How Do I Clean up Spilled Interior Paint?

 How Do I Clean up Spilled Interior Paint?

It doesn't matter whose fault it was. Whether it was the dog, a child, or you yourself, there is paint on the floor. It is not time to cast blame, but to act... but how? What do you do when interior paint is spilled? How can you clean paint off your floor?

First, we will discuss latex/acrylic-based paints, since they are much more common, and thankfully, much easier to clean. We will take a look at oil-based products afterwards.

How to Handle Spilled Latex Paints

The most common painting products for home interiors are latex/acrylic-based paints. Also known as water-based paints, these interior painting products are generally washable. The key is to act quickly!

In the case of a large spill, begin by containing the spread. Use kitty litter, wood shavings, sawdust, or some old towels, and spread them around the perimeter of the puddle.

Next, scoop up as much of the puddle as you can. A plastic dustpan is a great tool for this, or anything else you can improvise with that has a flat edge and a scoop shape.

After the pool has been removed, use paper towels or absorbent cloths to soak up as much of the remaining liquid as possible. Use a blotting motion, rather than scrubbing, to avoid spreading the damage.

To remove remaining paint on the surface, use a sponge and hot, soapy water. This works on hardwood, vinyl, laminate, tile, and carpet surfaces.

Once the area has dried, you may still find some residue. On hard surfaces, try using a putty knife to gently scrape away any remaining paint. On carpet, you can try using a carpet comb or a brush with nylon bristles.

What to Do with Spilled Oil-Based Paints

Unfortunately, oil-based products are much harder (or even impossible) to clean up. Start by containing the spill and scooping up the excess, as described above. Open windows to ensure proper ventilation, as these interior painting products can have dangerous and/or explosive fumes.

To clean up oil-based paints, you will generally need a paint thinner such as acetone or mineral spirits. Use caution and read the label carefully, as these products are dangerous to humans and they can damage the surfaces they come in contact with. Also see the "cleaning and care" instructions for the type of flooring you are working with.

When you finish, make sure you properly dispose of any cloths or products that contain oil-based paints or paint thinners. See local guidelines for appropriate disposal.

Prevention Is Better than Cleaning

Clearly, the best way to deal with paint spills is to prevent them entirely! By careful use of drop cloths or protective plastic, you can simply roll up and remove any surface with spills or splatters.

If you use fabric drop cloths, make sure they are not absorbent. If you work with plastic sheeting, use tape to keep it in place, and be careful to avoid tearing it.

Professional Interior Painting

For effortless painting with guaranteed results, your best option is to work with a professional house painting company. A quality residential painter always takes extensive protective measures to prevent spills and splatters. Additionally, in case of unforeseen events, a reputable house painter will also have insurance, so you are fully protected.

Serving the Washington, D.C. region since 1979, Williams Professional Painting is the trusted name for interior and exterior painting. We also offer carpentry, drywall services, kitchen cabinet painting, pressure washing, and much more. Contact our office or use our online contact form to begin your interior home transformation today!

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