The Paint Facts

10 Ways to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood Floor

Removing acrylic paint is not a hard task from the wood floor. But if the floor is built with hardwood or laminate finish, you should follow the proper step for removing paint. You can remove paint easily, but there is a high chance the wood finish will come off with paint.

You can use mineral spirits, Murphy oil soap with denatured alcohol combination, wood cleaner soap and hardwood floor cleaner for clean dried or not cured acrylic paint. It would be best if you do not use vinegar, any Isopropyl alcohol, thinner etc. It can damage your floor finish. However, if your floor is made from natural wood without laminate, all options you can apply without issue.

In this article, I will explain the whole process of removing acrylic paint from the wood floor. Also, I will give you suggestions which tools can help remove paint. ūü§ó

How to protect floor finish during the removal of paint?

Wrong products can harm the finish badly. Online many people suggest using vinegar on the wood. Also, somebody is successful with using this. However, I highly recommend not using this. 

Any type of acid product can damage the finish layer, and you should not use water at all times. If you apply water, wipe off the water with a rug as soon as possible.

Just use mineral sprite, right oil soap, and hardwood cleaner. Make sure the wood surface should not get wet.

Accidentally remove wood finish: What should you do?

 If the top finish coat is removed, it is very hard to match the colour with the existing finish. And you will not be satisfied completely.

You should remove the top existing finish coat with the right solvent, then sand again with 320- 400 grit sandpaper or 0000 steel wool and then apply the finish coat.

This is a solvent chart for different types of finish.

Note: Solvent dissolves old dried or cured finish.

Finish Solvent
Varnish Mineral spirits, Vinegar 
Polyurethane  Mineral spirits, Vinegar
Shellac Denatured alcohol, Lacquer thinner 
Lacquer Lacquer thinner, Acetone 
Wax Mineral spirits, Toluene or Xylene 
Water-based  Lacquer thinner, Toluene or Xylene

Recommended product for remove wood finish

Product Use
320 Grit Sandpaper Sanding wood surface 
0000 Steel Wool Finishing wood surface. You should choose one between sandpaper and steel wool
Mineral spirits  For cleaning varnish, polyurethane and wax layer 
Denatured alcohol  For cleaning shellac surfaces. Be careful, this solvent is poisonous.
Lacquer thinner  Clean lacquer, water base finish. Be careful, this solvent is poisonous.

10 Ways to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood Floor

For laminate and hardwood floors, you should follow the methods. 

1. ūü•á Mineral spirits:¬†easy and recommended methods (great for none cured paint)

2. ūü•ą Murphy oil soap with denatured alcohol combination:¬†a little bit of extra work but perfect result.¬†

3. ūü•Č Hardwood Floor cleaner:¬†fast and quick solution.

If wood is natural and without laminate finish, more options will be added

4. Shoup and water

5. Rubbing alcohol

6. Vinegar 

7. Lacquer Thinner

8. Scrubber erases

9. Paint stripper

10. Sandpaper

10 Ways to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood Floor

#1 Mineral spirits: best method for cleaning paint on wood

Mineral spirits are a good option if oil based varnish or polyurethane finish is used on wood. It temporarily loosens the finished surface, making paint removed easily without harming the wood.

Mineral spirits work well if the paint is not properly cured. However, it works for removing dried paint but is not recommended. 

Advantages of using mineral spirits:

  1. Very easy to apply, not need professional experience.
  2. Most wood painters suggest this product for cleaning wood.  
  3. Following proper guidelines, you can easily remove paint without harming the finish.
  4. Cheap cost.


  1. Weak for old dry paint.
  2. It can temporarily darken the wood colour.

Best mineral spirits for removing paint 

You can use any good brand mineral sprites. All will work well. Personally I like klean-strip odorless mineral spirits. If you have no past experience, you can choose this one.

How to remove paint with mineral spirits?

You need 

  • A rug
  • Mineral spirits
  1. Use a clean rug and put a small amount of sprite on it.
  2. Rub on the paint area with the rug.
  3. You will see without damage the finish the paint comes off.

This is the tutorial video ūüď∑

#2 Murphy oil soap with denatured alcohol combination [tested on varnish]

For cleaning dried paint, there is a risk of removing the finish. However, there has a good trick for removing the cured paint ūüôā. The trick is first to apply Murphy oil on the wood surface as a protection layer, then apply denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol will dissolve the paint without affecting the finish layer.

Generally, you should not use denatured alcohol directly, but this combination will give you a perfect result. 

Advantages of this method

  1. Great success chance
  2. Not affect the finish


  1. Little bit complex
  2. Toxic chemical 

Best product for this method

In the market, there are a lot of brands that manufacture denatured alcohol. You can choose klean-strip denatured alcohol. And with Murphy oil soap.

How to remove paint with murphy oil soap and denatured alcohol combination

You need

  • Rug
  • Protection gloves and mask
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Murphy oil soap
  1. Clean the wood surface.
  2. Put a little amount of Murphy oil soap on the rug and then cover the paint surface properly.
  3. Put on safety gear (gloves, mask, goggles) 
  4. Then, rub the paint area with a little amount of denatured alcohol on the rug. You will see the old paint start to be removed. 
  5. The finish will be covered with Murphy oil soap so that oil soap will protect the finish.

Check this tutorial


  • Denatured alcohol is poisonous. So protection first.
  • Please don’t use too much solvent. It can harm the finish.¬†¬†

#3 Hardwood floor cleaner

Already in the market, there have a lot of brands that manufacture this type of floor cleaner. Hardwood floor cleaner applies competitiveness very easily and does not harm the floor.  

Advantages of the methods

  1. Very easy to apply
  2. It cleans non-cure paint as well as floor dirt.
  3. Not harm the floor finish.
  4. Widely available.


  1. Not a good option for cured paint.

Best hardwood floor cleaner

It would be best if you chose a hardwood manufacturer recommended cleaner. I personally like bona hardwood floor cleaner and, for more option basic coatings squeaky cleaner.

How to remove paint with hardwood floor cleaner

You can clean non-cured paint with the floor cleaner. 

You need

  • Sprayer or liquid¬†
  • Rug
  1. Put floor cleaner in a sprayer and spray on the affected paint area. Without a sprayer, you also can apply the direct liquid.
  2. Take a rug and use it on the affected paint area.
  3. Rub slowly, and you will see the paint come off.
  4. For larger area cleaning, you can use a duster cleaner.

#4 Soup and water

Note: this method should not be used on laminate wood.

This is the primary method you should use if the floor is a general wood floor. Wood is not affected by water, and water softens paint, so you can easily remove it.

How to apply it?

You need 

  • A bucket with water
  • A rug
  1. wet rug with water, then apply it on the affected paint area
  2. Rub it as long as the paint is removed.
  3. After drying, if the paint is not properly removed, follow the above step again.

#5 Rubbing alcohol

Note: this method should not be used on laminate wood.

Isopropyl alcohol softens the paint and makes it easy to remove. You can directly apply on wood. Isopropyl alcohol also can clean other wax and dust. This product is also used to clean wood before finishing.

How to apply it?

You need

  • Rubbing alcohol (Up to 91% isopropyl)
  • Rug
  1. First, clean the wood surface
  2. Wet the rug with rubbing alcohol.
  3. Apply rug on the affected paint area and rub properly
  4. Until the paint is removed, follow the process.

#6 Vinegar

Note: this method should not be used on laminate wood.

Vinegar is a very available product for our home. Vinegar has an acidic ability which dissolves paint easily. You can apply it on the acrylic paint to remove the paint. The wood will not be affected by vinegar.

How can you apply it?

You need 

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Rug
  1. Take 1:3 ratio of vinegar and water in a bowl. And mix it
  2. Take a rug and wet it with the bowl of water
  3. Apply it on the affected paint area.
  4. Until removed, rub it. 

#7 Lacquer thinner

Note: this method should not be used on laminate wood.

Lacquer thinner is very effective for cleaning anything on a wood surface. Sometimes it is compared with mineral spirits, but it is more powerful than mineral spirits. Lacquer thinner can easily dissolve paint on the wood surface.

How to use it?

You need 

  • Lacquer thinner¬†
  • Clean brushes
  • Rug
  1. Apply lacquer thinner directly on the wood with brushes 
  2. Give it 10 minutes or more for dissolve
  3. Take a clean rug and rub it on the surface.
  4. You will see the paint is coming up.

#8 Scrubber eraser

Note: this method should not be used on laminate wood.

Scrub erasers do a good job cleaning paint from the wood. You can remove paint very quickly and easily without problem. 

How to apply this method?

You need

  1. First wet scrubber eraser with water
  2. Then squeeze out water like a sponge
  3. Then apply it in a small area for testing and wait for results.
  4. If the result is ok, then use all wood surfaces for cleaning paint on wood.

This is a video. It may help you understand ūüôā

#9 Paint stripper

Note: this method should not be used on laminate wood.

A paint stripper is generally used for cleaning and dissolving paint. You can use a paint stripper to remove acrylic paint from wood. This process is very easy to apply.

How to apply it?

You need

  • Paint stripper (Citristrip)
  • Wide paint brush¬†
  • Protection (glaves)
  1. Put paint stripper on the affected paint area.
  2. Spread the stripper over all affected paint areas with brushes.
  3. Give it time like 1 hour to 24 hours, to dissolve.
  4. After dissolving, use a scraper to remove the paint completely.  

#10 Sandpaper

Note: this method should not be used on laminate wood.

Sandpaper is also a good option for cleaning dried acrylic paint on wood. You need little skill to use sandpaper on wood.

How to apply this method?

You need

  • 220 grit sandpaper
  1. First, clean the wood surface with rug.
  2. Rub the sandpaper on the paint area. The sandpaper grit will be scraped off the paint on the wood.  

Remove acrylic paint from the wood FAQ.

Does nail polish remover remove acrylic paint from wood?

Generally, nail polish remover is acetone base. It can easily remove paint from wood. However, it will completely damage the wood finish. So I do not suggest using it on laminate wood flooring.

What removes dried paint from hardwood?

I suggest cleaning dried paint without hurting the finish by using Murphy oil soap and denatured alcohol combination. You also can use mineral spirits and hardwood floor cleaners. These are safe for laminate flooring.

How do you get paint off hardwood floors without sanding?

Sanding is not a good option for painting off the hardwood. It hurts the laminate surface. You can use mineral spirits and a hardwood floor cleaner to remove paint.

Does Goo Gone remove paint from hardwood floors?

Generally, goo gone does not affect the hardwood finished surface (polyurethane). But you should apply a very small amount at once and don’t give time to get the finished watery. If it dries on the finished surface, you will see darker stains on the finish.¬†

Will rubbing alcohol hurt laminate floors?

Rubbing alcohol can damage the wood finish heavily. However, if you wipe it off quickly, you may not see any effect. After applying it on the laminate, you can see darker stains like wet oil. Your hardwood laminate colour will change badly.

Will vinegar take the paint off wood?

Vinegar has an acidic ability which can dissolve oil based on the surface. The vinegar will remove the paint, but it also dissolves laminate. Maybe you don’t see any effect for quick wipes, but it will damage the floor finish in the long run.


About the Author

Shojib Hoq

My name is Shojib, and painting has been my passion since childhood, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I absolutely adore the process of painting, pouring, and creating crafts.