How to Get Paint Off Of the Vinyl Floor?

Learn how to clean your vinyl flooring easily without damaging the surface

Floor is that kind of surface that suffers most of all in our household. Splashes, splatters, dust and debris, and all sorts of scratches often turn even the most smooth and perfect floor into a mess.

And now imagine what it means to start painting projects indoors! Splashes of paint everywhere, including the floor.

And since vinyl is quite a common type of floor cover, people often want to know more about how to remove paint from vinyl floors effectively and without causing any harm to the surface.

Of course, vinyl is the type of material that is rather affordable, so it may seem to you that it’s not a big deal if you damage your flooring with paint. Who cares? You can always lay a new one!

Nevertheless, it is anyway better to fix the paint splatter rather than buying new vinyl flooring.

So today we are going to explain how this can be done. In particular, you will find out how it is possible to remove paint marks from your vinyl floor if the paint is still fresh and in case it has already dried.

Also, we will share several different methods with you so that you could opt for the most suitable one depending on whether the paint spill is fresh or dry.

Finally, we will tell you what cleaning remedies to make use of in order to get rid of the water-based and oil-based paint spills on your vinyl flooring.

How to Remove Paint From Vinyl Flooring?

There are several different methods that can be used for cleaning the paint mark from your vinyl flooring depending on whether that paint is still fresh or dry.

But typically, this type of material requires chemical cleaning products rather than homemade ones (even though DIY remedies can also be helpful!).

Vinyl flooring is very popular among many homeowners today both in cities and in the countryside. You can see this flooring in apartments and houses equally frequently. Why is it so widespread?

Well, this type of material is relatively cheap, which is definitely its major benefit! Also, vinyl comes in a wide variety of colors, styles, and texture options.

That means you can adjust your floor appearance to any interior design and color scheme which is also very handy. Finally, its water resistance and durability make vinyl flooring a great choice in comparison to hardwood floors and laminate flooring, for example.

However, vinyl materials are not immune to accidental spills, and paint is the worst of them.

Fortunately, there is good news, too. Removing paint from vinyl is not as hard as you think.

The key secret is to use the correct technique and the correct cleaning product for the job.

While other surfaces, such as linoleum and natural stone, are porous which is why they tend to absorb stains quickly, vinyl is non-porous.

As a result, you have more time to work at removing stubborn paint stains, no matter the type of paint.

As for removing paint from vinyl flooring, it can be done differently depending on whether the paint splatter is fresh or dry.

How to Remove Paint From Vinyl Flooring
via crello:amedeoemaja

How to Get Dry Paint Off the Vinyl Floor?

Cleaning dry paint off any surface is not an easy task. Once paint gets dry, especially if it is acrylic or oil-based paint, it turns into a hard-to-remove crust.

To get rid of it, you need to act very delicately, otherwise, there is a risk of damaging the surface.

So how to get dry paint off your vinyl floor harmlessly? Well, there are a few methods that will work just fine.

But generally, the most efficient way to get the old paint off the floor is to gently scrape it away from the surface.

Below, you can find several alternative solutions that will help you to free your vinyl floor from old and dry paint marks.

How to Get Dry Paint Off the Vinyl Floor
via crello: photonsk

Remove Dried Paint From Vinyl Flooring By Scraping

For this purpose, you will need to prep a plastic scraper, a putty knife, a razorblade, and a clean cloth.

By using the edge of a plastic scraper or putty knife, remove the dried paint blot first of all. If you do not have these tools at hand, a plastic spatula can work as a great substitute.

Just make sure that you hold the tool at an angle, then press the edge between the stain and the floor, and press forward gently to pull up the blot.

Work from the outside in and move around the stain until it is gone. Of course, after you remove the dried paint blot, there will be some leftovers. To clean away those remaining bits and crumbs, try using the edge of a razor blade.

However, be careful not to scratch and damage the floor!

When you are done with removing the dry paint, finish with wiping the area clean with a damp cloth. If you see that some bits of paint remain, get a sponge, wet it with warm water to make it soaked through, and squeeze out a drop of liquid dish soap on it.

Like this, the leftover paint can be easily rubbed away with the soapy sponge and then rinsed clean with water.

Remove Dried Paint From Vinyl Flooring By Scraping
via crello: Rangizzz

Opt For Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits is a liquid that is commonly used for cleaning paint brushes. It is also a frequent ingredient in many paint thinners.

This liquid is derived from petroleum (most often) and works well to remove dried paint or spray paint off vinyl tiles and floors in particular.

So if you stick to this cleaning option, get ready first. Prepare mineral spirits, water, dish soap, soft and clean cloth, and a sponge. Pour some of the product on a cloth and rub the paint blot moving in small and circular motions.

By the way, those of you who prefer using a more environment-friendly solvent may consider using turpentine!

Continue cleaning the stain until you see that all the paint splatter is completely removed.

Once this step is done, get a sponge, wet it with warm water, apply one or two drops of dish soap to the floor, and clean away the paint residue.

Use Nail Polish Remover

This liquid that ladies use for removing the nail polish from their fingernails can also be helpful for dealing with dry paint stains. You will just need some product, cotton balls, and a clean cloth!

Pour some fingernail polish remover onto a cotton ball and rub the area of your vinyl floor that was stained with paint. When the old cotton ball gets too dirty, change it for a new one and add more acetone.

Keep on working on the stain until all of the paint is gone. Finish with wiping the area clean with damp paper towels or wash it with soapy water to remove leftover residue.

What About Magic Eraser?

Why not? This tool is very handy, and if you can’t make use of any methods described above, consider this one as an alternative option.

By the way, this is anyway a handy stuff to have in your household since a Magic Eraser is able to cope with almost everything, from mold and grime to permanent marker!

  • In your case, you need to get one side of the Magic Eraser wet and rub that section over the dried paint.
  • Use a circular motion to scrub the surface gently until all of the stain is gone.
  • Get a paper towel damp then, and clean the floor surface to remove leftover residue.

So, as you can see, coping with dry paint on vinyl flooring is pretty simple.

Naturally, if you have a fresh blot on your floor, removing it will be even easier since the paint has not yet managed to penetrate the surface and settle there.

magic eraser

How to Clean Wet Paint Off Vinyl Floor?

Just like with cleaning the dry paint off, getting wet paint off the vinyl floor can be done in several different ways using distinct cleaning chemicals.

Of course, the most obvious and the simplest option is to just wipe that paint blot away using a paper towel and clean the area with a wet cloth to remove any paint traces.

But if the blot is somewhat stubborn and it won’t go away so easily, don’t hesitate to make use of harsher methods!

How to Clean Wet Paint Off Vinyl Floor
via crello: Wassiliy

Soapy Water

This is not only the best way to clean your vinyl floor because soapy water acts very delicately to the surface and yet cleans effectively.

Water based paints, such as acrylic and latex paint, can also be easily removed using warm water and regular dish soap.

  • Here is how to clean paint off the vinyl floor if the paint has a water base.
  • Get some warm water, your regular dish soap, a bucket, and a clean rag.
  • Fill a bucket (or any large container) with warm water, add a bit of dish detergent into the water, and swirl it to make a mildly soapy solution.
  • One this is done, dunk a rag into the cleaning mixture and wring out the excess water.
  • Now you only need to clean the stain on the floor with the rag!

We suggest you work from the outside in for better results. Rinse the cloth and dunk it back in the soapy water as needed until you remove all of the paint.

Soapy Water
via crello:ANRiPhoto

Rubbing Alcohol

For this method, you will only need some rubbing alcohol and a cloth (or a clean rag, as an option).

  1. All you need to do is to press a rag or a cloth over the open bottle of rubbing alcohol and flip the container over to soak the cloth.
  2. Press it on the stain for about ten minutes to dissolve the paint, and rub it over the area to remove the stain.
  3. Repeat the steps using a fresh part of the cloth, or use a new one at all, and add more rubbing alcohol if needed.
  4. Work on the paint mark until you see that all the paint stain is removed.
  5. Wash the area with some soapy water and dry it with a towel.

Liquid Wax

We know what you think: what?! Liquid wax? Yes, that’s right. One of the top ways to remove paint from vinyl flooring if it’s dry is to use liquid wax.

  1. Many hardware stores and car shops carry this product, and it loosens the paint for easy removal.
  2. Dip a piece of superfine steel wool into a tub of liquid wax and rub the paint area lightly using small, circular motions.
  3. Try not to press too hard, but use enough force to remove the paint.
  4. Wipe the area clean with a warm, damp cloth and repeat the steps if any paint remains.
Liquid Wax
via crello

Commercial Solvent

Not all the paint stains can be easily removed by just wiping them away. For dealing with the really stubborn ones, try using a commercial solvent (for example, PEC-12 will be just fine) to clean paint off the vinyl floors.

These types of solvents are highly effective at removing stains, however, they are also toxic, so caution is necessary!

This is why, before you start working with them, prepare goggles, protective gloves, and a respiratory mask for yourself.

And make sure that the room you are going to use the chemical in is well ventilated during the process!

It’s funny but the actual cleaning process is way simpler than all the preparations for it! In order to clean a paint mark with a commercial solvent, apply a small amount of PEC-12 to a cotton ball and blot the paint stain.

Use fresh cotton as needed until the paint is gone. Finish by cleaning the area thoroughly with a damp cloth.

These were all the methods that are typically used for removing the wet paint traces from vinyl flooring.

As you can see, getting rid of paint, both dry and wet, from your vinyl floor is actually not a big deal.

With a bit of time and effort, and with the use of the right tools and products, you will manage to effortlessly cope with even the most stubborn paint splatters without causing any damage to the surface of the floor!

Removing Different Types Of Paint From Vinyl Flooring

You might think that it is enough to know what tools and cleaning chemicals to use in order to clean the paint splatter from vinyl flooring. However, this is not all that you will require for being successful at that.

In addition, it is essential to be aware of the type of paint that you are dealing with. Simply because water based and oil based paints should be removed differently.

Removing Different Types Of Paint From Vinyl Flooring
via crello: fotokostic

How to Remove Water Based Paint From Vinyl Flooring

To begin with, we find it necessary to remind you that water-based paint contains filler, binder, and pigments, all dissolved in water.

The most common examples of such paints include latex paint and acrylic paint and each of them can easily be cleaned off the vinyl floor in just a few simple steps.

Remove Excessive Paint

Using dry, soft clothing, wipe up as much of the paint as possible. If there is too much of it, try covering it with shredded paper first.

The paper will help absorb the paint, and later it can be easier for you to wipe it off.

Wipe Off The Rest Of The Paint With A Wet Towel

Once you have removed the excess, dip a clean towel in water, squeeze it, and remove the remaining spilled paint.

Rub the towel over the paint spot until you remove most of that paint. Note that you could also use damp paper towels for this step.

Use A Solution Of Water And Mild Detergent

Put clean water in a bucket and add a few drops of mild detergent. Next, soak a soft cloth in the solution, then rub it over the blemished spot.

Use Alcohol If the Paint Won’t Come Off

If the paint is still there even after cleaning with detergent, try rubbing with alcohol. Pour several drops of rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub the spillage gently.

If it does not work, place the cloth over the stain and let it sit for about ten minutes. Then, rub again and rinse.

Note that sometimes the stain may not completely come off on the first attempt. In such a situation, do not be afraid to repeat the process until all the paint is gone.

Just make sure you are not using alcohol all the time, as you could end up bleaching the floor. Use water and mild detergent instead.

How to Remove Oil Based Paint From Vinyl Floor Surface?

When cleaning the oil based stain of paint, the sequence of actions will be more or less the same. Only the tools may vary.

How to Remove Oil Based Paint from Vinyl FloorsHow to Remove Oil Based Paint from Vinyl Floors

Remove the Excess Paint

The first thing you need to do is wipe up the excess spillage with a clean cloth. Simply dip the cloth in clean water and scoop up and wipe the paint.

Do this until no more paint can be removed with the clothing.

Apply Rubbing Alcohol

After most of the paint is gone, pour rubbing alcohol onto a fresh piece of clothing, and place it on the stained area.

If the spot is large, you may need to use multiple pieces.

Wait for about ten minutes for the alcohol in the clothing to work, then wipe everything off with a cloth dipped in clean water.

Clean It With Mild Soap

After you have removed the paint, prepare a solution of water and mild soap and use it to clean the area.

You can use a clean cloth or mop to rub over the spot. Once done, allow the area to dry, then apply a thin coat of wax to bring back its shine.

With these tips and recommendations, you will easily clean your vinyl floor from paint even if the spillage is dry.

Make sure you follow the regulations precisely, and your vinyl flooring will not get damaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can oil based paint be washed off vinyl with only water?

If the paint is still wet, then yes, but you will not wash it off completely. You still need to use rubbing alcohol or paint thinner.

⭐Is vinyl floor and linoleum floor the same thing?

No, they are different. Vinyl is an artificial material whilst linoleum is made of natural fibers.

Written by Melinda Sherween
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Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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