How to remove paint spatter from varnished wood

Written by amanda flanigan Google
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How to remove paint spatter from varnished wood
Paint can easily splatter and cause a mess. (paint image by jeancliclac from

Painting can renovate a room without costing hundreds of dollars. With a bit of extra cash and some elbow grease, you can turn a drab room into a fresh and bright area. Unfortunately painting can also be messy, and it is not uncommon for do-it-yourselfers to accidentally get paint on items such as clothing and varnished wood. Fresh paint splatter can be easily removed with warm water and a sponge as long as the paint is still wet. However, if the paint is dried then removing it from the varnished wood will not be as easy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sponge
  • Goof Off or other paint splatter removal product
  • Cloth
  • TSP (trisodium phosphate)
  • Putty knife

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  1. 1

    Open windows and doors to provide adequate ventilation if using chemicals to remove the paint splatter.

  2. 2

    Apply hot water directly onto the paint splatter using a cloth. Gently rub the stain with the warm water until the paint splatter is removed. This method should be used as an alternative to chemical products; however, if it doesn't work, move on to Step 3.

  3. 3

    Apply a product specifically made for removing paint splatters, such as Goof Off, to the varnished wood and follow all directions and warnings that are printed on the label. Alternatively, mix 1/3 cup of TSP--trisodium phosphate--with 1 gallon of water. Gently scrub the paint splatter with a sponge or cloth saturated in the TSP-water mixture. These chemicals should remove the paint splatter. If they do not, try Step 4.

  4. 4

    Slide a putty knife under the paint splatter so that the paint pops off. Since using a putty knife can risk scratching the wood varnish, this method should be used as a last resort.

Tips and warnings

  • When painting, it is best to cover floors and other items with a dust sheet to protect it against paint splatter.

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