How To Remove Dried Paint From Hardwood Floors Without Sanding?

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.!
Sharing Is Caring!

Painting your house can be a lively experience if you want a renovation or a new look in the interior of your house.

However, this can be a gruesome problem if you have hardwood floors and you have not taken the precautionary measures.

It is always necessary to have a tarp over all your floors when any painting job is under process.

But if you’ve already started it and ended up with paint splashed and dried on your hardwood floors you are in a serious problem.

The only extensive solution to remove dried paint from hardwood floors is to use paint strippers if you don’t want to have them sanded down to their last grain.

Remove Dried Paint From Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

These products are designed for this purpose and can complete the job without damaging the surface of your hardwood floors.

However, you will still need to take some precautions and follow a certain procedure.

If you want to know more about this removal technique and others too, make sure you read the article till the end.

How To Get Paint Off Wood Floors?

To remove paint from wood floors, apply a tiny amount of dish soap to a damp paper towel. Wet the stain, rub back and forth for a couple of minutes, and wipe with a dry rag. The paint should peel off easily due to softening by the soapy water.

However, if the paint is too much dried, you need to go through a specific process which I have explained below.

Identify The Type of Paint

Dried paint means that the paint has been here for some time, and you might not be aware of what kind of paint it was.

Different paints have different removal methods; therefore, it is necessary first to identify the paint that has dried on your hardwood floors.

If you don’t know how to do that, an easy way is to rub alcohol on a cotton ball and then rub it on the painted area on your hardwood floors.

After some strokes, if the pain starts to come off, it is water-based. However, it is probably oil-based paint if it does not come off.

The difference between both is that water-based paint is easier to clean when spilled; however, once it dries, it can easily penetrate the surface of the wood due to its thin viscosity.

This allows it to get absorbed into the wood, making it much more difficult to be removed afterward.

Conversely, oil-based paint does not dry as quickly and is harder to remove upon spillage.

However, they can’t penetrate the wood as much due to their thicker viscosity. Resulting in a difficult but much more efficient removal of dried paint from hardwood floors.

Once the paint type has been identified, you can proceed with the removal process.

How To Remove Dried Paint From Hardwood Floors Without Sanding | A Complete Guide

If you also have dried paint on your hardwood floors which is constantly degrading the appearance of your floors, and you do not know how to get it off, this guide will be highly suitable for you.

Use Paint Strippers

Paint strippers are one of the most suitable methods of removing wet or dry paint from any surface without sanding it down.

Use Paint Strippers
Use Paint Strippers

They are chemical removers that can cut through the paint’s surface and make it come off your wooden floors.

There are mainly two types of strippers; gel and chemical-based strippers.

One follows a more natural approach and is suitable for water-based paints, while the latter is entirely made of chemicals and ensures the proper removal of oil-based paints.

Gel Strippers For Water-Based Paint

This is an epic way of removing stubborn dried water paint from your hardwood floors.

Gel-paint strippers are usually made of citrus-based elements, which are highly effective against the paint and corrode it from the inside while causing it to be removed from the surface.

Gel Strippers For Water Based Paint
Gel Strippers For Water Based Paint

They are not as strong as their counterparts, so you may require 2-3 sessions before the paint is removed completely.

Furthermore, you will also need to give them some time to work before they can yield noticeable results.

However, there are many variations in these strippers, so you must ensure not to use citrus strippers that require rinsing them with water after usage.

You know that wood is easily damaged by water; hence, it is only wise to refrain from water exposure as much as possible.

Using gel strippers instead of sanding is economical and goes easy on your wooden surface as it does not grind it down.

Here is an easy way to use the gel strippers to remove dried paint from hardwood floors:

  1. Use a brush to apply the gel stripper onto the surface.
  2. You can also pour the solvent on the floor and spread it using a paintbrush.
  3. But it is better to use a brush to apply as pouring the liquid on the floor might cause serious damage to the hardwood floors if the wood is sensitive enough.
  4. Once the entire area is covered with the stripper, you must let it stay for some time to work its way through the paint.
  5. Make sure to cover the neighboring area with newspapers or rags so it does not get affected.
  6. After the time has passed, remove the solvent and the paint using a clean towel and rub it hard so the paint comes off.
  7. Repeat the process 2-3 times until the paint comes off entirely.
  8. Then, use a clean damp cloth to wipe the surface and rub it dry so moisture doesn’t dry on the wood.

Chemical Based Strippers

These work similarly to the prior type, but the only difference is that they are made specifically for harder jobs.

This allows them the strength and the cutting power to remove dried oil paint from your hardwood floors so a clean look can be achieved.

The only drawback of these strippers is that they are toxic upon application and can release toxic fumes.

Therefore, they are not suitable if you have an enclosed environment. Promoting airflow and increasing ventilation is necessary to use these on your hardwood floors.

The process is quite similar to the gel strippers and is as follows:

  1. Apply the stripper using a brush or an applicator pad on the painted area on hardwood floors.
  2. Make sure to rub the stripper into the surface for effective results.
  3. It would be best to cover the neighboring area with newspapers or rags so it does not get affected.
  4. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to work its magic and remove the paint.
  5. Please ensure you wear a mask during and after application, as it can release toxic fumes.
  6. Then, use a clean damp cloth to wipe the surface and rub it dry so moisture doesn’t dry on the wood.
  7. As the chemical stripper is much stronger, you might not need to repeat the procedure.

Soap & Water

If you are looking for a relatively easier solution, you can go for soap and water, but it would require an insanely high amount of strength and effort in the process.

However, this process is much cheaper, and the process is relatively simpler than most others.

Soap Water
Soap Water

Besides, if you have recently spotted paint spillage, it is better to use this method immediately rather than waiting to arrange items for other procedures.

All you need to do is add soap to hot water to make a solution and soak up a towel. Once completely wet, wring it out and rub it on the painted area on your hardwood floors.

Use a sponge to clean it up, and make sure you dry the surface immediately.

You can add a lemon to the mixture for better results and make a fragranced cleaning solution to remove dried paint from your hardwood floors.

How to remove paint from wood floor without damaging finish?

To safely remove paint from a wood floor without harming the finish, use Universal Soap. Apply it to the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently scrub with a soft brush to remove the paint.

After gently scrubbing with a soft brush, it’s important to rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth. This helps to remove any soap residue and loosened paint particles, ensuring a clean finish without leaving any soapy film on the wood.

If the paint is particularly stubborn, you might consider applying the Universal Soap a second time, following the same process.

Always be cautious about applying too much pressure, as it can damage the wood’s finish. In case of any doubt or if the paint is not coming off easily, it’s advisable to consult a professional to avoid causing any damage to your floor.

Regular maintenance and immediate attention to spills and stains can prevent the need for such intensive cleaning and help preserve the beauty of your wood floor.


Hardwood floors can be damaged through paint and it can be very hard for someone to remove them without the necessary tools and procedures.

If you also had a paint job in your house recently and your hardwood floors got stained during the process, you need to remove the paint immediately.

Follow the guide mentioned above to remove dried paint from hardwood floors without sanding.

Leave a Comment