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The previous owner didn't bother to lay down a dropcloth when painting the bathroom, and there are multiple, small paint stains on the ceramic tile and bathtub. What is the best way to remove them?

The only thing I can think of is to scrape it off with a razor blade, but I am afraid that it will leave scratches that are uglier than the paint stains.

Edit: Note that the stains are several years old.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

A straight razor blade shouldn't cause any trouble on your ceramic tile (assuming it has a smooth finish) or an enameled tub, but a fiberglass tub you're right to worry about.

Depending on the number of stains you're trying to remove you may find that heating the surface a bit by filling the tub with hot water then draining again will weaken their hold on the tub enough that you may be able to remove them with gentle scraping with a putty knife (being careful not to dig into the tub's surface).

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I personally find a Mark One Digital Manipulator does the job! Seriously: use your fingernail.

Alternatively, choose an appropriately hard scraper of some kind. A razor blade should be fine on good-quality gloss-finish ceramic tile, but I'd use a hard plastic knife of some kind on a plastic tub.

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A Guitar Pick makes an excellent artificial fingernail once you've worn out your Mark Ones. Many music stores give them away free with the store's logo. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 1 '14 at 12:33

I've used mineral spirits to remove everything from paint to roofing tar. Takes a bit of rubbing to do it but it usually pulls it off. I'd recommend trying it on an inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn't do any damage, mineral spirits is powerful stuff.

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Do you think mineral spirit (= white spirit) would work even though the stains are several years old? – Vebjorn Ljosa Jul 21 '10 at 19:38
It should ... I used it on several old stains. Took alot of rubbing though ... my arm was killing me when I was done. – user45 Jul 21 '10 at 19:41
You may also find that proprietary paint wipes do the job. Be really careful, though, especially on that plastic bath: you may find it takes the gloss off the finish, too. – Jeremy McGee Jul 21 '10 at 19:43

I used hair spray! Spray, wipe and repeat. It all came off!

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I have to say I have done all of the answers listed on this page and what works the best is scalding hot water. Razors can damage tile, fingernails take too long, mineral spirits and sprays are too messy. Keep dousing an area with a big pot of water and it will be gone in a few minutes with little work.

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