# Someone painted on my Hardwood floors Any ideas?

1. Aug 12, 2008

Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

So the folks who owned the house before my folks bought it clearly half-aed a lot of things before we moved in. They put wall-to-wall carpeting in everywhere (over perfectly good hardwood floors )

Now it is clear that they knew they would be putting in carpeting, so instead of putting down masking tape or drop cloths, they simply just made a mess!

I peeled back the carpeting on one of the stairs to see what the floor looks like before I rip the whole thing up. The hardwood looks decent (mostly just dirty) BUT there is quite a bit of paint where they did the cutting in of the stairs.

Here are a couple of pics. Does any one know a good way to remove the paint (I am pretty sure it is latex paint) without damaging the hardwood itself? Any good chemicals out there?

Or should I just leave the carpet (yuck!!)?

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

2. Aug 12, 2008

### Greg Bernhardt

Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

Try rubbing alcohol. Leave on for a few minutes and then wipte off.

3. Aug 12, 2008

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

It might just come up with gentle use of a putty knife to scrape it, or fine steel wool. Though, from the look of the rest of the wood, you may need to refinish it anyway (this is common maintenance for hardwood floors, and sometimes a reason people who didn't want to bother with it put carpet on the wood). If you have to refinish it, that paint will just come up when you sand the floors to prep for the new finish.

As for other reasons why people put down carpet, sometimes it's just their taste (a lot of people put carpet over hardwood in the 70s and 80s), and sometimes it's because they have small children playing on the floors and want it to be soft for them (if a child falls on carpeted stairs, they are less likely to suffer as serious of injuries as on a hardwood stairs, simply because the carpet softens all the edges).

And sometimes they put in the carpet because the hardwood is in bad condition and it's cheaper or easier to put down carpet than get someone to do all the work to repair the wood floors.

4. Aug 12, 2008

### Andre

5. Aug 12, 2008

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

As Moonbear said, just refinish it. My parents do it every few years, they have dogs that scratch the hardwood floors so everything needs to be sanded down and given a new coating. It will look really nice afterwards.

6. Aug 12, 2008

### Jimmy Snyder

Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

My house has beautiful parquet hardwood floors. They had a hideous coat of shellac and then hideous carpeting. I pulled up the carpet with the intention of replacing it, but when I saw the floor, I changed my mind. I had it sanded and refinished with polyurethane. The result is stunning.

7. Aug 12, 2008

### edward

Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

As Greg suggested rubbing alcohol does work. If the paint is really thick in some places pour some alcohol on the area and cover it with a sheet of plastic so it won't evaporate to quickly.

CAUTION alcohol is flammable. Just do a small area at a time.

Most older hardwood floors can be refinished by an avid do-it-your-selfer. The sanders can be rented. It is a lot of work but the newer finishes available look terrific.

8. Aug 12, 2008

### LowlyPion

Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

It looks like the wood was already urethaned which is good.

If it's brittle paint - well dried - you might be able to pop it up with a scraper or flat blade screwdriver at an angle. But don't press so hard that you scar the wood. If there is not a good bond with the urethane it might come up easily and dry.

It it is more stubbornly adhered, I'd then try a latex paint remover on a cloth or paper towel that I would moisten and then place on top and maybe on top of that a shopping bag or plastic sheet to limit evaporation for 30 minutes or so. That might soften it enough that you can scrape it up with a flat blade screw driver used like a scraper or even a small putty knife. Again try to avoid scarring the wood.

If you have a whole flight of stairs like that with sloppy painting on both sides it will be a bit of work and maybe more than you want to do.

In which case go to the last option which involves sanding it off all the way across - power sanding - and refinishing the stairs in a couple of coats of fresh urethane. (Given that the urethane already looks worn away in the middle this may be the way to go if you really want the stairs rejuvenated. The grayish oxidation of the wood in the middle is likely why it was carpeted in the first place.)

Good luck.

9. Aug 12, 2008

Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

Thanks for all the ideas guys! It's really not a big area, so to refinish it might not be so bad. It's about 13 standard-sized stairs and a 6' x 2' "landing". What do I need to refinish it?

Do I really need a machine if it's that small? I would assume a 'palm sander' with some really fine grit paper and maybe a drill with a 'buffer bit' could do the trick?

10. Aug 12, 2008

### LowlyPion

Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

Belt sander with the grain as much as you can do in the limited area until all bare wood and as much discoloration as you can get, and an orbital edge sander up to the baseboards, the corners need a sanding block by hand. The rental floor machines - the big orbitals or big belts are too wide - won't work on stairs as you need to sand with the grain for best results.

Then polyurethane 3 coats, I like semi gloss personally but you decide.

11. Aug 12, 2008

### isly ilwott

12. Aug 12, 2008

### lisab

Staff Emeritus
Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

Is that carpet really...purple? :yuck: !

NICE floors under it, though. Post before and after pictures - I bet it'll be beautiful.

13. Aug 12, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

I will not use wooden stairs, they are way too dangerous. Carpeted stairs for me. I hate wood floors but love slate like floor tiles, I have them in most of my home.

I had wood floors, 1 year old, called in a company to just refnish them - cost $3,500. Would need to be re-done every 2 years. Called a tile guy, new slate tile floors,$5,600, would never need to be re-done. Told the snooty wood guy and he said "lady, if you can get tile floors for that cheap, jump on it". I did and in the last 14 years, they've looked just as good as the day they went in. The only maintenance - mopping with a few drops of bleach in a bucket of water when the floor gets dirty.

14. Aug 12, 2008

### lisab

Staff Emeritus
Re: Someone painted on my Hardwood floors :( Any ideas?

Slate really is beautiful. Spendy... but very, very nice.

I have oak floors - very similar to Saladsamari's. They're six years old (as is the rest of the house) and they're starting to look like they need a re-finish. But my dogs are nearly 10 years old. I figure I'll wait for them to, uh, die, and then I'll do a re-finish. Dogs are pretty hard on wood floors.