How To: Remove Paint from EVERYTHING

Nothing brightens up a room like a fresh coat of paint—but the unfortunate side effects of many painting projects are spills and splatters. Even the most careful painters can find their hard work marred by drips on the countertop, linoleum, or carpeting. Fortunately, most paint splotches can be cleaned up with a few handy household cleansers and tools—rags, alcohol, nail polish remover, and sometimes just plain water—along with a bit of elbow grease. Here are some tips on how to remove paint from a variety of surfaces.

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  1. A Clear View

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    Paint splatters on glass can be difficult to remove without scratching the surface. Dish soap and a safety razor blade can remove even old, dried-on paint. Mix dish soap with warm water until sudsy, and thoroughly wet the window with a sponge or rag. Hold the razor blade at a 45-degree angle, and carefully scrape the paint away, keeping the glass damp to avoid scratches.


    Related:  The 8 Common Painting Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

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  2. Counter Culture

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    It can be tough to remove paint from countertops without causing damage, so proceed cautiously. Apply a thin coat of olive oil to paint drips, and rub with a dry rag, working in a circular motion. For stubborn spots, wrap a rag around a plastic putty knife and scrape, exerting only light pressure. As a last resort, try applying a small amount of mineral spirits and wiping with a dry rag.


    Related:  8 Countertops You'd Never Believe Were Handmade

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  3. Carpet Cleaning

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    It is easiest to remove paint from carpet before it dries, using dry paper towels or old terry cloth rags to blot—not rub—the spill. A bit of glycerin on the towels may help loosen the paint. For stubborn spills, try blotting with white vinegar or nail polish remover. Old paint drips may need a commercial cleaning agent, such as WD-40 or Goof Off—but remember: Always do a spot test in an inconspicuous area first.


    Related:   How To—Get Rid of Every Carpet Stain

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  4. Floor Show

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    Removing paint spills from linoleum or vinyl floors—without damaging the surface—can be tricky. Start with dish soap and warm water, blotting up as much as possible. Remove stuck-on residue using a plastic scraper. Tough spills may require the use of a solvent like rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits, but apply these cautiously because excessive use can dull the floor's finish. For more stubborn drips, very gently rub away the spots using liquid floor wax and superfine steel wool


    Related:  Vinyl Renaissance—10 Flooring Looks You Won't Believe

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  5. Wood Shop

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    Denatured alcohol, a clean rag, and a lot of patience can remove latex paint without damaging wood. Oil-based paint spatters require mineral spirits, but be careful not to soak the wood, as this will cause damage. Wipe thoroughly with clean water and dry once the paint is removed. If the wood does become discolored, touch up with a wood finish repair pen.


    Related:  Floor Care Guide—11 Ways to Care for Your Wood Floors

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  6. A Hard Case

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    Paint spills on a concrete floor can be vanquished with commercial cleaners. First, use a stiff brush and a paint scraper to loosen the paint and vacuum up all debris. Next, apply a chemical paint stripper; these typically take anywhere from 60 minutes to eight hours to work. Repeat according to instructions as often as needed, then finish by cleaning with a pressure washer to remove all traces of the paint stripper.


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  7. Brick by Brick

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    It can be a challenge to remove paint from brick without causing damage. Your best bet is to apply a paint removing gel or paste with fabric strips. The process involves saturating a soft fabric with the gel, then placing it over the brick. Allow the product to stand as long as the manufacturer recommends, then when you peel off the fabric—the paint should peel away too. Clean remaining residue with a stiff nylon-bristle brush.

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  8. Fantastic Plastic

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    Removing paint from plastic is no small task because many commercial paint removers can actually melt plastic. Instead, gently scrape away drips with a plastic putty knife, using vegetable oil to soften the paint. For tougher spots, try nail polish remover or denatured alcohol, but first test a small patch to make sure the solvent does not damage the plastic. Clean off all traces of the solvent with dish soap and warm water.


    Related:  12 Ways to Wake Up Your Tired Outdoor Furniture

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