How to Get Paint off Laminate Floor [Water & Oil-Based Paint]

Even the best-made home is subject to wear and tear. After a few years, you start noticing dings here, a dent over there, and the paint fades with time. Fortunately, you can solve this with a fresh coat of paint and minor home improvement initiatives.

But, even minor home renovations can live untold damage, especially on your pristine laminate floors. So, you may need to learn how to get paint off laminate floor. You can hire a professional or search for the best commercial paint removal products to get the job done.

Did you know you could avoid all that? It sounds farfetched, but you can get rid of paint on laminate floor with the household cleaning available in your pantry. That’s right! Vinegar, nail polish remover, and rubbing alcohol are a few solvents that effectively dissolve and remove dried paint.

Some people have no faith in such homemade paint removal solutions. That’s why we hope to demystify the science behind paint removal and show that it’s possible without the need for industrial-strength commercial-grade cleaning products. You also don’t need an experienced cleaning crew –You can make it alone! 

Have you scoured the most obscure parts of the internet for the best paint removal techniques? Your search ends here, relax, sit back and take notes as we show you how to get paint off the laminate floor.

how to remove paint from laminate flooring

How Hard is it to Remove Paint off Laminate Flooring?

Kids throughout the generation (and even some adults) practice the 5-second rule. That is, you have 5 seconds to pick food off the floor so you can eat it. Well, house painters have a 10-second rule –You get 10 seconds to clean a paint spill before it dries.

The 5-second rule is flawed and goes against science and basic hygiene standards. However, the 10-second rule is a logical approach to pre-empting a significant problem.

It would be best to have a rag and a solvent (water or turpentine) to wipe off wet paint. However, this is easier said than done once the paint dries. This is especially true with uncoated floors and other surfaces that may need unique cleaning products.

However, it’s easier than most people think regarding laminate flooring, especially super hard laminates. Such a laminate coat acts as a barrier against seepage. This means you get a harder layer of latex or acrylic paint that can easily peel off with a putty knife.

In the next section, we’ll go over how to do this without stripping the laminate coating from your precious floors.

How to Get Water Based Paint off Laminate Floors

Water-based paints are easier to remove from laminate floors. Such products are also easier to work with as their paint fumes are less toxic to the user and the environment. But, what makes the care is the ease with which you can remove such paint from various surface.

Step 1: Initial Clean Up

Before starting the process, make sure your surfaces are clean by removing any debris and water from the floor using a broom or vacuum cleaner.

Step 2: Prepare Clean-Up Solution

The solution is relatively easy to prepare. You will need to mix equal portions of the white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water in a container. Then add a few drops of the dish soap to the solution once done.

You can put the solution in a bottle sprayer for easier handling.

Step 3: The Paint Removal Process

Sprinkle the solution directly on the paint spill or splashes and give it a few minutes to absorb.

Then you can use your cleaning rug to rub the area where you applied the solution gently.

If required, you can repeat the process, but generally, this should remove any water-based paint stain from your laminate floor.

Step 4: Clean the Floor

now you can clean up your laminate floors, using your day-to-day tools to get that spick and span-new look on your floors.

Other Remedies that Remove Water-based Paints

Dish Soap Detergent Solution

A simple homemade solution with the following ingredients can work wonders in cleaning up your paint-stained laminate floors.


  • A cleaning rag
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup White vinegar
  • 1 Cup Rubbing alcohol
  • 2 tablespoons Dish Soap Detergent
  • Gloves
  • Bottle sprayer or bucket

Combine all the ingredients and pour them into a bottle sprayer for this method. Then mist the solution over the paint-stained areas of the floor. Allow it to rest before using the rug to clean off the paint stain. You can also use a bucket by combining all the solutions in the bucket. Then pour the solution into paint stain areas, allow to sit, and then clean with the rag to the desired effect.

Rubbing Alcohol

Amazon Brand - Solimo 99% Isopropyl Alcohol For Technical Use,16 Fl Oz

Rubbing alcohol offers a practical and straightforward way to get paint off laminate floors.

It has a high alcohol content that can clear up all stubborn dried-up paint stains from laminate floors. You can also use it to remove paint stains from clothes.

Soak the rag with a trickle of rubbing alcohol, then rub it over the paint spill. Let the solution sit for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate the stain. Then rub it off.

Then, wipe out the rubbing alcohol and paint with a clean cloth and cold water.


Heinz All Natural Distilled White Vinegar with 5% Acidity, 1 gal Jug

Vinegar’s basic qualities make it ideal for neutralizing harsh chemicals. Hence you need to be cautious as too much vinegar in cleaning paint spills can damage laminate floors.

Vinegar can be used on its own or mixed up with baking soda. A mixture of one gallon of water mixed with a cup of vinegar. The mixture can then be applied to the paint stain using a cloth or mop.

As always, the solution should be allowed to absorb into the stain to work out the stain before cleaning up.

How to get Oil-based Paint for Laminate Floor?

Once done with your paint job, you can use a damp rag to wipe off any splashes and spills before they fully dry off. This will make your cleanup work that much easier. After about 15 minutes, you should consider other cleaning alternatives to clear up the mess.

There are different solutions and approaches to removing oil-based paint stains. But, it’s good to generally start using gentle solutions to test out the outcome before applying it to the whole floor plan. Though laminate floors are strong, they still need all the care to keep them that way.

Step 1: Ensure There Is Proper Ventilation

Before starting the cleanup process, ensure that your windows and doors are open to allow proper ventilation. A homemade cleaning solution should only be used when the cleanup area is well ventilated.

Step 2: Clear the Laminate Floor of All Debris

Use a broom or a vacuum to clear up any debris and dust from the floor before starting the process.

This prevents dust particles from scraping and scratching your floors, and the homemade cleaning solution will work more effectively without the element of dust particles.

Step 3: Try Peeling off the Paint

You can use your putty knife to check if someone can easily lift off the paint. Once dry, some spills can just easily peel off the floor. This helps reduce the cleanup process.

Step 4: Apply the solution to the floor

With the water sprayer, splash the cleaning solution on the floor if you are sure the top surface of the laminate floor is waterproof. Otherwise, soak the cleaning rag in your cleaning solution and use it by rubbing it over the stain.

Step 5: Let the Solution Sit for a While

You can allow the solution to sit and penetrate the stain for around five minutes. This will work to loosen the stains of its grip on the laminate floor.

Step 6: Rub the Stain

Use a clean, soft brush or a clean damp rag to rub the stain off the floor.

Tweezers can also come in handy to pick up any bits of loose paint from the floor.

Carry on rubbing or scrubbing the floor till you get the desired effect.

Step 7: Repeat the Process

If there are still remnants of paint left on the floor, you can repeat the process.

You can also choose a different, more robust cleaning solution to avoid disappointment this time around.

Step 8: Final Cleanup

Satisfied with the cleanup of paint. Use clean water and a rag to clean up the floor and allow it to air dry.

Your floors should look good and clean.

Other Remedies that Remove Oil-based Paints

You can apply multiple solutions to remove oil-based paint stains. The requirements are different, but the cleaning process is the same.

For each cleaning method, we will look into the requirements needed to create the solution and apply the below step-by-step guide for each cleaning solution.

Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Mia Secret Nail Polish Remover, 100% Pure Acetone, 4 Fl. Oz. Safe and Gentle Cuticle Remover Liquid, Quick and Effective Formula, For Natural, Acrylic, and Sculptured Nails,

Acetone found in nail polish remover is a compound used widely as a paint thinner and could come in handy at home due to its chemical action.

The great thing is that this solution requires no mixing and can be used directly on the surface using a clean cloth. Allow the compound to soak for 10 minutes. The process helps to easily separate the paint from the floor and reduce the cleanup time.


Household Ammonia Solution, 500mL - The Curated Chemical Collection

If using acetone doesn’t leave your floors in the desired effect. Try ammonia which contains alkaline.

This solution can break down sulfur and other more potent chemicals, hence its use as an ingredient in a homemade cleaning solution.

Apply the solution to the floor by spraying it and allowing it to sit and soak for a few minutes.

Dip the cleaning cloth in a little warm water before starting the rubbing process on the floor.

You can use the soft brush on areas with more prominent paint stains.

Paint Remover

Sunnyside Corporation 68532 Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover, Quart Trigger Spray, Assorted, 32 Fl Oz

What can you do if nail polish remover and ammonia break down stubborn paint stains? You can use paint remover as a last resort. 

It’s a more specialized product that is not abrasive enough to damage laminate floors. The disadvantage is that it is more delicate and tends to be more expensive than the other solutions.

Apply the product to the floors for the cleaning procedure and give it a few minutes to absorb. Then remove the product using the cleaning cloth dampened with some warm water.

Ultimate Last Resort (Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinners)

When all the above have failed, the mineral spirits and paint thinners are the last resort. A dangerous resort, for that matter. They are also highly abrasive chemicals with a toxic odor when inhaled for long periods but are also known to destroy anything they touch.

You should use mineral spirits and paint thinners in an adequately ventilated room. Putting some on gloves also helps.

Before opting for this method, mineral spirits and paint thinners can highly damage the integrity of your laminate floors.

Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using the product to clean your paint stains and spills.

Things to Consider When Cleaning Laminate Floors

The Structure of Laminate Flooring

It helps to know the structure of laminate floors before starting any cleanup paint job. Laminate floors are known for their durability. But they are also highly resistant to scratches, cuts, and heat deformation.

It is essential to consider the amount of water needed to clean them effectively. Too much water can seep into the cracks and layers of the laminate floors, causing swelling that could be irreversible.

Less is more, in this case, when using water to remove paint.

The Types of Paints

Understanding the chemical composition of paint helps you close in on the proper cleaning solution to clean up the paint. Acrylic paint and latex paint are commonly used in more residential paint jobs.

Latex paint, being water-based, contains fewer chemicals and is generally easy to remove from laminate floors.

Acrylic paint has more chemicals since its oil-based. Cleaning up these kinds of paints needs a solution that contains paint thinner, which will help break down the chemical bonds.

Room Ventilation

All the solutions applied during the cleanup of dried paint are toxic when inhaled for long periods.

Ensuring that the room has proper ventilation is advisable before beginning the process. Proper ventilation can be achieved by opening all the windows and doors and using a wall fan.

Age of Dried Paint

It is easier to remove paint stains when they have just occurred by merely passing a damp cloth over the spill.

A paint stain that has been present for a longer duration is much harder to remove and will require a more powerful solvent than water.

FAQs: Removing Paint from Laminate Floor

1. Is Paint Thinner Dangerous to the Laminate Floor?

Mineral spirits and paint thinners are highly abrasive and can destroy anything they come into contact with without proper use.

Following the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter can help solve your paint removal problem. But, keep in mind that most mineral spirits and paint thinners can damage the integrity of the laminate floors.

They should be a last resort to consider during a paint removal exercise.

2. Will nail polish remover hurt the laminate floor?

The solvent chemical present in nail polish remover is acetone, and the chemical is strong enough to cause damage to the laminate floor finish. Left on the laminate floor surface for long periods, it will cause a dulling effect on the floor’s finish.

The best way to use nail polish remover is to allow it to sit for short periods on the dried-up paint before cleaning it up with a clean cloth dampened with water.

3. Will rubbing alcohol damage laminate flooring?

Rubbing alcohol is excellent in cleaning up grease, dirt, and dried-up paint from any surface.

It is an excellent solution for removing dried paint from laminate floors and cabinets because of its high alcohol content.

Be cautious not to leave the solution soaked for long periods on the laminate floors because this will cause damage to the floor. Either causing a dulling effect of soaking into the floor and leaving lumps.

4. Will acetone damage the laminate floor?

Acetone is quite acidic and capable of causing damage to laminate floors when used for long periods.

When used alone or as an ingredient in a cleaning solution, inexperienced people should use acetone with caution. The solution should be allowed to sit on the dried paint for short periods of not more than five minutes. Preventing the acetone from dulling the laminate finish.


Like accidents, paint spills and oversprays happen all the time. So, it helps to have a pragmatic mindset in dealing with such issues. But, as you can see, removing paint stains from laminate floors is not an advanced skill –anyone with the correct information can do it!

Any of the techniques can help you. But, it may be advisable to start small and spare that elbow grease. After all, you wouldn’t want to tear off all the linoleum or laminate material from your floors.

The key takeaway is that it’s not that getting paint off laminate floors is possible –And more straightforward than you think! However, it would be best if you took action ASAP to improve your chances of recovering the former glory of your household floors.

Thank you for following along. We love to educate and challenge our readers, so please consider bookmarking our site for fascinating titbits on household care.

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