How to Remove Water-Based Paint From Wood

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Lemon juice

  • Small bowl

  • Scraper (butter knife)

  • Soft cloth

  • Nylon brush (toothbrush)


Test a small area of the wood with the mixture of rubbing alcohol and lemon juice to ensure no damage is done to the finish of the wood.

Painting is always a challenging task requiring a careful balance between applying the paint to the designated area and preventing it from getting anywhere else. Water-based paints are commonly used in residential and commercial painting and include both acrylics and latex. If the paint does get onto an undesired wood surface, it can be removed with a few common household items.


Step 1

Scrape off as much paint from the wood as you can using a scraper or butter knife.

Step 2

Mix ¼ cup of lemon juice and ¾ cup of rubbing alcohol together in a small bowl.

Step 3

Pour the alcohol and lemon juice mixture on a soft cloth. Rub the cloth over the paint, moistening the area with the mixture.

Step 4

Scrub the paint away with a non-abrasive nylon brush or toothbrush. Continue to apply the mixture to the paint until the paint is completely removed.

Step 5

Dry the area with a soft cloth.



Diana Braun

Diana Braun began her writing career as a consultant and technical writer for a software company focusing on how-to, training, white paper, and internal process documentation. After two years, Braun left to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. Since then, she has launched several startups including a t-shirt business, an online marketing and advertising t-shirt distribution business, and an entertainment site. She currently resides in South Florida.