How To Clean Paint from Tile

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Do you want to restore an original surface or get rid of unattractive drips? Choose one of the three tried-and-true techniques.

It is absolutely feasible to remove paint off the tile, whether you want to remove some unintentional splatters or you’ve uncovered a treasure trove of vintage tile beauty beneath a previous paint job.

The best removal approach depends on the degree and tenacity of the paint you wish to remove—just keep in mind that if the tiles’ glaze contains fractures or flakes any attempt may aggravate the damage.

Whatever method you select, you can most likely restore your tile to its original, paint-free state—and it may be easier than you think!

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How To Clean Paint from Tile

Toxic vapors can be released by paint removers. While working with these items, open doors and windows to air the space. The vinegar solution has no health concerns, but it takes longer to remove paint than a paint remover and may leave a lasting odor.

Paint Remover

On obstinate paint or damaged tiles, use paint remover. Tell your hardware store professional the type of tiles and glaze you have before purchasing the most effective product; if you’re unsure (or don’t have a sample to show), a citrus-based paint remover, such as Citristrip (available on Amazon), is the least likely to damage glazing while still removing paint from tile. Ask your store for a conservation-rated paint remover for glazed surfaces if your tiles are more than 20 years old. Regardless of the paint remover you choose, make sure your working area is well-ventilated by opening windows and needing fans.

STEP 1 Use a home cleaner or a 50-50 mix of white vinegar and water to clean the painted tiles. Then, needing a moist cloth, wipe the area to neutralize it. Before you begin, put on your goggles and gloves.

STEP 2 Test the tile’s capacity to handle the paint remover in an inconspicuous location. Apply paint remover generously with a clean rag as directed on the box and allow to settle for the prescribed will time.

STEP 3 Using a plastic scraper held at a 45-degree angle, scrape off the paint. After scraping, clean with a remover. If there is no damage to the glaze, continue with the rest of the tile. If the glaze is damaged, you can proceed but will need to refinish the tiles.

STEP 4 Once the paint has been thoroughly removed, wipe the tiles with warm soapy water and dry with a clean towel.

Scraping It Off

If you Are negligent when painting and need to remove splatters, use this approach first. However, if the dried-on paint is obstinate, go to Method 2. Wear a dirt mask if attempting to scrape areas that have been in place for decades—don’t take any risks with possibly dangerous lead-based paint.

STEP 1 Begin in an inconspicuous test area by holding a utility knife at a 45-degree angle and scraping paint off the tile with a quick, hard but delicate swipe. Proceed with confidence if the paint comes up without damaging the glaze. However, if you feel or observe any glaze breaking or flaking off, go to Method 3 to protect the tile beneath.

STEP 2 Dampen a clean towel with water and clean the tiles. Scrape and wipe until all splatters have been removed. If certain splatters don’t come off, use heat.

Heat and Remove

A heat gun can assist in loosening hardened, cured paint. Wear a dirt mask while working with any paint that may have been applied before 1978.

STEP 1 Concentrate your efforts in a small region of approximately a square foot at a time. Heat the tiles while rotating the gun frequently to avoid burning an area, and continue heating until the paint feels soft and sticky.

STEP 2 Remove paint off tile by holding a plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle and working your way in from the outside edge. It will frequently pull off fast in delightful strips! When you’re in a tough situation, such as a corner, be patient.

STEP 3 Wipe off the surface with a clean, moist rag on a regular basis. Repeat the heat-scrape-wipe process until all of the paint has been removed.

What If Paint Got Onto The Grout

It may be difficult to remove paint between tiles if the grout was never adequately sealed. Scrub grout needs a citrus-based paint remover and a toothbrush, then wipe clean as directed by the product. If you are unable to obtain the desired effect after numerous attempts, you have two options: painting the grout needing a specialist paint or re-grouting. If you are successful in removing all of the paint stains from the grout, consider re-sealing the lines to preserve them from further harm.

Can you remove paint with paint thinner, nail polish, or vinegar?

If you want to make removing paint from tiles simpler but don’t want to use paint remover, you might try paint thinner, nail polish, or – for a more natural option – vinegar. Let me respond to your inquiry.

Paint Thinner 

This is a mineral solvent that is used to soften oil-based paint so that it may be removed more easily. This, however, works only while the paint is still It. You’ll need to use a different approach for dried-up oil paint.

Paint thinner is a strong substance that can cause skin irritation or a general allergic reaction in most situations. As a result, when dealing with it, it is critical to wear protective clothing. Work in a well-ventilated environment at all times.

Before cleaning paint with the solvent, test a tiny area on your tiles and grout. Apply the paint thinner needing a cloth or a cotton swab. Scrub gently, then wipe the area clean when finished. To eliminate the chemical, use a solution with 3 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of dish soap.


This is a cheap and simple method for removing dried paint from your tiles. It is also a natural, eco-friendly option — a wonderful alternative to chemicals that will still remove more difficult stains while posing no health risks.

Warm-up a little quantity of white distilled vinegar combined with essential oils to remove paint splatter from your tiles and grout. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution and dab it on the dried paint. Allow the solution to rest for 10-15 minutes — this is more than enough time to soften the paint. Then, needing a scraper, remove the loose paint. Enjoy your paint-free tiles by wiping the surface with a towel.

Nail polish remover

Because acetone is effective on both dried and new paint, it is a simple and affordable option when working with oil-based paints.

To begin, scrape the paint needing a plastic scraper or a utility knife. After that, dab a tiny amount of nail polish remover onto a clean microfibre cloth and dab it on the tile. Allow for a few minutes for the paint to soften. To remove the extra paint, scrub the tiles with an acetone-soaked towel. Finally, rinse the cloth with soapy water to remove any remaining acetone.

How Do You Remove Paint From Terracotta Tiles?

Terracotta tiles absorb much more water than porcelain or ceramic tiles (though they are technically ceramic themselves). Water-based paints and additives will quickly be absorbed into the tile’s surface, making cleanup more difficult if the tiles are not glazed.

To remove paint from these tiles, use the same method as for porcelain and ceramic tiles. It may, however, need a little more elbow grease.

If you are unable to remove the paint with soapy water, a toothbrush, and/or natural or commercial solvents, just sand the tiles down with fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit). You should carefully sand the affected area before removing the paint with a brush. After that, rinse the tile with soapy water. Repeat as necessary until the discomfort is totally gone.

Frequently Asked Questions

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