How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Wood? (7 Methods)

Maybe you accidentally spilled acrylic paint on your woodwork or you have grown tired of the acrylic finish and now you want to remove it. Here is how to remove acrylic paint from wood:

You can remove wet acrylic paint from wood by wiping off the paint with a rag, warm water, and some dish soap. If the paint has dried, you’ll need to sand the woodwork with 150-grit and 220-grit sandpaper to remove the acrylic paint.

You can also remove dried acrylic paint from wood by using an alcohol-based solvent like acetone. If you want to remove multiple coats of acrylic paint from a large surface like a wood floor, you’ll need a power sander or denatured alcohol.

This post reveals 5 effective ways to remove acrylic paint from wood including some household items that work. Let’s dive in.

Can You Remove Acrylic Paint From Wood Without Sanding?

You can remove acrylic paint from wood without sanding. To do this, you’ll need to remove the acrylic paint using an alternative method. Asides from sanding, you can remove acrylic paint from wood with a paint stripper, solvent, or homemade mix.

Any of these products will remove the acrylic paint from wood and you wouldn’t need to sand it. However, you should know that sanding is often the best method to remove acrylic paint from wood because sanding removes the acrylic paint and smoothens the wood after.

However, sanding isn’t the only method to remove acrylic paint from wood. If you don’t want to sand, you can dissolve the acrylic paint with a solvent like acetone and remove it after.

You can also strip the acrylic paint off using a chemical or water-based paint stripper. If it’s a small acrylic paint stain, you can remove it using a homemade mix like vinegar, dish soap, or baking soda.

So, sanding isn’t the only way to remove acrylic paint from wood. Talking about the ways to remove acrylic paint from wood, let’s check 5 methods that work.

How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Wood?

Removing acrylic paint either stains or multiple coats from wood is not difficult. You just need to have the right tools and follow the right steps. Here are the top 5 methods for removing acrylic paint from wood:

  1. Wash the acrylic paint off with warm water and dish soap
  2. Dissolve the acrylic paint with a solvent or homemade mix
  3. Sand the acrylic paint off of the wood
  4. Use a paint stripper to remove the mix
  5. Boil the paint off of the wood using a hairdryer or heater

This guide will show you how these methods work when to use them, and the tools you’ll need for each method.

1. Wash The Acrylic Paint Off The Wood

Wash The Acrylic Paint Off The Wood

You should only use this method for acrylic paint stains on wood. This method will not work for removing an acrylic finish or multiple coats of acrylic paint.

So, if you spot specks of acrylic paint on your wood floor after finishing an item, this is the method to use. But, if you want to remove an old acrylic finish from wood, try another method on this list.

The idea here is to wash the acrylic paint off of the wood. Since it’s a small paint stain, it can be dissolved and removed with a warm soap mixture. Here are the tools and supplies you’ll need for this method:

  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • A soft sponge or microfiber cloth
  • A clean bowl or bucket
  • A plastic putty knife or scraper

Here is how to remove acrylic paint stains with a soap mixture:

  1. Mix some dish soap in a bowl of warm water.
  2. Sprinkle the soap mixture on the acrylic paint stains and let it soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to scrub the paint off of the wood.
  4. Repeat the steps above for leftover paint stains.
  5. Wipe the wood with a clean rag and leave it to dry.

2. Dissolve The Acrylic Paint

Dissolve The Acrylic Paint

The next method on our list is to dissolve the acrylic paint. You should use this method when dealing with larger acrylic paint stains on wood.

This method also works for removing dried old acrylic paint. The idea here is to use a solvent or mix to dissolve the dried acrylic paint for a few minutes. When the acrylic paint is dissolved, it can be wiped or scraped off the wood. Here are the tools you’ll need for this method:

  • An alcohol-based solvent – Acetone is a good choice
  • Vinegar or baking soda
  • A plastic putty knife
  • A soft sponge
  • Rags

Here is how to dissolve and remove acrylic paint from wood:

  1. Wipe the acrylic paint with a rag to remove dust and filth.
  2. Pour some acetone into a clean bowl and soak a rag in the bowl – If you don’t have acetone, you can use a mix of vinegar or baking soda and warm water.
  3. Use the damp rag to apply the mix or solvent to the acrylic paint and leave for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, use a soft sponge to scrub the paint off of the wood.
  5. Repeat the steps for leftover acrylic paint.
  6. Wipe the wood with a clean rag and leave it to dry.

3. Sand The Acrylic Paint Off

Sand The Acrylic Paint Off

The next method for removing acrylic paint is sanding. You should use this method to remove multiple acrylic paint stains and acrylic finishes.

The idea here is to use sandpaper to gradually wear off the acrylic paint from the wood. The best part about this method is that it removes the paint and makes the wood smooth.

For this method, you need:

  • Sandpaper of different grits
  • A vacuum or duster
  • A power sander (if you are working on a large surface)

Here is how to remove acrylic paint by sanding:

  1. Use 150-grit sandpaper to sand the acrylic paint off of the wood.
  2. Vacuum the dust on the wood and sand again with 180-grit sandpaper.
  3. When the acrylic paint is off, finish off the wood with 220-grit sandpaper to smoothen the wood.
  4. Vacuum the dust, wipe the wood, and apply a new finish if needed.

4. Use Paint Stripper

Use Paint Stripper

You can also remove acrylic paint with a paint stripper. This method works for removing multiple coats of acrylic paint from wood.

This method is the best when you want to remove an existing acrylic paint finish. The idea here is to dissolve and absorb the acrylic paint with a water-based or chemical-based paint stripper. When the striper gets dry, you can pull or scrape it off and the acrylic paint will come off too.

Here are the tools and supplies that you’ll need for this method:

  • A paint stripper
  • A putty knife
  • Rags
  • Paintbrushes
  • Mineral spirits

Here is how to strip acrylic paint off of wood:

  1. Wipe the acrylic paint with a rag to remove dust.
  2. Prep the paint stripper based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Apply thick coats of the paint stripper on the acrylic paint and leave for 20 minutes – you can use a paintbrush to apply the stripper.
  4. When the paint striper is dry, remove it with a paint scrapper – the acrylic paint will come off with it.
  5. Repeat the steps for leftover acrylic paint.
  6. When the acrylic paint has been removed, wipe down the wood with a clean rag and some mineral spirits. This helps to neutralize the paint stripper residue.

5. Boil The Acrylic Paint

Boil The Acrylic Paint

The final method to remove acrylic paint from wood is to boil the paint off the wood. You should only use this method when working on a large acrylic paint stain or finish.

The idea here is to expose the acrylic paint coating to heat for a few seconds. The heat will boil and melt the acrylic paint causing it to bubble and peel off the wood.

This method should be used carefully and under supervision, because it can damage the wood or cause injuries. For this method, you’ll need:

  • A hairdryer, heater, or heat gun
  • Rags
  • A paint scraper

Here is how to boil acrylic paint off of wood:

  1. Plug-in and power on the hairdryer, heater, or heat gun.
  2. Set the heat between 100 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Hover the heater across the acrylic paint for 10 seconds at intervals.
  4. Increase the heat by 50 degrees.
  5. Inspect the wood to see if the acrylic paint is bubbling – do this regularly so you don’t burn the wood.
  6. When the acrylic paint has bubbled, you can wipe or scrape it off.
  7. Sprinkle water on the wood so it cools.
  8. Leave the wood to dry.

How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Wood Floor?

There are two ways to remove acrylic paint from a wood floor. The method you’ll use depends on the size and type of acrylic paint you are dealing with. Here are two effective ways to remove acrylic paint from a wood floor:

1. You Can Use Denatured Alcohol For Acrylic Paint Stains

If you want to remove acrylic paint stains that splashed or dropped on your wood floor, you can use this method. It works great for removing wet and dried acrylic paint stains from wood.

The idea here is to dissolve the paint with denatured alcohol and wipe it off before moping the floor to finish off.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A bottle of denatured alcohol
  • Rags
  • A clean plastic bowl
  • Mild detergent
  • A mop
  • A bucket of warm water

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Pour some denatured alcohol into a bowl.
  2. Soak a rag in the bowl and use the damp rag to dab the acrylic paint stains.
  3. Leave the stains for a few minutes to be dissolved.
  4. Scrape off the dissolved acrylic paint from the wood floor.
  5. Mop the floor with mild detergent and water.
  6. Leave the wood floor to dry.

Now, let’s see how to remove an acrylic finish from the floor.

2. Use A Random Orbital Sander To Remove An Acrylic Paint Finish From Wood Floor

This method is to remove acrylic paint finish from a wood floor. The idea here is to use a power sander to wear the acrylic finish off of the wood floor. Other paint removal methods will also work but there will be problems.

For instance, if you try to dissolve the acrylic finish using acetone, you’ll need so many bottles of acetone to cover the entire floor – This will lead to an increase in cost. Asides from this, using that much acetone indoors is not a great idea. So, sanding is better.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • 150-220 grit sandpaper
  • A random orbital sander
  • A vacuum
  • A face mask

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Sweep or vacuum the wood floor to remove dirt and grime.
  2. Attach 150-grit sandpaper to the random orbital sander.
  3. Open all doors, windows, and vents for ventilation.
  4. Put on a face mask so you don’t inhale dust – you can also wear earplugs if you have sensitive hearing as sanders can be noisy.
  5. Start sanding the acrylic finish with 150-grit sandpaper.
  6. Remove dust and sand again with 180-grit sandpaper.
  7. When the entire finish is off, finish the wood with 220-grit sandpaper.
  8. Vacuum the floor and leave it to settle.

Tip: Don’t put force or pressure on the power sander while removing the acrylic finish or you’ll gouge the wood.

Final Words

In summary, removing acrylic paint from wood is easy when you know the method to use and the steps to follow. The methods explained above will remove acrylic paint from any wood surface including furniture, doors, trims, and walls.

To remove acrylic paint from a floor, you should use a chemical-based paint stripper or denatured alcohol. Finally, ensure to neutralize the wood after using solvents and chemicals to remove the acrylic paint. This prevents discoloration and wood damage.

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