How to Remove Latex Paint Stains

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Painting ­your house isn't exactly a walk in the park, but if you get latex paint stains on a household surface, an ­afternoon of home improvement can turn into a real mess.

A fresh coat of paint is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give a room a new look. With a few simple tools like wet or dry spotters, and these latex paint stain removal techniques, you can make sure your room keeps looking great.

After you identify the affected material, follow the steps on each page to remove the stain:

  • Fibers such as Acetate, Burlap, Carpet (synthetic or wool), Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate or Wool
  • Fabrics such as Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester or Spandex
  • Surfaces like Acrylic Plastic, Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic Tile, Enamel, Glass, Paint (flat or gloss), Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain Dishes, Porcelain Fixtures, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Wallcovering
  • Flooring such as Asphalt, Cork, Linoleum or Vinyl Tile
  • Stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Ceramic, Concrete, Glass, Granite, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate or Terrazzo
  • Brick
  • Grout
  • Leather or Suede
  • Wood

Fibers

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from fibers like Acetate, Burlap, Carpet (synthetic or wool), Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate or Wool:

  • Once latex paint starts to dry, it begins to adhere to the fibers and may become permanent. Treat stain as soon after spill as possible.
  • After scraping (the method of using a dull tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) to remove any excess paint, sponge (the method of using a dampened pad to apply light strokes, moving outward from the center of the stain) the stain with a dry-cleaning such as Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • Then apply a dry spotter to the area and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with dry spotter. Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed.
  • Change the pad as it picks up any stain. Keep both the pad and stain moist with dry spotter.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining material and residue from stain removers) with dry-cleaning solvent and allow to dry.
  • If any stain remains, sponge the area with water and apply a wet spotter and a few drops of ammonia. (Do not use ammonia on silk or wool.)
  • Cover with an absorbent pad dampened with wet spotter. Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain. Keep stain and pad moist with wet spotter and ammonia.
  • Flush with water and repeat if necessary.
  • Allow it to thoroughly dry. When treating carpets, be sure to blot excess liquid with a clean absorbent pad.

Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from fabrics such as Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester or Spandex:

  • Treat the stain immediately; it may become permanent once the stain has dried.
  • Flush the stain with warm water to remove as much as possible, then launder immediately.
  • If paint has dried, moisten area with rubbing alcohol (for acrylic and modacrylic dilute alcohol with 2 parts water) to soften paint, then brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to sweep staining material up onto a piece of paper) as much as possible from the fibers.
  • Launder the fabric.

Household Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from household surfaces such as Acrylic Plastic, Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic Tile, Enamel, Glass, Paint (flat or gloss), Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain Dishes, Porcelain Fixtures, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing or Vinyl Wallcovering:

  • Gently scrape up any excess spill.
  • Wash the surface with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clear water and wipe dry.
  • Paint that is absorbed into fibers of some of these surfaces may be impossible to completely remove.
  • On hard surfaces, such as glass or ceramic tile, gently scrape off the dried paint with a razor blade.

Flooring

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from flooring such as Asphalt, Cork, Linoleum or Vinyl Tile:

  • Remove any spill immediately, then wash with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • If stain remains, cover it with a rubbing alcohol compress. Let the compress remain in place for a few minutes.
  • Wipe the stain with a cloth dampened with ammonia. (Do not use ammonia on linoleum or vinyl floor tile.)
  • To remove any latent traces of stain, try rubbing the area with superfine steel wool dipped in liquid wax. Wash thoroughly with soapy water, wipe dry, then wax.

Stone Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Ceramic, Concrete, Glass, Granite, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate and Terrazzo:

  • Immediately wipe up any excess spill.
  • Then wash with a solution of washing soda or detergent (not soap) and water.
  • Scrub with a cloth or soft-bristled brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clear water and allow to dry.

Brick

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from Brick:

  • Apply a commercial paint remover to the stain and allow it to dry.
  • Use a wire brush to remove paint.
  • Wash the area with clear water and allow to dry.

Grout

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from Grout:

  • Wipe up excess paint carefully.
  • Wipe remaining stain with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • If any stain persists, dip a wet toothbrush into a little baking soda or powdered cleanser and gently scrub spot.
  • Rinse well with clear water and wipe the area dry.

Leather or Suede

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from Leather or Suede:

  • Paint stains may be impossible to remove entirely.
  • Carefully scrape to remove any excess paint. Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water.
  • Swish to create a great volume of suds.
  • Wipe the paint residue with a sponge dipped in only the foam.
  • Wipe with a clean dry cloth.
  • On leather only, follow with Tannery Vintage Leather Cleaner & Conditioner or Fiebing's Saddle Soap to condition the leather.

Wood

Follow these steps to remove latex paint stains from Wood:

  • Wipe up fresh paint or gently scrape dried paint with a paint scraper.
  • Then wipe stain with a sponge or cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Another effective treatment is a mixture of 1 tablespoon oxalic acid and 1 pint water rubbed on the paint with a cloth dampened in the solution.
  • Wipe the area dry and wax as needed. Caution: Oxalic acid is poisonous; use with care and wear rubber gloves.

If you have any other spills, there we've got plenty of other stain removal tips.