How to Remove Paint from Baseboards (Safe and Easy Ways)

You’ve just bought a house that has all the original polished woodwork with its historical ornate trims and moldings. The previous owner had done several home renovations of repainting the walls. However, they unintentionally dripped paint on most of the baseboards. How to remove paint from baseboards?

Your go for the next question: How to get paint off baseboards without the need to remove the wood and simply refinish it?

It will depend on how long have been the paint spills on the baseboards. Are they freshly drop? Or, have they been dried there for decades?

Moreover, the technique used for removing the paint drips from wood trims, or other baseboards variedly depends on the types of paint. For example, did you use latex-based or oil-based paint?

Safety First

Before starting any method or process how to remove paint from baseboards, you should do several safety preparations.

First, protect yourself. You can put on protective gear like a working outfit (or old clothes is okay), goggles to protect your eyes, a mask (a respirator one), and solvent-resistant gloves.

Second, make sure the room where you are working has adequate air circulation. You can open the windows. If your room is windowless, you can turn on the aeration fan.

Third, gather all the required materials and tools to prepping your working area.

Also, it is always better to keep kids or pets away.

How to Remove Paint from Baseboards: Latex versus Oil-Based

How to Remove Paint from Baseboards
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For this purpose, you should gather necessary materials and tools, among others, as follows:

  • Denatured alcohol. You can get this at your local hardware stores.
  • Mineral spirits (white spirits or mineral turpentine)
  • Grit sandpaper (fine)
  • Clean towels or rags
  • Clean damp cloth (one or more)

How to remove paint from baseboards? You can try the following steps for both latex and oil-based paint types.

For latex paint, remove the stain by rubbing them using a towel or rag wet with denatured alcohol. Old, thick paint may require you more effort. Luckily, many have said that this kind of ethanol works unexpectedly well without harming the wood beneath.

If denatured alcohol does not show any progress, it means you have oil-based paint stains. You can use a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and grit it lightly. A note here: try not to “dig in” to the baseboard through over-sanding. You can stop if you notice that the bulk of the paint comes off regardless of some remaining color.

The next step is to use a towel or rag and mineral spirits to wipe the colored spots off. Remember not to over-wet the wooden trim since the mineral spirits may be harmful if it penetrates the wood.

As a final step of how to get paint off baseboards, you can wipe and clean the areas exposed to mineral spirits using a clean damp cloth. A caution here: Never leave the baseboard wet. If necessary, you can dry it with a soft rag or towel.

A tip for you: If you see any discolored baseboards, you can touch them up with a wood-finished repair pen or apply a matching stain.

How to Remove Paint from Baseboards: Fresh versus Dried Paint Stains

Similarly, you will need necessary materials like water or mineral spirits and linseed oil (boiled). As for tools, you can prepare paint brushes, clean towels or rags (clean and dry), grit sandpaper (110-120), and a plastic putty knife.

Let’s find how to remove paint from baseboards for freshly and old paint drips.

1. Freshly Dripped Paint

Use the paintbrush gently to smooth the paint drips out over the baseboard surface.

If the drips dropped on the unpainted wooden baseboard, continue to the next step. Take a clean towel or rag and damp it with water (for latex paint) or mineral spirits (for oil-based paint).

Wipe the paint drips by taking full attention not to wipe off the surrounding area of paint.

If necessary, lightly put more paint to the area with another new paintbrush to even the surface out.

2. Old Dripped Paint

How to get paint off baseboards for highly persistent old paint drips?

You can start by sanding with a piece of grit sandpaper (100-120) to remove the drips partially. It is better to use small enough sandpaper to avoid affecting other areas of the baseboard.

Use a clean and dry paintbrush to wipe away the sandpaper sprinkle dirt and the paint leftovers.

Next, immerse a small part of a clean towel or rag in linseed oil (boiled) and rub it directly onto the drips. Hold the damped fabric on the stains for about 2 – 3 minutes until the dried paint drips become softer.

You can use the plastic putty knife gently to peel off the already-softened bulk of old paint drips. You can do this by placing the edge of the putty knife to the stain and apply gentle, short strokes to untie and lift them.

The last step here is using a clean and soft fabric to wipe them dry.

How to Remove Paint from Baseboards

Voila! Your baseboards get a clean look again. It concludes how to remove paint from baseboards. The steps follow what the paint types are and how long have the paint dripped. Please pay close attention to the safe preparation and follow the steps carefully to attain the desired result.

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