I recently had some painting done, and the people who were responsible did not use anything to protect the floor from paint dripping. It also looks like they walked all over the paint, smearing it on my wood floors. See the following photo:

Paint smeared on a wood floor.

Now, if the paint were in little droplets I'd be able to scrape it off with a little effort. With this I'm just not sure. How can I remove all this paint from my wood floor?

  • I hope you didn’t pay the painter. Be sure to document everything. The next thing that will happen is they will file a lien. This is only the beginning of this problem.
    – Tyson
    Nov 23, 2017 at 18:55
  • Pink pearl, or artist tri-corner eraser should work on small areas. Lot of elbow grease needed though. If floor is reasonably new polyurethane, or similar hard material, a plastic dishwashing scrubby sponge with a little water may well work. Watch for abrasion. Nov 26, 2017 at 4:58

3 Answers 3


How old is it? A few days and you should be able to remove it with some a lot of elbow grease, hot water, and a non-abrasive cloth.

If you own a random orbit sander (if not, go buy one) you should just put a fresh coat on the entire floor. I recommend 150 grit sand paper, and a lambs wool applicator on a pole. Try not to sand completely through the finish; you just have to open it up so it can key into the existing layer.

Try w/e you want, as long as a complete refinish is in the cards if that doesn't work - because you'll have messed up the floor trying to find out.

If all is said and done, and there's dull spots in your floor, are you going to be satisfied? Just skip straight to the part where you make it look better than it did.


I use Citron in most cases of latex paint removal. The concentrated forms are more effective and can be found at most janitorial supply stores. Home depot has a diluted gallon they sell but not effective. Citron is the main chemical used in the diluted form of Goof Off or Goo Off. Keep in mind Citron will remove the sealer or shiny aspect of the wood so you will need to make some repairs to that. But will remove the paint 100% Latex paint on wood gets into the cracks of the wood so general water removal methods are not as effective.

  • AKA Limonene, orange oil. Nov 26, 2017 at 4:55
  • citrol is an orange oil yes...highly concentrated when you buy citrol oil. Home depot has diluted mixtures, but janitor supply has the real stuff. Nov 28, 2017 at 0:12

You will probably not be able to remove this mechanically, but will need to use a chemical product. There are various chemicals/solvents that will remove dried latex paint but all have the potential for damaging the underlying finish. I would try out the product in an inconspicuous area to test.

IMO, whatever damage occurs will hopefully be limited to a slight dulling of the floor's finish in that area, and that will look a hell of alot better than what it looks like now.

  • Yeah, that's just a small section... Quite a bit of the floor is messed up.
    – Snoop
    Nov 23, 2017 at 18:31
  • Ahh... in that case follow advice of @Mazura and refinish the whole area. Nov 23, 2017 at 20:04

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