How to Remove Paint From Tile

by Alexa

By Alexa Erickson

Finding paint on tiles is an unsettling discovery. Actually, discovering paint on just about anything can incite concern. But, while paint may appear permanent on tile, there are ways to remove it, that of which includes natural solutions like vinegar.

This guide will take you through some of the top methods for removing paint from your precious tile, including dried paint and wet paint.

gloved hands scrubbing floor tiles

Photo via Shutterstock

How to Remove Paint from Tiles with Vinegar

A little household vinegar diluted in water may be all you need for a toxin-free method to remove paint from tile. 

Tools and Materials Needed

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Saucepan 
  • 3 clean rags
  • Scrub brush

Step 1: Boil Water and Vinegar

In a small saucepan, add equal parts water and white vinegar. Bring the solution to a boil and then remove from the heat. 

Step 2: Apply Solution to Cloth

Dip a clean cloth into the solution. Rest the hot cloth over the paint for 30 seconds. The hot vinegar will soften the paint.  

Step 3: Scrub Away the Paint

Use a scrub brush to help lift away the paint from the tile. 

Step 4: Rinse Tile

Use a water-dampened cloth to remove pieces of loose paint and the vinegar solution from the tile. Dry with another clean, dry cloth. 

How to Remove Paint from Tiles with Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish is another household item you may have on hand to remove paint from tile quickly. The acetone in the remover is strong enough to eat away at the paint, much like it does nail polish. 

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Utility knife
  • Nail polish
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Soapy water

Step 1: Scrape the Paint, Apply Nail Polish Remover

Use a utility knife to loosen the paint from the tile as much as possible. Then, pour a small amount of nail polish remover onto a clean microfiber cloth. Dab it on the paint spot on the tile. Leave the solution there for a few minutes to soften the paint. 

Step 2: Scrub the Tile With Acetone

Scrub the tile with the acetone-soaked cloth. This will remove any stubborn paint. 

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

Rinse the area with a clean cloth and soapy water and let it dry completely.

How to Remove Paint from Tiles with a Heat Gun

Another effective way to remove paint from tile is with the use of a heat gun. The heat works to loosen up stubborn paint—especially old paint that’s been on there for years. 

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Heat gun
  • Utility knife
  • Soft cloth

Step 1: Heat the Paint

Once the heat gun is turned on and warmed up to its lowest setting, move it back and forth slowly over the paint. Avoid staying in one area for too long, which can burn the tile and the grout. Alternatively, you can also use a hair dryer

Step 2: Scrape Away Paint

Once the paint is softened from the heat of the gun, use a utility knife to scrape away the loosened particles. 

Step 3: Clean Up

Use a microfiber cloth to wipe up any excess paint. 

How to Remove Paint from Tiles with Paint Thinner

Paint thinner only works if the paint on the tile is still wet. Since paint thinner is a harsh chemical, be sure to wear safety gear and open up all of your windows for ventilation.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Paint thinner
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cotton swab
  • Rags
  • Soapy water

Step 1: Apply Paint Thinner

Put on rubber gloves and dip a cotton swab in paint thinner. Dab the swab on the dried paint for a few seconds, then begin to carefully scrub the area with a rag.

Step 2: Wash the Area

Once the dried paint has lifted, use soapy water and a rag to clean the area. Let dry completely.

hand scrubbing grout with toothbrush

Photo via Shutterstock

How to Remove Paint from Tile Grout

If the paint is still wet, you can use the same paint thinner method above on the grout. However, if it’s dried, you’ll need to scrape and apply rubbing alcohol to help lift the paint away.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Utility knife
  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Rags
  • Regular or attery-powered toothbrush

Step 1: Loosen the Paint With a Knife

Try to carefully scrape out as much of the paint in the grout as possible using a knife. 

Step 2: Moisten a Cloth with Rubbing Alcohol

To avoid staining the grout, apply rubbing alcohol to a rag. Blot the area where the paint has dried. Scrub away the loosened paint with the cloth.

Step 3: Use a Battery-Powered Toothbrush

If there is still stubborn paint in the grout, use a battery-powered toothbrush to gently scrub away the paint. 

Step 4: Clean and Dry

Wipe the area clean with soapy water and a cloth and let dry. 

Do you have additional tips for how to remove paint from tile? Share them below!

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