removing paint from floor tiles

How to Remove Paint from Floor Tiles

Did you just move into your new apartment, and the messy tile painting isn’t a delight to your eyes? Or you simply just noticed a decade old accidental paint splashes from an in-house renovation?

The surface of most tiles comprises of firm materials, and they can withstand the harshness of chemical products to an extent. This feature gives you an edge to experiment using different paint removal methods until you find the one that works best.

You can return your tiles to its glory days without tile replacement by using these techniques on how to remove paint from floor tiles.

Read Also: How to Remove Paint from Wooden Floor

Tools and Materials You Will Need

removing paint from floor tiles

1. A hairdryer or heat gun

For the choice of a heat gun, we prefer the

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Other required tools are:

  • Plastic scraper
  • Dust mask
  • Citrus or soy-based paint remover
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spatula or Putty knife
  • Safety goggles
  • Mop stick
  • Cloth rag
  • Soft bristle brush
  • White vinegar

How to Remove Paint from Floor Tiles

Now that you already know the tools you’ll need to remove paint from floor tiles, let’s now look at the practical steps to removing paints from floor tiles.

Method 1: Wash off Wet Paint

It is practical for your instinct to think of water immediately after an accidental splash. No, you are not wrong; you are right.

Step 1: Use a moist cloth rag or absorbent paper towel to blot off wet paint stains as soon as possible before it dries.

Step 2: When most of the paint stains come off. For water-based paint stains, use warm soapy water to rinse off the remaining paint residues from the tile surface.

For oil-based paint stains, apply (acetone-based nail remover) to wash remaining paint residues off the stained area.

Damp a ball of cotton wool, into the acetone-based nail remover, and then rub off on the paint stain. Leave the solvent to sit for a few minutes then wipe off with a cloth rag.

Although not as strong as paint thinners, acetone is a good paint removing agent that fades paint stains off surfaces without causing damages.

Step 3: Repeat a few more times using the cleaner parts of the rag to avoid paint smudging all over the place. Repeat the process until all the color goes off.

Step 4: Use a clean scrub sponge to tidy the grout section. Avoid using a metal sponge as it may cause scratches on the surface of the floor tiles.

Method 2: The Scrape Away Method

Scraping is one of the most used and effective ways to tackle dried on hard paint stains on the tile floor. It requires patience. The best tool used to lift paint stains is a sloppy edged rubber spatula or a putty knife.

In the absence of putty knives, apply caution when making use of tools like a razor blade, beveled knife, or metals.

Step 1: First of all, start by carrying out this method in a hidden test spot. Hold your scrapping tool safely in an excellent position to form an angle of 45 degrees, and then gently scrape paint off in a steady motion with less pressure.

Depending on the makeup of your tile, this should remove most stain off the floor times.

If the paint stain comes off without rubbing off the tile glaze or chipping off flakes, then proceed on larger areas.  If you notice cracks or sheds from the glaze, it means there is a wear off underneath, and you should discontinue.

Step 2: Depending on the sort of paint, a little amount of Mild liquid soap, warm water, or mineral spirits will do the final magic on any leftover debris.

Moisten a cloth rag and wipe the debris off the tiles to give way while alternatively scrapping off the unwanted paint stains. If the paint stains don’t come off ultimately resort to method 3.

If you find it difficult wielding a knife for scrapping, opts out for the next process.

Metal tools as scrappers should be a last resort after a trial with a putty knife or spatula.

Ensure to use a protective face mask, especially when working with old spills, as they can be potentially hazardous and lead-based.

Method 3: Use a Scourer

How to Remove Paint from Floor Tiles

A scourer, also known as a scouring pad is a small sponge-like material comprising of a plastic and metal mesh. The plastic side is useful in scrubbing off paint stains.

Step 1: Make a soapy water solution.

Step 2: Gently soak up your scourer in the soapy solution and then apply on the paint stain.

Apply caution to avoid scratching or etching of the tile glaze.

Step 3: Use clean water to rinse remaining paint residue off the tiles.

Step 4: Repeat the procedures until the stain goes off.

Method 4: Try a Natural Solution

A natural solution is most suitable for freshly stained paints. If the methods mentioned above don’t take the paint stain off completely, before resorting to chemicals, try the natural solution.

The natural solution is simply a mixture of an equal amount of white vinegar, baking soda, and water.

Step 1: Place a bucket in the work area. Measure an equal amount of water, white vinegar, and baking soda and then set to boil.

Step 2: Dampen a clean rag into the solution, then apply over the paint stain. Scrub the cloth gently and continuously over the paint stain.

The baking soda will help to clean out tile grout. Whereas hot vinegar will loosen the paint, which will in no time start to break free from the tiles.

Step 3: Use a soft-bristle brush or a spatula to scrub and lift off more significant paint stains.

In cases of offensive smell as a result of the heated vinegar simply rinse the floor tiles using warm water and a mop stick to dry off

Step 4: Reheat the vinegar solution and repeat the process as often as required until you see the desired results

Method 5: Apply Heat

Hot air emitted from heating tools like a heat gun or a hairdryer helps in loosening the bond between age-long paint stains and the bond surfaces.

Hot air works for both water-based paint stains and oil-based paint stains.

Step 1: Start in a test area a time. Apply heat to the tiles at the same time moving the heat gun in a back and forth movement to prevent burning a spot. Repeat till the paint loosens up.

Step 2: Hold a plastic spatula, position it at an angle of 45-degree. Gently use tweezers to take off paint debris in edges.

Step 3: Simultaneously clean off the surface with a clean wet rag. Reheat-scrape-clean process until all the paint goes off.

Read Also: How to Get Rid of Wall Paints

METHOD 6: How to Remove Paint from Floor Tiles Using Commercial Paint Remover

There are a lot of commercially manufactured paint removers, such as the Goo Gone Latex Paint Cleaner[/amalinkspro], which should be used as last resort to tackle stubborn paints or restore tiles to their default condition.

Before purchasing a paint remover, inform the store attendant of the sort of glaze and tiles you intend to work on.

Always ensure to buy soy or citrus-based commercial paint remover to limit harshness on skin and lungs. Before proceeding to use a commercial paint remover, ensure that windows are properly opened in your working environment to allow proper ventilation.

Step 1: Wipe painted floor tiles with an all-purpose cleaner or your natural mixture of water and white vinegar. Wipe the painted tile surface with a moist cloth rag to blend the surface. Ensure to kit upon your rubber gloves and eye goggles, and then continue.

Step 2: Start by applying the paint remover in a hidden test area to look out for damages. If no wearing off of the tile glaze, proceed by using a dry cloth rag to apply the paint remover and then allow to sit as instructed by the manufacturer in the product’s guideline.

Step 3: Dampen a soft bristle brush and then use to scrub off the pint from tile surface gently.

Step 4: Using a warm soapy water solution wash off the floor to take off remaining paint residues.

Step 5: Mop the floor tiles and leave to dry before use.

Note: Ensure to use a commercial paint remover in a well-ventilated area.

Don’t Ignore the Grout

The grout, if not properly sealed, can soak in paint hence causing discoloration that will make your tile cleansing process look messy.

Apply Rubbing alcohol or a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to dissolve paint remains. Using a toothbrush, gently scrub off flooring paint remains.

For tougher paint stains, use a grout removal tool for effective results.

What is the easiest way to remove paint from tiles?

Using heat & scrape to remove paint

  • Wipe away the dust. Begin by wiping out dirt or dust from your tiles.
  • Heat up the paint. Turn on the heat gun and loosen the paint.
  • Scrape. Take the scraper or utility knife, hold it at a 45-degree angle and carefully remove the paint from the tile.
  • Clean up during the process.

What is the easiest way to remove paint from the floor?

Mix warm water with a teaspoon of mild dish detergent. Blot the area to remove most of the excess, working from the outside of the stain in. Once the paint is gone, let the area dry and then vacuum over the surface. For paint dried on hardwood or linoleum, scrape as much of the dried paint off.

What is the best paint remover for tiles?

Combine equal parts water and white vinegar to make a natural paint remover if you need or want an alternative to the commercial version. Bring the vinegar solution to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Apply the solution to a clean cloth. Smooth the cloth gently over a painted tile.

Will rubbing alcohol remove paint from tile?

As with any paint spill, you’ll have an easier time removing one from tile if you get the paint while it’s wet. Scrub discolored grout with an old toothbrush, using rubbing alcohol to dissolve latex paint residue and lacquer thinner for oil paint.

Does vinegar remove paint?

Yes, vinegar dissolves both water-based paint and oil-based paint from wooden and metal surfaces. It’s a natural paint remover, making it one of the best ways to remove paint.

How do you remove dried paint?

Use a plastic scraper or putty knife to gently scrape away paint (tip: vegetable oil can be used to soften up the paint). Denatured alcohol or acetone will work on tougher areas but be sure to spot test beforehand. Upon completion, clean the plastic with warm water and soap.

How do you strip paint with vinegar?

Recipe for Using Vinegar for Dried Paint Removal

  1. Heat a small amount of white distilled vinegar in a small saucepan.
  2. Dip a clean paintbrush or a sponge in the hot vinegar.
  3. Allow the vinegar to soften the paint for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the loosened paint with a paint scraper.

Does white spirit remove paint?

White spirits will however work well in removing fresh paint stains or paint coatings. If after painting, you notice paint stains on the floor, walls, or any other non-porous surface, you can remove the paint using white spirit before it cures.

How do you get dried paint off of ceramic tile?

Getting Dried Paint Off Tile

The easiest way to remove dried-on paint from tile is to gently scrape it off using a razor blade. Use short strokes, holding the blade at a 45-degree angle. As you scrape the area, wipe it down with a damp cloth. This will remove the pieces of paint as you scrape them away.

How do you remove paint from a concrete floor?

A deeper look at how to remove paint from concrete

  • Give the concrete surface a deep cleaning and allow it to dry.
  • Apply a paint stripper.
  • Give the paint stripper some time to set.
  • Scrub the surface.
  • Follow up the scrubbing with a power wash.
  • Repeat the process as necessary until all the paint is removed.


Renovating your space is a project that should be enjoyed. The thought of paint splashes on your floor tiles, and its removal doesn’t have to be a killjoy.

Before considering spending a fortune on tile replacement, follow this step by step guide specially formulated to restore the looks of your floor tiles.

There are several methods on how to remove paints from floor tiles, but always stay conscious that the success of your cleaning project is dependent on the extent of the adhesiveness of the paint you want to remove, hence the fast and most effortless approach to tackle paint stains on tiles is getting to them while fresh.