which products and methods to use for both latex and oil-based paints without damaging your laminate floors.
Laminate flooring is exceptionally strong, so you have quite a few options when it comes to cleaning acrylic paints products that will effectively remove paint or get paint off laminate without damaging the laminate floor itself.
Although the following products are widely considered safe for laminate floor, always test products on an inconspicuous area first.
Also, be sure to thoroughly vacuum cleaner, so particles won’t scratch the laminate floor while you’re scrubbing the remaining paint away.
Paint Removers/Floor Degreaser
If homemade solutions don’t cut it, try an effective paint remover: apply, wait, and clean per package instructions, then clean the laminate floor with some degreaser. Repeat as needed until the dried paint is completely gone, then clean the area with warm water.
Ammonia Based Window Cleaner
Ammonia based window cleaner—in the right amounts and formulas—can safely and effectively clean laminate flooring.
Spray window cleaner onto the paint until it’s thoroughly saturated, let the window cleaner sit a while, then scrub. Repeat as needed. Follow up the window cleaner with acetone nail polish remover if needed, then wash with warm water.
It’s understandable if the idea of applying heat to your laminate floor makes you nervous, but most laminate floors can handle it just fine.
While a hairdryer might also work, a high-quality heat gun will give you better control over the surface area and temperature.
Keep the setting on low and aim the heat gun at the removing paint stains, sweeping back and forth in a steady, even motion.
Gradually, the paint will soften, so you can peel or scrape it up with a paint scraper, paper towel, plastic putty knife, tweezers, or other appropriate tools.
How To Get Water Based Paint (Latex) Off Laminate Flooring
Water based paints like latex are easy to clean up when wet: rather than solvent, the main liquid component in the formula is water.
This means you’ll need much milder products (if any) to clean it than when tackling oil-based or glossy formulas.
- 1Gather your materials
If the paint is wet, you may only need warm water and a rag or sponge to scrub and wipe up to remove paint spills. If the paint stain has dried, you’ll need the aforementioned DIY cleaning agent (all the cleaning agents: vinegar, rubbing denatured alcohol, water, and dish soap) or a latex paint remover or nail polish remover, clean water for rinsing, rags, or sponges for scrubbing, a paint scraper, and a dry soft cloth.
- 2Apply your cleaning solution
Allow it to sit for a few minutes, or per package instructions (if applicable).
- 3Scrub the paint
Use firm pressure and a back-and-forth motion until the paint begins to come up.
- 4Reapply the homemade solution, if needed
You can also use acetone nail polish remover at this stage, instead.
- 5Scrub some more
Repeat steps 2-4 until the paint is gone, or the remainder is soft enough to be peeled or scraped up.
- 6Rinse the area with clean water
Dry with the cloth, or allow it to air dry.
How To Get Oil-Based (Gloss) Paint Off Laminate Flooring
Oil based paints and primers don't contain the high water content of latex.
You need something strong enough to break down the oil in the paint, but which won't damage the laminate floor in the cleaning process.
If the paint is wet, some appropriate paint remover on a rag, followed by water to rinse the area, is often all you need.
Dried paint drip and paint spill are where the real work comes in because the advantage of oil-based or gloss paints is their durability: how strong they are once dry.
The longer the paint has sat there, the harder you might have to work.
Before you begin, gather your materials. These include turpentine or paint thinner, rags, wear protective gloves, and water.
If the paint has sat for a long time, it’s cured—hardened to its maximum durability—and might require scraping or a heat gun, as well.
Remember that turpentine and other paint removers give off strong fumes; keep the room well-ventilated during and after the paint removal process.
- 1Vacuum the area
A vacuum cleaner will keep debris from scraping your laminate floor as you work.
- 2Apply turpentine or paint thinner, also known as white spirits
Dab turpentine or other paint thinners directly onto the dried oil-based paint per the container instructions. Scrub with a rag until the paint is gone, then rinse with water.
- 3If some paint remains, try acetone
Nail polish is a lacquer, so anything that breaks it down will also work on many oil-based formulas. Dab the paint with acetone on a cotton ball or cotton swab, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse.
- 4For stubborn paint, soften with a heat gun and scrape
Use caution when handling the heat gun, and keep it on a low setting while you work.
- 5If all else fails, try sanding the paint off
This should be a last resort, when absolutely nothing else will remove paint from your laminate flooring. Work slowly and check your progress often to ensure you're only sanding the paint off—not accidentally scraping the top wear layer of the floor.
Can Dried Paint Damage Laminate Flooring?
Paint spill or dripped paint usually won’t cause any damage or stains to laminate, even if it’s left to dry for a while. The risk really comes from improper removal, which can damage the gloss or protective coating on the top of your laminate floor.
Some staining can occur when paint sits on laminate floors for a while, and is all the more noticeable if it’s a bright or dark color and the floor is light.
Fortunately, this stain is sitting on the surface of the laminate floors. While getting it out will be frustrating, very rarely is it impossible.
Removing Paint From Laminate Flooring FAQs
Will paint thinner ruin laminate flooring?
Usually, paint thinner and similar products will not harm laminate flooring if used sparingly and for a short amount of time.
Can you strip laminate furniture?
Yes, most laminate furniture can be stripped. In fact, a homemade cleaner (vinegar, water, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol) can act as an effective but safe paint stripper for most laminate pieces. If that doesn’t work, commercial paint strippers meant for laminate furniture can also be used; just be sure to follow the package directions.
How do you get latex paint off a linoleum floor?
To remove dried latex paint/water-based paint from linoleum, try mild cleansers and gradually increase their strength—for example, warm water alone, then warm water and dish soap, then a water-based cleanser, etc.—until you find what works best. You can also scrape the paint up gently with a scraper.
How do you get oil-based paint off a linoleum floor?
Oil-based paints will prove more challenging since you can't safely use paint thinners or turpentine on the linoleum. Soften the paint with a very small amount of rubbing alcohol, then scrub gently with steel wool and liquid wax until the paint is gone. Rinse the area and allow it to dry.
Laminate can hold up to a lot of damage and wear, including paint spill.
While it’s always best to get paint off laminate when it’s still wet, it is possible to remove dried paint without harming the floor itself during your home improvement projects.
Gentle but effective cleansers, heat guns, and scrapers are just a few methods you can try to quickly and safely get paint off your laminate flooring.