How To Remove Paint From Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

Do you want to remove paint from your hardwood floor but you don’t prefer sanding?
You are in the right place.

Sanding is a delicate approach, which needs some level of experience and know-how. If not handled well, sanding can end up ruining the finish of your hardwood floor. Luckily, we will explore other simpler and safer ways of removing paint off your hardwood floor.
That said, here are tips on how to remove paint from hardwood floors without sanding;

This is a simple remedy to help you get rid of the paint effortlessly. The best part is that this remedy is readily available and easy to use. You can get some wine and lemon in the house.

To get started, mix a three-quarter cup of alcohol, along with a quarter cup of lemon juice. Stir the mixture in a bowl for them to blend thoroughly. Before you start rubbing the solution to the paint, use a butter knife to scrape off what you can.

When you have removed enough paint, use a scrubber or an old toothbrush to rub off the remaining paint. Ideally, apply the solution and let it stay for around ten minutes before you rub it off again.
For your latex paint, a few tries with the alcohol-lemon mix will be enough to rub off. The best part is that this solution is non-toxic and very affordable.

Use a Stain Remover – For Water-Based Paints

This option is suitable for water-based paints. It will not function well with oil-based or latex paint. So, if you have water-based paints on your hardwood floors, simple use a concentrated stain remover.

To handle the paint, spray the stain remover over the paint until it appears wet. Let it stay for around five minutes, and spray for the second time. Again, let it sit for five minutes and spray again. After the third spray, allow it to sit for five more minutes and wipe off with a cotton terry towel.

The secret when using the stain remover is allowing it to sit for intervals of five minutes. Ensure that you repeat the sequence three times before you wipe it off. Also, make sure that you use Concentrated Cleaner/Degreaser Stain Remover. Don’t forget that this won’t work on Latex and Oil-Based Paints.

Heat Gun – For Oil-Based Paints

Usually, oil-based paints tend to dry and become extra hard compared to latex or water-based paint. For that, it will be challenging to try scraping it off when it is dry and hard. That is why you need to make it slightly soft to make it easy to remove.

Here, a heat gun should be your best friend. What you should do is point the heat gun close to the paint. Doing so will help to soften the paint and give you an easy time.

As the paint softens up, scratch it gently with a puffy knife. This should be done simultaneously as you heat it with the heat gun.
After that, rub off the paint with a damp rag. 

Hard Plastic Scraper /Trisodium Phosphate – For Oil Based/Latex Paint

This is another option to remove the latex and oil-based paints. You can start scraping off the paint with a hard plastic scraper. The plastic scraper will remove the paint without scratching or damaging your finish.

Even though plastic might be gentle on your finish, you should avoid scraping across the grain.

Once you have removed the paint from the floor, you can then make a mixture of Trisodium Phosphate {TSP} and water. 

Use an old toothbrush to brush some of the solutions in the affected area carefully. Ideally, only apply it onto the paint {not directly to the hardwood floor}.

Allow the mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. TSP is a strong substance that can irritate your eyes and skin. For that, wear protective gloves and a pair of goggles when applying it. But don’t apply too much of it.

This chemical will soften the paint and give you an easy job to wipe it off. Use a damp rag to wipe off the paint.
When using damp rags, ensure not to soak the wood. Also, try to dry the rinsed area immediately.


Above all, try to be gentle when scraping off the paint with a butter knife, puffy knife, or any scrapper.

David B. Harper

David is a Professional Craftsman & woodworking expert for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources and guides on woodworking and tools.

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