Removing Latex Paint From Wood Floor

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Verdeboy, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    One of my customers' rental units was vandalized, and they spilled a gallon of latex paint on the floor. I've tried scraping it off with various scrapers, but it's slow going and inefficient.

    Do you think a paint stripper or floor stripper would work better, or should he think about just getting a large throw rug to cover it?

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  2. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Try Goof Off. I have used it with good success in many paint clean ups. Spray some on and let it work in. Cover it with saran wrap to keep it moist then work it off with a plastic putty knife after it soaks up a while. I figured out the plastic wrap thing when I was using it on DIF gel that I was spraying on walls to remove old wallpaper paste. It gave it time to work in and didn't dry up before I could get it scraped off.

    You can also try rubbing alcohol. Goof off isn't as noxious though, and seems pretty safe on the wood.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,298
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Second the Goof Off suggestion. Given the size of the spill, it will still take a lot of work, but Goof Off is a great latex remover. I always have a can handy when I paint with latex. Gets the "whoops, oh s**t!" off of the trim and floor quickly and easily. Of course, that's not a whole can of dried paint, but it will do the job.
  4. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Depends on how well the wood was sealed as to whether the wood will "smear" white into the grain.
    Goof off is excellent but I'm wondering about the cracks...

    If it doesn't work I'd have the planks replaced...

    FWIW I used denatured alcohol to remove toothpaste stains on saltillo floor where Goof Off failed.
    Same idea.....my tile is very porous.
    BTW the goof off will remove the floor finish as well. He will need to reseal it.

    Mike
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2007
  5. Old Dog

    Old Dog G.C. 22+ years(in 3 states)

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I would try denatured alcohol with a mild "green colored" scrubber pad like you find on the other side of a kitchen sponge and alot of rags.Don't rub too hard so as to harm the floor finish.I agree with the other poster's,most likely paint in any open grain,inthe cracks...likely going to leave a "ghost" of the outline of the paint spill even after you get it cleaned up if the floor finish is old.More than likely have to refinish that area.
    As always,have good ventilation when using chemicals and dispose of any cloth rags properly.They can combust all on their own if left in a pile in the corner.
    Good luck!
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Is this a high, medium, or low dollar rental unit.

    That might determine how much $$$ he spends trying to take care of the problem.
  7. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    "Is this a high, medium, or low dollar rental unit."

    This floor has some other serious flaws in it, so the clean-up job doesn't have to be perfect. I was even considering taking a belt sander to it. :D
  8. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Belt sanders are fun!
  9. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Heat Gun

    Actually, I just bought a new digitally controlled heat gun. Anyone know what the max. temp. I should try that won't burn the place down? :eek:
  10. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    I"ve Read That Over Onethousand And One Hundred Degrees Will Release Harmful Fumes With Lead Paint> You Have Latex> I Would Still Be Concerned With Whats In The Floor Finish> You Wont Burn It Down> Im Sure Youve Put Flame From A Soldering Torch In Much More Precarious Places> Keep Your Water Nearby For Comfort


    You May Melt And Strip The Floor Finish Also> You Can Blend That> Especially If Youre Not Working On A Mint Old Home
  11. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    Use an orbital sander before you use a belt sander. Too easy to totally screw things up.

    Tom
  12. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If all else fails just paint the whole floor, you could do a nice faux finish with 2 coats of water base polly or do W/W carpeting with a good pad.
  13. RRW

    RRW New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    Be very careful about using anything that has flammable solvents in an enclosed space. I suggest 3M safest paint and varnish remover. Give it a good thick coat and use the saran wrap trick to cover it up. Let it sit for a day. uncover it and scrape off what you can with a putty knife, this will get most of it up. Repeat, but next time use steel wool to remove the remaining paint. Repeat as necessary and I think you will be happy with the results. All without blowing up the apartment, I might add. Good Luck, RW
  14. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Personally.....I would use any of these solvents judiciously and try a *small test area* FIRST before getting carried away.

    If it doesn't work out-no big deal as opposed to one big permanent milky translucent stain.

    Mike
  15. Old Dog

    Old Dog G.C. 22+ years(in 3 states)

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Hawaii
    You are right about that.Many years ago when I lived in San Diego a couple of floor finishers had just redone all the floors in a old house in La Jolla on a Sunday .Soon after the fumes ignited(apparently house had an old gas wall heater with a lit pilot)It blew the house right off the foundation.To make matters worse for them,they were unlicensed with no insurance.I don't think anyone got injured but financially those guys were in a world of hurt...
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