How to Remove Oil Based Paint From Wood Floors

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Clean paint stains from your wood floor as soon as you notice them.
Clean paint stains from your wood floor as soon as you notice them. (Image: wood image by Marvin Gerste from Fotolia.com)

Keeping your wood floors looking like new requires constant care and maintenance. Most of the time this involves simply sweeping and spot-washing the floor. Heavy maintenance will be required, however, if you drop certain stain-causing substances, such as oil-based paint, on your wood floor. Oil-based paint cannot simply be removed with soap and water. Instead, you’ll need to use mild abrasives that will be tough enough to get rid of the paint without hurting the floor or its finish. Always test a cleaning method on a small and inconspicuous area of your floor and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Toothpick
  • Credit card
  • Superfine steel wool

Remove as much of the paint as possible from the wood floor with a lightly dampened paper towel.

Run a toothpick between the center of wood floorboards to remove any paint that has seeped there.

Remove as much of the paint as possible with the edge of a plastic credit card. Do not use any metal or sharp tools to scrape the floor as this will likely cause scratches.

Moisten a piece of superfine steel wool if the paint stain is still visible.

Rub the paint stain with the superfine steel wool until it is completely gone. This grade of steel wool is very fine and will be unable to remove your floor’s finish.

Wipe the area with a damp paper towel to remove any paint flakes.

Dry the area completely with a paper towel.

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