guide on how to remove an oil paint stain

How To Remove An Oil Paint Stain From Furniture - Alan Farr Limited

If you’ve managed to get oil paint on your furniture you may be thinking there’s no way to remove the stain and that you’ll need to replace your furniture. However, while oil paint is one of the most difficult stains to remove from furniture, it is worth trying to remove yourself if the piece is an antique, is particularly expensive or holds sentimental value. In order to effectively remove oil paint from furniture the stain should be dealt with immediately. Here’s our guide for removing an oil paint stain from your furniture.

Removing Oil Based Paint

Any paint stains on fabric or furniture can be difficult to remove, but oil based paints are probably the most difficult because they require the use of paint thinner in order to remove the stain. Paint thinner can cause damage to furniture and upholstery, especially if the fabric is old or delicate. Because of this, we always recommend that you test the use of paint thinner on a small inconspicuous area of your furniture before trying to tackle to oil paint stain itself. This way you can see if the paint thinner causes any changes in the fabric or damages the colour or finish of your upholstery.

If you try the paint thinner and find that it is safe to use on your piece of furniture, you can continue to attempt to remove the oil paint stain. You will need a few more additional materials for this guide, including rubber gloves to protect your hands, cotton tips, soft cloths, a mild detergent that won’t stain your upholstery and access to water. You’ll also need to make sure the type of paint thinner you use is the right one for the type of paint that caused the stain. Using the wrong paint thinner won’t remove the stain and will likely make it worse.

Paint thinner shouldn’t be inhaled or used in a small, unventilated area. If you can’t use the paint thinner in a full ventilated area, you will need to get yourself a mask so you’re not breathing in the fumes.

To start, you’ll need to try and remove as much paint as possible before applying the paint thinner. If the oil paint is fully dry, this may not be possible. If the oil paint is still wet, try and gently and carefully remove any excess using a clean cloth. It’s best to gently dab or blot the oil paint stain, making sure not to smudge it any further into the fabric.

Once you have removed as much excess as possible, apply a small amount of paint thinner to the tip of a new clean cloth and gently work into the stain. Keep doing this until the paint is gone, making sure to continually rotate the cloth around the a new, paint-free area of the cloth. If you find that the cloth isn’t removing the stain, or if the oil paint is particularly dark, use a cotton tip dipped in paint thinner to dab at the stain instead. This will hopefully remove any stubborn stains which you can switch back to the cloth to finish up.

If the paint thinner removes the oil paint stain you can now continue to clean the area using a damp cloth and mild detergent, repeating the process until you’re satisfied the paint thinner is completely gone. Blot dry the furniture to remove any excess moisture and leave to dry fully.

If your oil paint stain is dry and hard and won’t dissolve in paint thinner, you could try using a razor blade to gently cut through the paint to remove excess before using the paint thinner. This method runs the risk of cutting the upholstery or damaging the fabric, however. It’s worth noting that some stains simply cannot be removed by anyone other than a professional, and some stains can’t be removed full stop. In these cases it’s always advised to contact a reputable upholstery cleaning or furniture restoration company to tackle the oil stain properly to avoid damage.

Alan Farr Furniture Restoration Services

If you find you have an oil paint stain on your furniture, don’t panic. At Alan Farr, we specialise in furniture restoration and repair, including removing all types of stains. Our specialists can clean, reupholster or restore your furniture quickly and carefully. If you’re interested in furniture restoration or care, or want more information on any of our other services, get in touch. We work on all property types and can give expert advice for your furniture type. You can give us a call on 01543 469 946, or fill out our online contact form.