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4 Methods to Remove Paint from Tile

Remove Paint From Tile

Do you want to remove paint from tile can be tedious? It often requires considerable effort. Despite being time-consuming, getting rid of paint on tiles is possible. The best method depends on the extent of the paint – a small splatter or a thick layer.

Below are different methods for paint removal from tiles. Whichever method you choose, these tips are aimed at helping you return your painted tiles back to their original state.

Table of Contents


The most effective way to keep your tiles paint-free is by promptly cleaning up any wet paint spills. Be cautious to avoid spreading the paint into the grout lines while cleaning. However, if paint gets onto your tiles, there are several methods to remove it.

Before starting the removal process, assess which method best suits the amount and type of paint spill you’re dealing with.

  • For tough or large spills, consider using a commercial paint stripper or remover.
  • Small, dried paint splatters on tiles can often be carefully scraped off using a utility knife.
  • For a more natural approach, try using vinegar or a hairdryer to loosen the paint. We’ll explore each of these methods in more detail below.

Tools & Equipment

  • Dust mask
  • Microfiber cloth or sponge
  • Plastic scraper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean bucket
  • Protective eyewear


  • Paint remover
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar

With Paint Remover

with paint remover

1. Wear Protective Gear

Before starting, wear protective eyewear, rubber gloves, and a dust mask. Commercial paint removers often contain solvents that can irritate or burn the skin. Hence, protecting yourself from direct contact is crucial.

2. Clean the Area

Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing white vinegar and water equal parts in a clean bucket. Use a clean cloth or rag soaked in this solution to wipe down the tile surface. This step is essential to neutralize the area before applying the paint remover.

3. Conduct a Patch Test

Test the paint remover on a small, less visible area of the tile first. Apply the paint remover with a clean rag, following the instructions on the packaging. Allow it to sit for the specified time, varying from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the product.

4. Apply Paint Remover to Painted Tiles

After confirming that the tile reacts well to the paint remover in your test area, you can apply it to the painted tiles. Use a clean rag to distribute the paint remover over the tiles evenly. Allow it to sit for the duration specified on the product’s packaging.

5. Scrap Off Paint

Once the paint remover has had enough time to work, typically, as long as the instructions specify, start scraping off the loosened paint. Use a plastic scraper and hold it at a 45-degree angle to the tile for effective removal. Continue this process until you have removed all the paint from the tiles.

6. Final Clean-Up

After removing all the paint, it’s time to clean the area. Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water and wipe down the tiles with a fresh rag. This final step removes any residual paint remover and leaves your tiles clean.

With Heat

Remove Paint From Tile With Heat

If you have a large amount of paint to remove from tiles but prefer to avoid chemicals, using a hairdryer or heat gun can be an effective method.

  1. Wear protective gloves, eyewear, and a dust mask for safety.
  1. Working on a small section at a time, use a hairdryer or heat gun to heat the tiles. Move the tool continuously to prevent scorching. Heat until the paint begins to soften and lift.
  1. With a plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle, start scraping the paint from the tile, beginning at an edge and moving towards the center.
  1. Clean the tile with a rag dampened with water.
  1. Continue these steps until all the paint is removed from the tiles.

With a Utility Knife

Remove Paint From Tile With utility knife

For small paint splatters on tiles, a utility knife can be an effective tool for removal.

  1. Begin by trying this approach in a less noticeable area. Hold the utility knife at a 45-degree angle and gently scrape the paint using short strokes. You can move to the next step if the paint lifts without damaging the tile’s glaze. Consider using a different method if you notice any damage or if the paint doesn’t come off easily.
  1. Continue with short, gentle strokes to remove the paint. Work carefully to avoid scratching the tiles.
  1. Once all the paint is removed, use a damp, clean rag to wipe the tiles, removing any residue.

With White Vinegar

Remove Paint With White Vinegar

White vinegar, a mild acid, is a practical, affordable, and non-toxic option for removing paint from tiles, especially for smaller spills or drips.


White vinegar on natural stone tiles like marble, travertine, or granite can cause damage. It’s safe for laminate, ceramic, vinyl, or porcelain tiles.

  1. Fill a large bowl or bucket with white vinegar and immerse a clean cloth in it. Let the cloth soak thoroughly.
  1. Remove the cloth from the vinegar and lay it over the painted area of the tile. Let it sit for two to three hours to soften the paint.
  1. Once the paint is softened, gently scrape it away with a plastic scraper, holding it at a 45-degree angle. Be careful not to damage the grout. Repeat this process until all the paint is removed.
  1. Finally, use a rag dampened with water to wipe down the tiles and remove any remaining residue.
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