How to Remove Acrylic Paint from A Wood – Using 5 Handy Methods

Share on:

Do your kids always paint with acrylic paints and make a mess by spilling it all over your furniture? Or perhaps you are a painter but can’t control the spillage?

Do you always wonder how to remove acrylic paint from wood furniture without causing more damage? Regardless of the mess that acrylic paint can cause on wood, I will show you how to get rid of it easily.

Removing paint from wood can be done in several ways, but I will show you 5 simple methods to get it done quickly. We all love our wooden floors and furniture looking good all the time and messed paint, can ruin the entire look and setup. Let’s get on with it.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood – Using 5 Handy Methods

What is Acrylic Paint on A Wood

Acrylic paint is a very fast-drying paint made of pigment balanced in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints can dissolve in water but become water-resistant when they dry.

It depends on how much the paint is diluted with water or revamped with acrylic media, gels, or pastes.

The finished acrylic painting can mimic a gouache, a watercolor, or an oil painting and have its unique characteristics not attainable with other media. 

Acrylics have been used in art since the early 1950s. They became very popular with artists in the 1960s because they were highly versatile and could be used in various techniques.

Today, acrylics are still widely used by artists of all skill levels and are available in multiple colors, styles, and formulations.

Some artists believe that acrylics allow them to work more spontaneously than oil paints because they dry so quickly. Acrylics can also be diluted with water to create exciting effects.

Acrylic paint can also be used in a mixed media piece, along with other types of paint, pencil, charcoal, or pastel.

Choosing the correct type of acrylic paint is important when painting on wood. There are two types of acrylic paint available: artist-grade and student-grade.

Artist-grade acrylic paint is of a higher quality and is more expensive, while student-grade acrylic paint is less expensive and of lower quality.

For painting on wood, it is best to use artist-grade acrylic paint, as it will adhere better and be more durable.

When working with acrylics, prepare the surface first, use a good quality paintbrush, and clean your brushes thoroughly after use.

The wood should be sanded smooth and then primed with gesso or an acrylic primer. Once the primer is dry, the painting can begin.

If you are new to using acrylics, there are a few things you should know before you start painting:

  1. Acrylics paint dries very quickly, so you need to work soon.
  2. You can easily create exciting effects by diluting the paint with water.
  3. Acrylics can be tricky to remove from clothing, so wear old clothes when painting.

Acrylic paint can be applied directly to the wood surface or mixed with a medium to create various effects.

Acrylic paint dries quickly, so it is essential to work in small sections and to use a wet brush to blend colors.

When your painting is complete, it can be sealed with a varnish to protect it.

Type of Paints Used on the Wood

When painting wood, a few different types of paint can be used. What kind of paint you want to use will depend on the type of wood you are painting and the look you are going for.

Here are a few of the most common wood paint types:

Latex paints are a type of water-based paint that is commonly used for interior painting projects. This latex paint is very easy to work with and clean up, and they dry relatively quickly.

Latex paints can be used on various surfaces, including wood and hardwood. It is also relatively inexpensive and can be found at most hardware stores.

Oil-based paints are another popular type of paint that use on wood. It takes too long to dry than latex paints but provides a more durable finish.

Oil-based paints are ideal for painting projects that require a high level of durabilities, such as trim work or doors.

Enamel paints are a different type of paint that is known for their high gloss finish. It is often used on woodwork or cabinetry.

Enamel paints can be more challenging to work with than latex or oil-based paints, but they provide a beautiful finish resistant to scratches and stains.

Acrylic paint is a synthetic option that is becoming more popular for painting wood. It is so flexible and can be used to create a variety of looks.

Chalk paint is a type of paint that is made from calcium carbonate. It is famous for painting furniture because it gives a distressed look.

Spray paint is another option that can be used for painting wood. It is quick and easy to use and can provide a high-quality finish.

However, it can be more expensive than other types of paint.

Before The Process Of Removing the Dry Acrylic Paint from A Wood

Because safety is paramount, it is crucial to begin by taking safety precautions to avoid further damage to the wood as you remove the paint. Start by doing the following:

  • In case you are using any kind of detergent, for example, remove the acrylic paint on the wood table, and make sure you keep it away from children’s reach.
  • Make sure there is enough ventilation from where you are removing the acrylic paint. For example, keep the windows open before and after you clean the wood.
  • Depending on the acrylic paint remover substance you are going to use, start by testing it on a piece of wood to see if it will leave a stain once it dries.
  • Also, choose the method to use according to the type of wood you are dealing with.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood – 5 Usefull Handy Methods

The easiest acrylic paint to remove on wood would be the one that is still wet. With this one, all you will need is some water, soap, and a cleaning cloth.

However, the difficult part comes when the paint dries on the wood. At this point, water will do very little to remove the paint.

When it happens, you will need to step up and use other methods I am going to detail below.

Easy and Best Way to Remove Acrylic Paint from A Wood Using The Below Methods

There are a few different ways that you can remove acrylic paint from wood, and the best way will depend on the type of wood and the finish.

Method 1

Using Soap and Water

Use Soap and Water to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood.jpg

  1. Start by wiping the fresh acrylic paint with a damp cloth from the wood surface.
  2. Mix up some hot water with soap, get a fresh piece of cloth and wet it with the mixture. Also use basic glycerin soap, liquid soap, or even bar soap.
  3. Now use the wet cloth to scrub the area, which had the fresh acrylic paint gently. Keep on scrubbing until you see the paint off.
  4. Next, use a fresh cloth to wipe off any remaining paint residue and soap on the wood surface and dry it off.

Note: The method can only be done when dealing with wet acrylic paint on the wood. If the paint is dry, then you will have to use another method.

Method 2 

Using Alcohol

Using Alcoho to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood

  1. Here you will need a putty knife to scrape the paint first gently so as not to damage the wood. Try to remove as much paint as possible without putting a lot of pressure that will leave scratches.
  2. Once you are through, get a cloth and apply some alcohol on it. The best to use would be rubbing alcohol, which is easy to get anywhere.
  3. Use the cloth with the rubbing alcohol to scrub the remaining paint off the wood. Remember only to move the cloth along the area with the paint because alcohol tends to damage the wood.
  4. Get another cloth and wet it with water to wipe off the alcohol from the spot with paint.
  5. Now wipe the surface dry, and you are all good.

Method 3

Using a Heat Gun

Using a Heat Gun to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood

  1. For this method, you need first to determine whether the area with the acrylic paint on the wood is large. This is because using a heat gun can only be efficient if you are dealing with removing the paint from large wood surfaces such as an entire door or even furniture.
  2. Get your heat gun and read the instructions until you understand them well. A heat gun can produce harmful vapors and can be dangerous to you, so safety measures should be taken seriously.
  3. Once you establish all the safety precautions and the right heat setting needed, it’s then time to aim the gun at the surface with the acrylic paint. Hold it at a distance of 3 to 4 inches away for a period of 10 to 20 seconds.
  4. Hold the heat gun with one hand, and the other holds a putty knife and start scraping off the paint. With the heat from the gun, the paint should be able to start melting and peeling off the wood surface.
  5. Once you scrape off all the paint, you can then wipe down the surface once the spot is cool. Add some soap or alcohol to remove any remaining paint residue.

Method 4

Using a Solvent

 Using a Solvent to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood

  1. Another way on how to remove paint from wood is by using a solvent. Go for methylene chloride solvent, which is the most commonly used and the best paint remover for wood deck. This solvent should be handled with care when using it.
  2. Wear safety gloves and eye protection as you use the solvent because it could be dangerous. Make sure you also wear a long-sleeved shirt. You should also have proper ventilation.
  3. Using a paintbrush or a roller, apply the solvent onto the wood area with the acrylic paint. Make sure the solvent sits for about 20 minutes to allow the solvent to work.
  4. The paint will bubble, and when it does, use a plastic scraper to remove the paint. Remember not to apply a lot of force scraping off the paint as it might leave scratches on the wood.
  5. Use the cleansing spirit to clean the area to ensure the wood is neutralized by the solvent.
  6. Wait for about a week and wax the spot to make it look good again.

Method 5

Using Sanding Wood

DEWALT Palm Sander, 1/4 Sheet (DWE6411K)

  1. If the other methods don’t work for you, use steel wool or even sandpaper to scrub off the paint. Use power sanders if the area is big to finish the job quickly. Also, make sure you use fine steel wool and sandpaper to avoid scratching the wood.
  2. Once you scrub off all the paint, use a damp cloth to clean the area. This will wipe off all the sand dust.
  3. Once it’s dry, refinish the spot with the same finish which was used on the wood.
  4. There are plenty of other methods to use when removing acrylic paint from wood. Also, look out for some homemade deck stain removers to help you deal with the paint.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How Do You Get Rid of Acrylic Paint From A Wooden Surface Palette?

A: Start by wiping off any paint with a paper towel or a cloth. Use soap and water in case the paint is still wet and wipe it off with a cloth. If the paint dried, lift it off the palette or soak it in a fabric softener for just 5 minutes and wipe off the paint.

Q: How To Remove Acrylic Paint Stain From Wood Deck

A: Either a putty knife to scrape off the paint and then rub it off using fine sandpaper if the spot is small. Use a wet cloth to clean off any residue. In case the area is big, use a paint stripper and apply it to the spot using a paintbrush.

Use a high-pressure water hose to spray off the paint, and then use a putty knife to remove the remaining paint. Once you are done let the spot dry, sand it off and then apply a sealer to the wood deck surface.

Q: How To Remove Dried Acrylic Paint From Wood

A: There are many methods to use, such as applying rubbing alcohol, using a heat gun in case the area is big, or even using a chemical paint removal solvent. Any of the methods can help to remove dried acrylic paint from wood.

Q: How To Remove Dry Paint Splatter From Wood Floors

A: Use a putty knife to scrape off as much paint as you can from the wood floor. Once you are done, get a cloth or rag and dip it into a mixture of rubbing alcohol and lemon juice.

Rub the solution to the spot and let it sit for a few minutes. After, get another rag and scrub off the paint from the floor.

Q: How To Remove Dry Paint From Wood Trim

A: It will depend on the paint, which is on the wood trim if it is oil-based paint sand it gently with fine sandpaper. If it is latex paint, use rubbing alcohol to remove the paint.

When you are through with sanding or rubbing with alcohol, use mineral spirit to wipe off the colored spots.  Wipe off the area and apply the finish to get a good look.

Q: How To Remove Paint From Wood Furniture

A: Apply denatured alcohol, varnish, or even paint remover to a section on the furniture with paint. Let it sit for a few seconds and then wipe it off using a cloth.

The paint should be able to come off easily without leaving any remains. When you are done in one section, go to the next and repeat the process until you finish the entire wood furniture.

Q: How To Remove Paint From Wood Floors

A: Use rubbing alcohol, stain remover, heat gun, or a mixture of soap and water if the paint is still wet. Apply the rubbing alcohol to the wood floor section with the paint.

Scrub the cloth with alcohol until you get out all the paint. Dip a clean cloth in water and wipe off the alcohol from the floor and then dry it.

Q: How To Remove Paint From Wood Cabinets

A: Get fine sandpaper to use on your wood cabinet. Rub the sandpaper on the section with paint until you get the paint off the cabinet.

Get a damp cloth and wipe off any residue of sawdust from that section. Once the section is done, apply your cabinet’s finish to the spot to make it look better.

Q: How To Remove Latex Paint From Wood

A: Remove Latex paint by using rubbing alcohol. Put some rubbing alcohol onto a cloth and then rub it on the section with the latex paint. Let the alcohol sit for a few seconds and then wipe it off with a cloth.

This should make the paint come off smoothly. After it’s off, use mineral spirit to wipe the section and then leave the place to dry.

Q: How To Remove Paint From The Wood Deck Without Chemicals

A: Either use a heat gun or sandpaper.  Aim the heat gun at the area with paint on the wood. Heat up the paint until it starts melting off and then use a putty knife to scrape off the paint from the wood.

Wipe that spot using a damp cloth to remove any remaining paint.

Q: How Do I Remove An Acrylic Stain From Wood Without Stripping Or Sanding?

A: Here, use a chemical paint removing solvent. Apply the solvent to the wood section with paint using a roller or a paintbrush.

Let the solvent sit for about 20 minutes until the paint bubbles. Once it bubbles, use a putty knife to scrape off the paint and then wipe it off with a cloth.

Q: Will Acrylic Paint Wash Off Wood In The Rain?

A: Yes, it will. Acrylic paint is water-based, meaning it can easily wash off in rain when it is not properly dry. The only way to avoid this is to varnish the painted area or gloss it up properly.

Final Thoughts

As I wrap up this guide, it is safe to say the methods above are effective and when followed carefully, you will be in a position to remove acrylic paint from wood.

Whether it is on your favorite furniture, floors, or even doors, choose the most suitable method depending on the state of the paint and the availability of the items and products needed to remove the paint.

If you have always wondered how to remove acrylic paint from wood, it shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

You May Also Read:

1. How To Cut Tree Branches That Are Too High To Reach – Easy Guide(2020)
Robert Terry

Robert Terry is a specialist author at He is very enthusiastic about woodworking and carpentry. His writings have been published in the wood magazine before. His passion for working with wood and woodworking tools lets him explore many pieces of informative content and resources. Besides working as a creative writer, he loves to share his skills and experiences with the woodworking and carpentry community.

Share on:

Leave a Comment