How to clean paint off wood?

Hello gang. Could you recommend a best course of action on this porch? Homeowner spilled some paint and want me to clean their porch. The only one way I know is to sand the surface. Was wondering if any of you knew any tricks to avoid sanding?

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I’d tell her to try a painter or maybe a building contractor to replace the boards. Most of us here just do pressure washing. I wouldn’t bother with talking to a customer about a job like that.

Flip the boards.


If its fresh paint I wonder if a low powered surface cleaner would get it without damaging the wood? I surface cleaned a deck with a 2.5 gal box store cleaner it came out nice but didn’t have paint on it… but also did a soft wood work bench & it chewed the wood up … it really needs sanding after words but owner was o.k with it… learned from that try a small spot first. paint thinner then surface clean tell the owner no miracles or guarantee lol…I like flip the board idea.

Only problem with flipping is that, if it was built properly, the boards are installed based on their crowning so they don’t hold water. If it was, and you flip them, they’ll be water holding cups on the topside, a long term disaster.

So much is wrong with this lol.

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I don’t think there will be any problem with that. It is under the roof and owners just want an easy, cheap fix… I might do just that.

My friend, no

They could replace deck floor for less than I would charge for that.

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@Racer Rick, How about peons who work for $79 per day course of action? What would you recommend? Any chemicals or tricks?

Recommendations? Don’t work for $79/day…how can you even pay for equipment, chems, or insurance at that rate? Probably losing money every hour…you can’t make that up in volume either :rofl:

@JAtkinson You do know I wasn’t serious about $79 part…
Jokes aside, I want to help her with the project since they are trying to have a nice place while being on a budget. I can relate to being on a budget part.

That’s good to hear! You never know anymore, lol

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My bad I’m learning as well… what do you suggest then by stander? Mine was Only a suggestion lol.

Thanks for the Gentle approach of constructive criticism… I appreciate it but what do You suggest also? I’m eager to learn in case I run into this problem as well as the original poster.??

I think the gist of the posts about covers the advice…pass. We try to be the “help everyone” people, but in the end you’re trying/needing to make money. These things wind up leaving the client almost always unhappy with the result for the price. To have any hope of getting anything accomplished you’d have to charge a price for which they would expect to not be able to even find the spot where the stain existed. As an add-on, maybe, but best to stay away and let a wood paint/stain expert handle it.

I Agree Atkinson… it can look no worse that what it is…He said they want him to clean the porch… I would just clean it as if the paint wasnt there as you would a regular porch if the stain remains, tell them you couldn’t & know your limitations… at least you tried… never know it may come up anyways it looks to be only surface paint… anyways however he decides to handle it ,cool… but check this out.

IDK, she says “unfinished”, but I’d wager there was some sort of coating on there under that paint. It certainly wasn’t rough, weathered, decking.

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There are a couple of things you could try, but by the time you drive there, buy chemicals, try them to see which works best, actually do the work, you’re going to have at least 2-3 hours tied up in the job. Even if you just flip the boards, which would probably be the best thing, thats’ a couple of hours. Looks like joists on a 16" center so cupping at this stage shouldn’t be a problem. Any way you look at would probably be at least a $300 bill. Looks like only about 10 boards.
Could probably just get most of it up with pressure, but may damage surface of wood some, but in a year or so most probably wouldn’t notice once it all weathered back out.

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What are you showing? Please stop and read the deck 101 thread.