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Clean up Paint

Cleaning Up Those Paint Spills


The biggest issue that comes with tackling those paint jobs  yourself is the dreaded paint spill.  Whether it be bleeding, spilling, over spray, or any other type of paint spill mishap;’ almost every single paint disaster is correctible.  


Before we get started in discussing the various methods of paint clean up, I’d like to talk about the best way to handle paint disasters.   Avoid them.  My Grandma used to always say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  In painting, this is 100% true.  Protect the things you do not want to get paint on.  Floors, furniture, plant s and animals; do your due diligence in preparation, it will save you so much pain and heartache if you focus on being thorough in the pre painting process.  


Alas, even with as many  preventive measures possible, spilled paint is always a possibility.  So I’ve compiled a small list of products that are useful to have on hand in case things get messy (links are clickable):



Goof Off


Krud Kutter


Paint Thinner


Krud Kutter is your all around cleaner that is the least harsh on most surfaces.  


Goof Off is a great cleaner for large amounts of paint adhered to metal surfaces.  It is fairly strong and is a last resort on bad overspray or dried spills.  


Acetone is a strong cleaner that should be used very sparsely and  as a last resort.  


Paint Thinner is the nuclear weapon of paint cleaners and is your only effective cleaner against stain.  However, it is a harsh solvent that can affect most surfaces it touches.


The best advice we can give is always have a bucket of water and a few wet rags ready to go during your painting project.  Old white t-shirts make great paint rags, microfiber cloths are excellent scrubbers on delicate surfaces, and sponges are your workhorses for dried paint.  


A wet and dry shop vac is also a great tool to have in case the worst happens and paint spills in large quantities.  


If you spill a drop or splatter on the floor or a rug, act quickly to dilute the paint with water.  Use your rags to pick up the watered down paint residue, or your wet vac if it is handy.   Depending on the size of the spill, you may need to change out your bucket of water to continue diluting the stain and guarantee you are not merely smearing diluted paint across the carpet or floor.    Your first solvent you ever want to use will always be handy dish soap.  A little bit of dish soap in water goes a long way.  Dish soap is safe on almost all surfaces and it helps prevent paint adhesion.  


Dried paint on carpet? 

This product gets an honorable mention from us for such a circumstance.  Goof Off Carpet and an extremely clean wire brush does the trick to remove most paint.  Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.  



After you paint a section of a wall or whatever project you are working on, it is useful to scan the surrounding area to make sure paint did not get somewhere you didn’t want it to.  


Working with paint when it is wet is almost always the best option.  If you find dry paint on an interior surface, start with water and a rag.  The edge of a plastic putty knife in a rag or a soft sponge is a great solution for most dry paint splatters or minor drops.  Always limit the force you use when trying to clean paint.  If the paint is being stubborn, spray some krud kutter on your rag, microfiber cloth, or sponge and continue rubbing on the paint.  


To prevent any damage to wood or factory finished surface, work slowly and carefully observe the effect of the cleaner.  Any sign of abrasion or dulling should result in you stopping immediately.   


Paint on glass can be easily removed with krud kutter or acetone.  Acetone is strong solvent that will remove most paint and finishes.  It works well on inorganic surfaces that paint has adhered to.  This includes metal, glass, or plastic.  With acetone, a little goes a long way.


Goof Off works similar to acetone but provides a bit more instruction as to what surfaces it is safe on.  Goof off works well on metal brackets, fixtures, and hardware like doorknobs or latches.  Remember, a little goes a long way.  It is important to do your due diligence to test the resilience of the surface in an inconspicuous area.  



If you are working outside around cement, your best bet is to have a hose with a high pressure nozzle in hand and ready to go.  The best practice is always to cover these cement areas near whatever you are painting.  If paint splatters on cement, work quickly to spray the paint towards the edge of the cement.   Keep the cement wet.  A wet rag can pick up any excess paint and a wire brush works well to remove flecks.  Remember to scrub lightly with the grain if you use a wire brush.  


If paint gets on wood, such as wood on a deck, the same hose and nozzle will help a lot.  Mind the areas around or under the deck that the paint water dissipates to.  A nylon bristle brush softly scrubbing with the grain should remove any paint that is stubborn.  Remember to keep it wet and rinse repeatedly.  


Using Stain?  Prevention is your ultimate defense.  Thinner will be great for wood surfaces, but other than that one must focus on being careful.  A wet rag can clean up stain that drips onto painted or finished surfaces.  


All that is left to say is Godspeed and Good luck on your next project.  If you do come across a paint mishap that needs our professional expertise, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Any feedback or comments? Our information is below.  


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