How To Get Paint Off Linoleum

How To Get Paint Off Linoleum? [Here Is How]

Renovating and remodeling jobs often come with the unfortunate outcome of messes to clean up. Even while applying great caution while painting, there are chances you still have to deal with spills and stains that have gotten on your tile floor.

This article covers tips on how to remove paint from vinyl and linoleum flooring. However, since there are several ways to remove paint from linoleum, your application method depends on the type of paint and linoleum.

On the brighter side, if you spot the wet paint spill early enough before it dries up, you can wipe it off immediately before it becomes a stain. But you may find some paint only when it’s already dried on your Linoleum flooring. This calls for more effort.

Using steam on a new and thick vinyl or linoleum can work, but starting by gently attempting to chip the paint off the floors is best. While water-based paint gets off when you use a detergent, a suitable solution to oil-based, acrylic, and latex paint is using isopropyl alcohol. Turpentine, WD-40, and acetone also work well on this paint. Regardless, you may need to perform a lot of rubbing and multiple cleaners applications.

How To Get Paint Off Linoleum - Step-By-Step

How To Get Paint Off Linoleum-2

Linoleums are of different types, and each one may respond differently to specific cleaning processes. For instance, some kinds of linoleum can have scrape marks when you use a razor blade or plastic scraper on the surface. It’s advisable to test your cleaning method on a small area to see how well it works and ensure it doesn’t damage the finishing before proceeding to the entire floor.

Here’s a more explained way of removing paint from vinyl or linoleum.

Step 1: Wipe the stained area

If you are lucky to spot the stain before it dries, you can wipe off as much mess as possible. It doesn’t matter if the spill on your linoleum is from latex or oil-based paint.

  • Use an absorbent cloth or paper towels to dab the stains off before it dries.  
  • Spills on latex paint can often require the application of mild detergent. Put warm water in a small bucket, and add some detergent.
  • Place your sponge in the soap and water solution. But ensure the sponge is damp and not so wet to remove latex paint effectively. Patiently work your way from outside the stained area to the fresh wet paint as you clean.
  • Dip a rag or paper towels in plain water and wipe the floor to remove the detergent. If you're dealing with a stubborn paint stain, you should proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Remove paint using Rubbing Alcohol

In some cases, dried paint only comes off by applying Rubbing Alcohol. Before attempting this, wear safety goggles and rubber gloves. The rubber gloves prevent skin irritations, and the goggles protect your eyes from the fumes of the rubbing alcohol.

  • Saturate a sponge or cloth with rubbing alcohol and leave it to stay on the stained flooring for about 30 minutes before you start to scrub.
  • Press the cloth or sponge and wipe the area in a circular motion from the inside out. While doing this, rinse the sponge with plain water periodically, then reapply bits of alcohol, and repeat the step.

Step 3: Apply erasing solvent

You may have difficulties removing the stain after applying rubbing alcohol to your linoleum. Try using other options of cleaning solvent to do the job. Paint thinner or nail polish remover containing acetone can be an alternative for alcohol in this situation. But use caution to avoid damaging your linoleum. Some solvents can dull the finish, especially if your floor is vinyl.

  • Test the solvent on a small area before checking how your flooring reacts to the chemicals.
  • Apply the solvent to the cleaning area and run the procedure the same way with the rubbing alcohol.
  • Remember to keep the room well-ventilated when using any solvent.

Step 4: Scrape the paints off

In some cases where the paint hasn’t fully hardened, wiping the paints off the linoleum floor can worsen the situation. It’s often better to let the spill sit for a day or two when you can chip it off.

  • Take and discard the cloth from step 3. Examine the area, and check for any leftover trace of paints.
  • Use a putty knife, credit card, razor blade, or paint scraper to loosen the hardened paints on the linoleum floor. Slip the tool under the stain and pry it off the linoleum gently. Be careful to avoid cutting into your flooring
  • A scouring pad is also effective in clearing the residual. But going back and forth can leave marks on the floor, so scrub in one direction alone. Be careful and ensure not to use too much pressure to leave scratches on the surface.

Step 5: Clean the floor and apply sealer

When most of the paint is gone, you can proceed to clean the residue off with soap and water or mineral spirits.

  • Make a solution of mild detergent and warm water in a bucket. Dampen a rag with the soapy solution and wring most of the water out.
  • In a circular motion, rub the affected area with the wet clean rag. Repeat the process with another rag and plain water. With the linoleum well rinsed, wipe the area with a clean, dry rag and give it 30 minutes to one hour to air dry.
  • After the stain is well eliminated using these tips, applying a sealer is good. Get one from a hardware store, and apply the sealer using a paint roller. You can double coat for better protection from stains.

How to get spray paint off linoleum?

How to get spray paint off linoleum

Using spray paints indoors is not always a recommended option. But you may have already used it before learning about this. Or you're over-spraying certain areas of the house only to realize that the paint is getting to your linoleum. The method you can remove spray paint varies on the type of paint stains. Unlike fine spray paint layers, thick layers of solid spray paint require a few repetitions of these methods.

Here are tips on how to get the spray paint off linoleum:

Use water and scrub latex paint

You can pour a bit of soapy water on the spray paint and let it soak for a few minutes for water-based spray paints. Then using a plastic bristle brush, scrub the stained area and wipe it off with a rag. If it's stubborn paint, you can remove paint by substituting acetone and denatured alcohol.

Use lubricants or alcohol-based liquid

Check if the stain remains on the linoleum after using the water and scrubbing method. You now need to apply an alcohol-based liquid such as isopropyl alcohol and nail polish remover or use WD-40 lubricants. Apply any of these solvents to a cloth and wipe it over the stained area. Then let it sit in for about 5 minutes before rubbing a cloth or plastic brush over the spots.

How to remove oil-based paint from linoleum?

How to remove oil-based paint from linoleum

Unlike water-based paints, getting oil-based paints off is a bit different. It doesn’t come off with water, even for wet or dried paint. Even though linoleum has a finish to allow a wide range of liquids, scratches can permanently mark your linoleum.

You should apply care while removing paint from the floor. Here are tips and simple steps to guide you:

Step 1: Scoop the wet paint stains

You can scoop up the excessive paints with your hands or with a disposable spoon and empty them into a bucket when it’s still wet. But wear rubber gloves to keep your hands safe. The paint doesn’t come off with water until it’s thoroughly dried.

Step 2: Apply cleaning solvents

After enough effort to clean paint from the linoleum, dip a cloth or old rag in turpentine, acetone, paint thinner, or other alcohol-based liquid and wipe the stained area. Repeat the process by soaking the fabric in the same solution until the paint is gone.

Step 3: Wipe off the oil-based paint

Scooping only works on wet oil paint. When the paint is dried, you should still apply a high percentage of alcohol liquid, such as methylated spirits, acetone, or denatured alcohol. Use a plastic or nail polish remover brush to remove paint from the linoleum.

Step 4: Scrub with more clothes

Depending on how wet or dry the paint is, you may need to repeat step 3 until the alcohol-based liquid penetrates the dried paint. But this happens after you have removed a part of it. Scrub off as much paint as possible.

Step 5: Clean paint off the stained area

Oil-based paints require lots of disposable clothes or rags. The more scrubbing and rubbing alcohol you periodically apply, the softer the stain gets. Once it’s soft enough, use a cloth or brush to clean the oil-based paint.


Considering how common it is to have linoleum flooring in most housing, it’s most likely splatters of paints on your floor are tempering the beauty of your room. Linoleum is like wood with a hardened linseed oil finish, making it challenging and time-consuming to remove paint stains from its surface without damaging the floor.

This article provides some solid tips on how to remove paint from vinyl and linoleum. You can remove paint and get most of this task done with just warm water, a piece of cloth, a razor blade, and mild detergent or rubbing alcohol for stubborn paint. Wear some rubber gloves, choose a strategy based on your needs, and clean paint off your linoleum today!