How to Remove Paint From Stained Wood Trim

Remove paint drips by softening the paint and then scratching it away.
Remove paint drips by softening the paint and then scratching it away. (Image: paint image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Even with the most careful preparation, paint drips occur on wood trim or window frames during painting projects. Latex paint is easily removed while it's wet by rubbing it with a damp cloth. Remove fresh oil-based paints by applying a solvent wax cleaner to them. Once the paint has dried, though, it must be softened before removal. Use paint removers carefully to avoid removing the stain from the trim.

Things You'll Need

  • Formulated paint remover
  • Boiled linseed oil
  • Clean cloths

Minor Paint Spills

Apply a small amount of a formulated paint remover to a cloth.

Rub the stain lightly with the cloth to remove the paint, taking care not to damage the wood trim.

Wipe with a damp cloth to remove the paint remover solution.

Tough Paint Spots

Apply a small amount of boiled linseed oil to the spot, covering it completely.

Wait five to 10 minutes until the paint has softened.

Wipe it clean with a cloth dampened with boiled linseed oil.

Scrape off any remaining paint lightly with your fingernail.

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