A new coat of paint can instantly transform a dark and dreary room into a bright and cheerful oasis in your home. If that color winds up other places than just on your walls, however, you won’t feel quite so bright and cheerful.

The following tips will help you clean it up from a variety of places where mishaps can occur, ensuring your new favorite color is seen only where it belongs. If possible, always treat the stains when they occur. If not caught before they dry, they’re usually more difficult to clean.


How to Clean Up Paint


Different Paint Kinds

Most indoor mishaps involve latex paint, which is acrylic and water based. These are cleaned up easier than oil-based paints.

Cleaning up oil-based requires paint thinner, and that comes with its own set of cautions. Before using the thinner on anything at all, it’s important to know whether the material you are cleaning can withstand the application of the thinner. If you have no way of determining this, you are left with two choices. Throw caution to the wind and try the thinner anyway (after all, what’s worse—stained items or useless items) or live with the items as is—stained with color.



Floors endure more than their fair share of painting mishaps, but fortunately cleaning them is fairly easy to remedy. Tile floors are the easiest of all to clean—especially if latex paint is the culprit.

Scrape the residue from the area in question with a putty knife. Clean the rest with a mixture of liquid dish soap and warm water.

If the floor is hardwood or laminate, be extra careful when using that putty knife. A silicone pan scraper is a safer option. It’s less likely to scratch the floor’s surface. Perform the same steps as for tile floors.

Removing oil-based paint from a tile floor also requires the use of thinner. Start—as per the laminate paint spill—by scraping as much of the spill from the floor as possible. Then pour some thinner on a rag and start the cleanup.

Do not use paint thinner on hardwood or laminate flooring. Consult with the floor manufacturer for their recommendations.


How to Clean Up Paint on floor



If you managed to paint a whole room without getting any on the floor, then here’s a high five for you. It’s almost impossible to get through a painting job without getting a bit of the new color on your clothes.

Assuming the paint is latex, start as per your floors by scraping as much paint off the article of clothing as possible—using either the putty knife or acrylic scraper.

Next, mix a solution of liquid dish washing soap with warm water and sponge the area until the stain of color is gone. Dab the stain instead of scrubbing, so you don’t spread the it to additional fibers. Then wash per the manufacturers instructions. Make sure not to put your piece of clothing into the dryer until you are sure the stain is gone.

As with your floors, oil paint removal from clothing involves the use of thinner or solvent. Most fabrics won’t withstand the use of these harsh chemicals. Proceed at your own risk.

Yes, painting can be a messy endeavor, but it’s always worth the transformation. Keep these tips handy in case that mess transfers onto your floors or your clothing.