paint on vinyl floor

How to Remove Paint from Vinyl Flooring

Given its durability and low-maintenance design, vinyl flooring is extremely popular amongst homeowners.

It’s particularly useful in kitchens and bathrooms where spills are common and wipe-clean floors are highly practical.

But not all spillages are easy to mop up. Paint splatters, for instance, can leave stubborn and unsightly stains behind.

Luckily, with the right products, your decorating mishaps can usually be eradicated.

Ready to learn how to remove paint from vinyl flooring without causing further damage? Below you’ll find multiple methods you can try.


Treating Fresh Stains When the Paint Is Still Wet

fresh paint on floor

The first step to take when cleaning up wet paint is to mop up as much as possible with a dry rag or some kitchen paper.

This will help you avoid spreading the excess during cleaning and making the process harder for yourself.

Once you’ve dabbed up all that you can, try the methods below.

Washing up liquid

washing up liquid for paint on floor

Given their mild formulas, washing up liquids are safe for use on most hard surfaces, including vinyl flooring.

To clean off paint residue, apply a small amount of soap to a warm, damp cloth. Then, working inwards, wash off the paint using a circular motion.

Keep turning the cloth as you go to ensure you’re using a clean section or rinse in between swipes.

When you can’t see any more paint residue, rinse the suds off the surface with a clean damp cloth, then pat dry.


White vinegar

white vinegar for floor paint

Alternatively, you can try a white vinegar solution. You can also use it as a follow up to the washing up liquid method if it wasn’t successful.

All you need to do is combine 50:50 white vinegar and warm water into a spray bottle and shake well.

Don’t like the smell of vinegar? Add in a few drops of lemon essential oil too.

Spray a good amount of the mixture onto a clean cloth and gently scrub off the paint. Rinse with clean water and dry with paper towel.

Tip: If the paint layer has dried slightly or become sticky, spray the solution directly onto the stain. Leave it to soak for 15-20 minutes, which will help to soften the paint. Then wipe away.


How Do You Get Dried Paint Off Vinyl Flooring?

black paint on floor

If you miss your chance to wipe up the paint when it’s still wet, don’t panic. Though dried-on paint is harder to remove from vinyl flooring, it isn’t impossible.

In some cases, you may even be able to re-wet the paint using one of the products above.

You’ll just need to let it soak for longer before cleaning. Or you might be able to clean it off with a magic eraser! However, you must never use bleach as that could strip your vinyl flooring of its colour or pattern. Likewise, you shouldn’t try to scrape off dried paint as you could tear the material. Instead, try this:

Rubbing alcohol

rubbing alcohol on the table

  1. Wet a cloth with isopropyl rubbing alcohol and use it to blot the paint several times. Then lay it over the stain and leave it to soak for up to 15 minutes to loosen the paint.
  2. When time’s up, use the same cloth to rub the stain away. If that doesn’t completely lift the paint off, try gently scrubbing it with a nylon scouring pad or a soft bristle brush.
  3. Next, wipe away any debris and clean the area with a damp cloth and a dab of dish washing liquid. Then rinse and dry off with paper towel or an old, clean towel.
  4. Once dry, check that the stain has completely gone. There shouldn’t be any white residue left behind. If needed, use a clean cloth and a little more rubbing alcohol to remove it. Then rinse well and blot dry as above.

Tip: don’t have any rubbing alcohol to hand? Hand sanitiser can also be effective for breaking up hardened paint thanks to its alcohol content. Find one with a clear formula and give it a try!


Acetone or white spirit

bottle of acetone

If the rubbing alcohol isn’t quite strong enough to dissolve the paint splatter, a solvent should help.

However, these should always be used with caution, in a well-ventilated area.

We’d recommend testing a small dab of acetone or white spirit on a discreet patch of vinyl before treating the stain. This way, you can check to make sure it won’t discolour a more visible spot.

Once you’ve deemed the product safe to use, blot it onto the stain using a clean rag.

Do this several times, then leave the dampened stain uncovered for 10 minutes. That should be long enough for the solvent to soften the paint and reduce its adhesion to the vinyl.

That way, you’ll be able to peel it off gently with a plastic scraper, without scratching your flooring.

Finish up by wiping the floor down to make sure there is no chemical residue left behind. You can use either diluted floor cleaner and a mop or a cloth dipped in soapy water to do this.


What Can You Use to Remove Oil-Based Paint from Vinyl?

white paint on vinyl floor

Solvents are useful for tackling oil-based paints that are often harder to remove from vinyl.

But if you’d prefer to try a gentler, natural option first, try bicarbonate of soda using the following method:

  1. If the paint has dried, start by placing a wet cloth over the stain to help liquify it.
  2. Meanwhile, mix up a paste using 3 parts bicarbonate of soda to 1 part warm water.
  3. Gently smear the paste directly on top of the paint stain until it is fully covered.
  4. Let the paste soak in for 20-30 minutes, depending on its thickness. And remember to add a few drops of water on top at the halfway point in order to keep it moist.
  5. Then, use a non-scratch sponge dipped in clean, warm water to carefully scrub off the paste and the paint splatter beneath. Don’t rub too hard or you could mark the surface.
  6. Finally, brush off any debris, then wipe the floor with soapy water, rinse and pat dry.

And that’s it! If you’d like more household cleaning tips, take a look at our blog. There you’ll find everything from how to clean a bathroom floor to a more detailed rubbing alcohol guide. Plus a whole host of ways to use your leftover bicarbonate of soda for cleaning and laundry!