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How To Remove Paint From Tiles And Grout

by | Aug 31, 2023 | Cleaning Tips

If you’ve renovated your bathroom or added new trim to your kitchen cabinets, you’ll know the pain of getting wet paint on your wall or floor tiles. Don’t despair, though – you won’t have to resort to total replacement just yet!

But how to remove paint from tiles? If the paint is still wet or freshly dried, you can simply clean it with warm soapy water or a heated vinegar solution. But for dried paint, you’ll need:

  • A scraper
  • A heat gun or hair dryer
  • Commercial paint remover or stripper

These cleaning methods will also work for old paint stains.

Note that these methods apply to ceramic tile or porcelain tile! For specialty tiles such as natural stone, you’ll want to get a professional involved.


Cleaning Different Types of Paint

The type of paint you use can influence the cleaning solution you choose. 

For water-based paint or latex paint, you can use warm water and detergent to clean paint.

But for an oil-based paint spill, you’ll need white vinegar or other acidic cleaners, such as a citrus-based paint remover.


Painting tools over stone floor tile background.


How to Remove Paint from Tiles

If you or your handyman are doing a paint job and you splash some on the tiles, it’s important to act ASAP! That way, you can just wipe the fresh paint off with a damp cloth.

Alternatively, you can add some dish soap and baking soda to warm water and wash the paint off.

For removing paint that has dried, you’ve got three primary options.


1. Using a scraper

A silicone or plastic scraper works best for a small paint stain. Gently scrape at the dried paint while holding your tool at an angle.

Keep going until you’ve removed all the paint from the tile surfaces.

If you’re scraping paint spills from glazed tiles, you should NOT use steel wool or metal implements (such as a putty knife or razor blade). You’ll likely scratch the tile underneath or even chip the tile grout.


2. Using a heat gun or hair dryer

heat gun and accessories and tools in the background

For more stubborn paint stains, apply some heat! A heat gun or even a hair dryer is the perfect tool, especially for porous tiles like ceramic.

Switch on your heat gun and carefully warm up the painted tile. Move the heating appliance back and forth until the dry paint softens.

Don’t apply heat to the same spot for too long or you could scorch your tiles!

Use a plastic scraper at a 45º angle to remove dried paint. Start on the outer edges, then work your way to the middle.

Every so often, wipe the surface with a soft cloth to remove excess paint flecks. Then when you’re finished, dampen a microfiber cloth with some rubbing alcohol to clean any residue.


3. Using paint stripper or paint remover

When all else fails, commercial paint remover will do the job. Remember to wear protective clothing, a dust mask, and rubber gloves before any paint removal.

Clean the tiles beforehand with equal parts vinegar and water. Dry the tiles with a mop or soft cloth.

Test your paint remover on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t damage the tile surface. If it works, you can safely use it on the rest of the tile floor or wall.

Once you’ve removed all the dried paint, do some cleanup! Add some dish detergent to water, then take a wet cloth to wipe the tiles. Let them air dry afterwards.


Can You Use These Home Items to Remove Paint from Tile?

There are alternative methods for cleaning paint off tiles, just in case you don’t have a scraper or paint remover handy. 

If you’re wondering how to get dried paint off a tile floor or wall, here are some DIY methods.


1. Can paint thinner get paint off tiles?

paint brush, paint thinner, and pink gloves

Paint thinner is a mineral solvent that artists use on oil-based paints. You can use it for oil paint that’s still wet or still drying, but dried or old paint needs another method.

If you’re using paint thinner, always wear protective equipment, especially for your hands.

Dab a small amount of paint thinner onto the affected area. Use a scouring pad or soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the paint off.

Blot the area clean when you’re finished, then rinse with some detergent and water.


2. Does vinegar remove paint from tile?

This is a more natural solution for removing paint! It works best on fresh paint, but will also remove stubborn stains from older paint.

Heat up some white vinegar in the microwave or on the stove. Then dip a microfibre cloth into the solution and carefully rub at the paint.

Alternatively, you can put the warm vinegar in a spray bottle and saturate the affected area. Then let the vinegar sit for 10–15 minutes.

Take a scraper and use it to remove paint from the tile surface. Clean the tiles afterwards with a damp cloth.


3. Can acetone or nail polish remover clean paint on tile?

Nail polish remover will work best on oil paints since it’s also a solvent. Dampen a microfibre cloth with some acetone and dab at the paint.

Leave the paint to soften for a few minutes, then take another acetone-dampened cloth and scrub the paint off.

Rinse with soapy water to clean the tiles.


4. Will WD-40 remove paint from tile?

It will! The WD-40 Multi-Use product can remove even stubborn paint from tile surfaces.

Patch test the WD-40 first on an inconspicuous area. If you observe no damage, apply the product to the stained area and follow the instructions carefully.

The WD-40 will leave residue on your tiles after use, so you’ll need to wash the surface with soapy water afterwards.


How to Remove Paint from Grout

If you’ve gotten paint on tiles, you likely also stained the tile grout. Your method for removing paint will depend on whether your grout is sealed or not.

For sealed grout, you can use any of the above methods for cleaning paint from tile.

For unsealed tile grout, you’ll need to act fast. Otherwise, the paint will get into the grout and you’ll have to either paint it or replace it.

Wipe away fresh paint with a wet, soapy rag. Then clean the grout using your preferred homemade tile grout cleaner or with rubbing alcohol.

If that doesn’t work, you can apply coloured epoxy to restore the grout’s appearance. It’ll also seal the grout and prevent further staining.

Unfortunately, if none of this works, your only option is to re-grout the surface.

Knowing how to remove paint from tiles and grout lines will definitely come in handy. But of course, remember to clean tile floors and walls regularly – it’ll maintain their appearance and longevity. 

You can simply book the best home cleaners in your area to handle this for you!

About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.