It is always worth taking the time to cover your floors and furniture before you undertake a decorating project. Masking off certain areas, such as windows, electrical sockets and skirting boards, will help minimise the amount of tidying up that you will need to do once your decorating is complete. Accidents and spillages often occur when using paint, and so protecting your furnishings before you start painting is a must.

Without any further ado, here are some ideas on how to remove paint from a variety of different surfaces.

  • Metal. You can try either sanding, chemicals or heat removal to ease dried paint from metal. The quickest & easiest solution is sanding, but if you have a small or delicate area then best to apply a chemical paint stripper. Apply a small amount on the affected area and leave to soak for 5-10 minutes then wipe or scrape off.
  • Carpet. It’s easiest to remove paint from a carpet before it dries, so do mop up any splatters or spills as soon as you notice them. Apply hot water and a small amount of washing up liquid to paint that’s dried on carpeting. Allow the solution to soak in to help soften up the paint, you can then use a scraper to gently lift the paint off without damaging the carpet. For more stubborn paint stains, you could use a handheld steamer to loosen then gently pick off the old paint.
  • Concrete. Loosen any paint that’s dried with a stiff brush. Apply a chemical stripper and leave for about an hour or longer. Brush away with a stiff brush and wipe up any residue.
  • Wood. Again, you can try either sanding, chemicals or heat removal to ease dried paint from wood. If you choose to use a chemical paint stripper, apply the product and leave it to soak for a few minutes, then gently scrape off with a putty knife. For large areas, you can sand down with a wire brush or abrasive pad. Heat guns will also remove paint from wood, please proceed with caution as the product is extremely flammable. Point the tool at the surface until the paint starts to blister, then scrape off with a putty knife.
  • Plastic. Always be careful when trying to remove paint from plastic, as some specialist paint removers may start to melt the surface or object. Ideally, gently start to scrap the paint off with a putty knife or scraper. Try using vegetable oil to soften the paint or for more stubborn stains, try using nail polish remover. Always test on an inconspicuous area first. Wash down after with warm soapy water to remove any solution or residue.
  • Glass. Paint splatter can be difficult to remove without scratching the glass. Hot soapy water and a safety razor blade can remove old dried-on paint. Hold the blade at a 45-degree angle and carefully scrape away at the paint, avoid scratches by keeping the glass damp.
  • Leather. It’s incredibly difficult to get paint off leather. First of all, try rubbing the affected area gently with a damp cloth. This may be all you need. If not, try baby oil or similar to dab the area with the damp cloth until it’s gone. Once the stain is removed, clean the leather with warm soapy water or leather cleaner to stop it from being stained by the oil. 

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