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Re-decorating your home can be stressful enough without having to deal with a paint spill. It’s normal to switch to panic mode at the sight of your beautiful flooring covered in what can seem a permanent material.

However, paint spillages are common and can be successfully removed, if acted upon immediately and with the right method.

How to clean up after an emulsion paint spill


Emulsion paint is easy enough to clean up. As emulsion paint dissolves in water, using water alone can usually do the job. Try using a damp cloth to carefully clean the area, working inwards to contain the spillage.


Use warm soapy water and a cloth to clean the area. If you’ve been too busy admiring your handy work and haven’t noticed the spillage until it’s hardened, use the sharp edge of a knife to carefully flick the paint off. Be careful not to get too carried away and scrape the floor! Use warm soapy water to clean up any residue left afterwards.

“It’s always important to have good ventilation when working with oil paints, especially when cleaning up a big spill. Make sure to wear protective clothing to avoid health hazards.”

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How to clean up an oil based paint spill


  • Always follow the instructions on the chemical remover that you’re using.
  • Never scrub at the stain as this will damage the fibres and work the paint further into the carpet.
  • When most of the paint has been removed – use two cups of cool water, mixed with a tablespoon of washing-up liquid to sponge the remaining stain.

  • If the paint has dried, try scraping it off carefully with a paint scraper or knife .
  • Use a hairdryer for approximately 15 seconds, holding it 3 inches above the paint.
  • Use the same method that’s used on carpets afterwards.
  • Only ever use a chemical remover if you have a good knowledge of the product and are confident using it. If not, always call a professional for help.

“Although chemicals are quite effective in removing oil paint, they can also lift your floor colouring with it. Therefore, it’s always important to test the product on a small area of flooring first.”

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