How to Remove Latex Paint From Stained Wood


Though you taped off and protected your work area while you were painting, the unthinkable happened -- a sneaky drop of latex paint penetrated your defenses and dried on your stained wood. Before you resign yourself to stripping and adding new stain to the entire piece of wood, check your cleaning supplies. Cleaning up after these little mistakes is possible in under an hour using items you might already have in your home. Rubbing alcohol will remove the pernicious paint from the wood without damaging the stained finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Solvent-resistant gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Painter's rags
  • Razor scraper
  • White terrycloth rag
  • Test an inconspicuous section of woodwork to ensure the rubbing alcohol will not damage the finish. Wearing gloves, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a painter's rag and rub it over part of the wood. If there is no color on your rag and the finish on the wood does not cloud or become milky, the rubbing alcohol is safe to use.

  • Apply the rubbing alcohol generously to the latex paint spots on your wood using a painter's rag. Ensure the latex paint stays moist, as rubbing alcohol evaporates swiftly.

  • Scrape the loosened paint from the wood with a razor scraper. Use small, swift strokes at a 45-degree angle to remove as much paint as possible without gouging the wood.

  • Scrub any remaining latex paint spots with the white terrycloth rag. If the paint proves difficult to remove, reapply the rubbing alcohol, then continue to scrub.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use caution when working with flammable solvents like rubbing alcohol.

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