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How to Clean Up Spilled Paint Around the House

How to Clean Up Spilled Paint Around the House

Spilled paint is an all too common occurrence, especially when you undergo a huge painting project around the house. When spilled paint occurs on any given surface, one’s first instinct is to always panic! This is because it looks as if that paint will never come off.

The good news is that spilled latex paint can be removed from a variety of surfaces. The bad news is that one must act very quickly to clean up spilled paint in order to prevent lasting damage. Another key aspect of rapid paint cleanup is that one must have all of the tools and items on hand to allow for rapid cleaning.

If you encounter spilled paint during your home project, do not panic. In order to preserve your floors, here are four ways on how to clean up spilled paint around the house:

1. Dab the spilled paint

If the spilled paint happens on a soft surface such as a rug or a carpet, do not rub the offending mess. Instead, ensure that you dab the spilled paint with a dry cloth. You may need to repeat this process several times until all of the excess paint is dabbed off.

Next, you will need to wet your cloth with warm water and continue dabbing at the mess. The reason why rubbing spilled paint on a carpet is not a good idea, is due to the fact that rubbing will spread the paint further within the material. This will make it much harder to clean. Instead, consistent dabbing will ensure that it is removed thoroughly.

When in doubt, remember to clean up the spilled paint by dabbing and not rubbing.

2. Use liquid detergent to clean spilled paint


When there is spilled paint on hardwood surfaces, then follow the same process as for carpet. Dab the offending spill as soon as possible, as it helps ensure that you remove all excess paint from the area. After that, mix a bucket of warm water and liquid detergent. It is recommended that you use an “extra strength” liquid detergent.

Use a mop to collect your mixture and spread it across the paint spill. Ensure that you wipe up every paint splattered area carefully, and you don’t miss any spots. You may need to repeat this process several times in order to ensure that all excess paint is entirely removed. You may need to use paper towels to dry up the remaining liquid.

The key to cleaning up spilled paint on wooden floors is to clean it up immediately after it happens. If you wait too long, you are running the risk of letting the paint settle. Therefore, when painting near hardwood, keep your mop, bucket and liquid detergent handy!

3. Contain the spilled paint quickly

If you are painting anything outside and your paint happens to spill on concrete, ensure that you contain it immediately. You can do this with using paper such as newspaper or paper towels, or by spreading kitty litter on the offending area. Indeed, kitty litter is a great way to absorb liquids fast.

Once you work on absorbing the paint for about 10-15 minutes, use a cloth, warm water and cleaning detergent to clean up the spill. Work in small sections from the most “heavy” area to the lightest. After you wash out the area, you will need to use a steel wire brush to clean the remainder.

Ensure that you dip your brush in a bucket of warm water and detergent and scrub what is left thoroughly.

If you are unable to remove the excess paint but you have an asphalt driveway, you can cover the remaining stains with a black driveway sealant. This will ensure that your drive way looks fresh and that all stains are thoroughly removed!

4. Get a paint scratching tool

Despite your best efforts, there could be a situation where you were not able to clean the spilled paint on time. In those circumstances, you should allow the paint to dry fully. Once it is completely dry, locate a craft knife or a carpet comb.

Start at the edges of the spill, and slowly chip off pieces of the paint. Keep in mind that this is a long and tedious process and you may need to get a helping hand or two to speed up the process. After you peel the paint, you may want to clean the area with a wet cloth and some detergent, just to be on the safe side.

Paint spills can put a sudden damper on your renovation and home DIY plans. However, don’t be discouraged by these random renovation setbacks. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to be swift and act fast. Happy painting!