Removing Overspray from Hardwood Floors

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • 2 small containers

  • 3 soft cloths

  • Acetone nail polish remover

  • Bucket

  • Water

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Sponge

  • Chemical paint remover

  • Plastic paint tray

  • Paintbrush

  • Plastic paint scraper

To prevent paint overspray, cover your hardwood floors with drop cloths.

Overspray can occur when you are painting an area and accidentally splatter the paint onto your hardwood floors. Typically, overspray is several small drops of paint rather than a large spill, but it's difficult to remove without harming your hardwood floors. However, it is not impossible. Several methods are available to remove paint overspray from hardwood floors. Start with the most gentle method first and then--if the overspray is still present--move on to the next method until the overspray is removed.

Step 1

Pour rubbing alcohol into a small container. Dip the corner of a soft cloth into the rubbing alcohol and gently rub the hardwood floors where overspray is present. Rub in a circular motion until the paint overspray is gone. Continue to Step 2 if the overspray is still visible.

Step 2

Add a small amount of acetone nail polish remover into a small bowl. Dip the corner of a clean cloth into the solution and gently scrub the overspray. Continue scrubbing and, if necessary, dipping the cloth into the polish remover until the overspray is removed. Continue to Step 3 is the paint stains persist.

Step 3

Pour 1 gallon of hot water into a bucket. Add 1/3 cup of liquid dish soap and mix thoroughly. Submerge a cloth into the mixture and lay it flat on top of the paint overspray. Allow the cloth to sit for five minutes on the hardwood floors to help soften the paint. Saturate a sponge in the mixture and wring out the excess liquid. Scrub the hardwood floors in a steady, circular motion to remove the overspray. If the paint is still visible, continue to Step 4.

Step 4

Pour a chemical paint remover into a plastic paint tray. Read and follow all directions and warnings for your specific brand of paint remover. Dip a clean paintbrush into the paint remover. Brush the paint remover onto the hardwood floors. Allow to sit for the predetermined amount of time that is indicated on the paint remover label. Gently scrape the paint and paint remover off the hardwood floors with a plastic paint scraper.


Work in a well-ventilated area when using chemical paint removers.


Amanda Flanigan

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.