How to Remove Paint From Vinyl Flooring? (4 Methods)

Having paint stains on your vinyl floor can make the floor unsightly. So how do you remove paint from a vinyl floor?

If it’s a fresh paint stain, sprinkle baking powder on the fresh paint and leave for a few minutes. The baking soda will absorb the fresh paint stain and you can wipe the spot after to get rid of the baking soda and paint stain.

If the paint has dried on the vinyl floor, you’ll need to dissolve it with acetone or rubbing alcohol for a few minutes. After, you can wipe and clean the vinyl floor with a clean rag. You should stay away from harsh chemicals and acids as these products can fade the vinyl floor.

This post reveals more about removing paint from vinyl flooring including several products and methods that work. Let’s dive in.

How To Know What Type Of Paint You Have On Your Vinyl Floor?

How To Know What Type Of Paint You Have On Your Vinyl Floor?

To know what type of paint is on the vinyl floor, you need to wipe the paint with a damp rag. If the paint color comes off on the rag, it means that the paint is water-based. These include latex, acrylic, chalk, milk, and other flat paints.

If the paint color doesn’t come off on the rag, it means that the paint on the vinyl floor is oil-based – unlike water-based paint, oil-based stains don’t react to water so the paint will not come off.

Water-based paints are water-soluble so if you wipe the paint with a damp rag and the paint color comes off, it means the paint is water-based, usually latex paint.

Oil-based paints on the other hand don’t react to water – so if you wipe the paint with a damp rag and it doesn’t come off, it means the paint is oil-based.

If you notice that the paint is shiny, it also means that it’s oil-based. Oil-based paints have a high amount of gloss which creates a shiny appearance. Water-based paints don’t shine because the paints are usually flat – flat paints have very low gloss.

How To Remove Water-Based Paint From Vinyl Floors?

Removing water-based paint stains from vinyl flooring is pretty easy because water-based paints are water-soluble. This guide will show you how to remove fresh and dried water-based paints from your vinyl flooring including the tools and supplies that you’ll need each step of the way.

Here are the two easiest ways to remove water-based paints from vinyl flooring:

1. Wash The Paint Off – (For Fresh Water-Based Paint Stains)

Wash The Paint Off

The best time to remove water-based paint from vinyl is when the paint is still fresh. At this stage, the paint is still wet and can be easily wiped off. For this method, you’ll need these:

  • Rags
  • Dish soap
  • A bucket of water
  • A waterproof bag
  • A foam sponge
  • A mop

Here is the guide for that:

  1. Wipe as much of the wet paint as you can off of the vinyl floor with a rag
  2. Put the wiped paint in a waterproof bag
  3. Mix dish soap in a bowl of water – use little dish soap
  4. Dip a foam sponge in the soap mixture and squeeze so the sponge is damp
  5. Use the damp sponge to scrub the affected spot on the vinyl floor – scrub gently
  6. Wipe the vinyl floor with a clean dry rag to remove the soap residue.
  7. Leave the vinyl flooring to dry.

Next, let’s check out how to remove dried water-based paint from a vinyl floor.

2. Use Rubbing Alcohol To Dissolve The Paint – (For Dried Water-Based Paint Stains)

Use Rubbing Alcohol To Dissolve The Paint

To remove dried water-based paint, you’ll need to dissolve or liquefy the paint using a solvent like rubbing alcohol. You can also use mineral spirits or acetone for this. When the dried paint is exposed to the solvent, it will dissolve and turn liquid and you can wipe it off. For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A bottle of rubbing alcohol
  • Clean rags
  • A plastic putty knife
  • A waterproof bag
  • A mop

Here is the guide for that:

  1. Pour some rubbing alcohol on a clean rag
  2. Use the rag to dab the paint stain on the vinyl floor repeatedly
  3. Wait for the paint to bubble or lift from the floor and use a plastic putty knife to scrape it off – scrapped paint should be put in a waterproof bag
  4. Apply rubbing alcohol on the leftover paint and wipe again
  5. Use a mop to wipe the vinyl floor and leave it to dry.

Next, let’s find out how to remove oil-based paint from vinyl flooring.

How To Remove Oil-Based Paint From Vinyl Floors?

Removing oil-based paint from vinyl flooring is often difficult because oil-based paints are thicker and they dry harder. However, this guide will reveal how to remove fresh and dry oil-based paint from a vinyl floor.

1. Absorb The Paint With Baking Soda – For Wet Oil-Based Paint

Absorb The Paint With Baking Soda – For Wet Oil-Based Paint

Your best bet to remove oil-based paint stain is to do so while the paint is wet and can be absorbed using baking soda. For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A clean rag
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A vacuum or broom

Here is the guide for that:

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the paint – since the paint is fresh/wet, the baking soda powder will absorb the paint stain
  2. After a few minutes, vacuum or sweep the baking soda off the floor – doing so will remove the absorbed paint too
  3. Mix some more baking soda in a bowl of water – not too thick
  4. Soak a rag in the baking soda solution and squeeze
  5. Use the damp rag to wipe and clean the vinyl floor – this will remove leftover paint
  6. After a few minutes, wipe the floor with a soft microfiber mop and leave it to dry.

Let’s check out how to remove dried oil-based stains from wood:

2. Use Acetone To Dissolve The Paint

Use Acetone To Dissolve The Paint

When oil-based paint has dried on your vinyl floor, it becomes impossible to just wipe it off except you dissolve the paint first. For this guide, we’ll be using acetone to dissolve the dried oil-based paint. Acetone is a natural paint remover and will dissolve the oil-based paint in minutes. For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A bottle of acetone
  • A putty knife
  • Clean rags
  • Dish soap
  • A bucket of water
  • A foam sponge
  • A waterproof bag

Here is the guide for that:

  1. Apply acetone to the paint with a rag
  2. When the paint is dissolved, scrape it off with a putty knife
  3. Wipe the vinyl floor with acetone to remove leftover paint
  4. The removed paint should be put in a waterproof bag
  5. Prep soap mixture by mixing little dish soap with water
  6. Wash the vinyl floor with the soap mixture and wipe the floor with a mop to clean the floor
  7. Allow the floor to dry

Other Products You Can Use To Remove Paint From Vinyl

Vinegar

Vinegar powder can be used to absorb wet paint stains on vinyl flooring. You can also mix vinegar with water to dissolve dried paint stain. However, you need to use vinegar with caution since the product contains acids that can fade a vinyl floor is used carelessly.

Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits can remove fresh and small paint stains from a vinyl floor. To do this, you just have to wipe the paint stain with a rag soaked in mineral spirits. If the paint has dried, mineral spirits alone will not remove it. You’ll also need to scrub with a foam sponge or steel wool to remove the dried paint.

White spirits, mineral spirits, and turpentine are all petroleum-based solvents meaning that these solvents can’t remove multiple coats of paint from a vinyl floor alone, especially if the paint has dried.

Mineral spirits can only be used to soften the paint before using steel wool or a sanding pad to remove the paint stain. However, if the paint stain is still wet, you can remove it with mineral spirits or turpentine.

Goo Gone

Goo Gone can remove small and fresh water-based paints from a vinyl flooring but it can’t remove dried paint, especially oil-based dried paint. This is because goo gone is a cleaning agent and as such is paint-friendly.

Goo Gone is a cleaning agent designed to remove goo, slime, and sticky messes from different surfaces. The cleaner can remove wet or fresh paint stains since it’s a cleaner but it struggles with removing dried paint.

Magic Eraser

Magic eraser can’t remove coats of paint but it can remove small paint stains. If you notice small stains on your vinyl floor after painting an item, you can remove these paint stains with a magic eraser.

However, if you are trying to remove coats or layers of paint from a vinyl floor, you’ll need something stronger than a magic eraser.

Paint Thinner

A paint thinner can remove paint from vinyl flooring but you shouldn’t use it because paint thinner can easily fade a vinyl floor. Paint thinner is a solvent-based paint remover and as such using it wrongly can cause damage to a vinyl floor.

If you are to remove paint from a vinyl floor using paint thinner, you should test it on a small area first to see how the vinyl flooring reacts.

Pro-Tips To Remember When Removing Paint From A Vinyl Floor

The following expert tips will help you remove paint quicker and safer:

  1. Wear protective gear (goggles, gloves, and a face mask) when working with chemicals
  2. Don’t scrape dried paint off of a vinyl floor without dissolving the paint first – this prevents scratch marks on the vinyl floor
  3. Don’t walk on or drag items over the vinyl floor till it’s dry
  4. Limit the amount of water you use while cleaning the vinyl floor – vinyl planks are not water-friendly
  5. Don’t use aggressive and heavy cleaning equipment on the vinyl floor to prevent buckling or broken vinyl planks
  6. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  7. Cover the vinyl flooring with a drop sheet when painting to prevent stains from dropping on the floor. This way, you wouldn’t even need to worry about removing paint stains.

Final Words

In summary, you can remove paint either water-based or oil-based from your vinyl flooring by using any of the methods above.

Remember not to use harsh chemicals on vinyl because the chemicals can etch the vinyl floor very quickly. It’s also not recommended to scrape or scratch dried paint off of a vinyl floor to prevent scratch marks and dents on the floor.

Finally, ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while working with solvents and chemicals. For more helpful tips like this, check out other posts on this website.

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