Tips to Remove Paint from Tile and Grout

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Tips to Remove Paint from Tile and Grout

Home improvement and painting projects can really elevate the appearance of the house. However, with these projects, no matter how big or small, comes the risk of stray paint splatters on the floors. Whether you’ve discovered some painted tile you’d like to restore or accidentally splattered your kitchen tiles when painting your cabinets, here are the best ways to remove paint from your tiles and grout.

Simple Scraping Method

Putty knife

This will be the simplest and easiest method to use when removing dried paint from your tiles. All you’ll need is a utility knife, or a plastic putty knife, and a mask to protect your airways from dust. All this particular method requires is for you to carefully scrape the paint from the tiles and grout. Because this is a rather straightforward method, so here are a few tips to consider when you are using it:

  • If you have glazed tiles, use the plastic putty knife so that the glaze will not be damaged when you scrape the paint away.
  • Test a small area on the tile with the scraper you are using. If the tile is being scratched when you scrape the paint, stop and try a different method so that the surface is not ruined.
  • If the paint you’re removing is quite old, it would be wise to buy and use a lead paint testing kit. Lead-based paint is harmful to humans and pets, so if you find the test to be positive make sure you are wearing a heavy-duty mask and keep your kids and pets away from the area.
  • Hold the scraping tool at an angle of about 45 degrees when you are scraping.
  • Scrape the tile carefully from the corner or edge to the center to prevent scrapes and chips.
  • Once you’ve finished scraping away the paint, you can wipe the surface of the tile and grout with a damp cloth to clean up.

Heat it UpIndustrial heat gun

This method is quite similar to the scraping method, but with an added step: add heat. Using heat is a method better suited to removing old and stubborn paint from tile and grout. Grab your scraping tools and track down a heat gun and let’s get started.

  • You’ll want to start by using a damp cloth to wipe away any dust and debris from the area of paint you’ll be removing. This will make sure that the paint doesn’t stick to anything else in the space.
  • Power up the heat gun and test a small area of painted tile to ensure that you won’t be damaging the surface underneath. If your test was unsuccessful and scratched or burnt the tile, it is smart to stop this method and try using a solvent to remove the paint and save the tile.
  • Use the heat gun in a small sweeping motion to loosen the paint you’re trying to remove from the tile, try not to focus on any single area for too long as you risk burning the tile.
  • Use your scraping tool to carefully remove the heated paint, working from the outer corners and edges toward the cent of the tile. Be careful around the corners as these areas are particularly prone to chipping and flaking.
  • After every few tiles, take a moment to wipe away the dust and debris from the area. Keeping a clean surface will make the removal of the paint easier and less of a hassle to clean up once you’re finished.

Strip the Paint

DIY paint remover

If you’ve attempted to scrape away the paint and found yourself to be damaging the tile or if the paint is simply far too stubborn, this method is for you. Ideally, if all else fails you should be able to use a paint thinner or another DIY solvent to remove the paint from the tiles. Here are a few methods and DIY recipes you can try in your home:

Citrus-Based Paint Remover – Citrus-based paint removers are your best choice to outright strip the pain from the tile without damaging the glaze. Here is the best method when using paint remover:

  • Put on a pair of gloves and safety goggles before starting and then prep the tiles by wiping them with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water.
  • Test a small area of tile with the paint remover solution to ensure that you won’t be damaging the tiles. If it is safe, apply a generous amount of the solution to the affected tiles and allow it to sit for some time.
  • After the solution has loosened the paint, use a plastic scraping tool at a 45-degree angle to gently scrape away the paint from the surface of the tile.
  • Ensure that the glazed surface of the tile has not been damaged after removing the paint. If you find that the solution has damaged the glaze, you will likely have to refinish your tiles once the paint has been removed.
  • Once all of the paint and remover solution has been wiped away, use a cloth dipped in warm soapy water to clean the tiles and finish up.

Paint Thinner – Paint thinner works best to remove freshly spilled oil-based paint. This is a particularly harsh chemical, so remember to wear protective gloves, a mask, and goggles before you use it. Always test a small area with the chemical before you use it in larger quantities. To properly remove paint thinner, mix together a solution of water and dish soap and use a cloth to remove the remaining chemicals.

White Vinegar – Who knew that regular household white vinegar was good at removing paint? Here is how you use this method:

  • Pour a small amount of vinegar into a pot or into a bowl and heat it up over the stove or in the microwave.
  • Mix in a couple of drops of an essential oil, we recommend a citrus oil like lemon or orange.
  • Use a cloth to wipe the vinegar and essential oil mix onto the affected tiles, and allow it to sit on the surface for around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Use a plastic scraper to remove the loosened paint from the tile and then wipe the surface of the tile with warm water.

Acetone-Based Nail Polish Remover – Similar to paint thinner, acetone-based nail polish remover does a good job of removing oil-based paint. The added bonus of this method is that it can loosen and remove dried oil paint as well as fresh. In order to properly use nail polish remover to remove the paint from tiles, start by scraping and loosening the surface of the paint before dabbing nail polish remover onto the tile with a cloth. Allow this remover to sit for just a few minutes in order to loosen the paint and then use the cloth with nail polish remover on it to wipe away the remaining paint. Finish by wiping the tiles with warm soapy water.

Did any of these methods work to remove paint from your tiles? If you’ve tried nearly everything and still haven’t reached the results you’re looking for, don’t stress. Our professional cleaners are capable and happy to help. Check out our website and contact us today to find out how we can help you keep your home looking clean and tidy.