Removing Spray Paint From Tile (Step-by-Step Guide)

Published by: | Updated: February 23, 2023
JCS Refresh How To Remove Spray Paint From Tile

Spray paint is a fun and easy way to add some style to your space. 

But while doing this, it’s safe to assume there’s a bit of overspray. Unfortunately, Spray paint is more difficult to remove than regular paint because layers pile up and dry very quickly. 

If so, how do you get spray paint off tile without worsening it? 

In this article, we’ll highlight how to quickly and effectively remove spray paint from tile while also highlighting some safety considerations.

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About The Author

Meet the expert behind this article. 



Co-owner & Service Director

Hey there, I’m Cody. 

A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you. 

Reading from Washington State?

Contact us to learn more about graffiti removal in Seattle.

Quick Answer 

Here’s a quick overview of removing paint from a tile floor. 

Method 1 (Remove through scraping) 

  • Test a place 
  • Proceed while analyzing the tile 
  • Clean the tiles 

Method 2 (Heat first and then scrape) 

  • Wipe the dust away 
  • Heat the paint 
  • Remove paint with a scrapper 
  • Clean the tiles 

Method 3 (Through paint remover) 

  • Clean the tile surface 
  • Test the place 
  • Remove the paint 
  • Clean and dry the tile 

To learn more about each method in greater detail, let’s continue.

JCS Refresh How To Remove Spray Paint From Tile

Quick questions before starting 

Let’s address some questions before diving into the process.

How difficult is this to do?

Removing spray paint or graffiti from tile will be easy for a professional. For a beginner, this is a medium-to-easy task. Of course, if your tile is cracked, it makes the job much more difficult. 

How long does it take?

The estimated time is 1-3 hours, but various factors determine this. 

What takes spray paint off ceramic tile? 

Detergents or spirits are the best chemicals for removing paint from ceramic tiles.

How much do materials cost?

For paint removal at home

  • Utility knife: 10-15$
  • Heat gun: 15-25$
  • Plastic scraper: 5-10$ 
  • Rubber gloves: 10-20$ 
  • Safety goggles: 10-15$

For graffiti removal

  • Detergent: 20-25$ 
  • Nylon bristle brush: 5-10$ 
  • Paint striper: 15-25$
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How to get spray paint off the tile 

Paint removal is a one-person task; if done correctly, it only takes up a little of your time and effort.

Let’s first address DIY-ers, then we’ll discuss how to remove graffiti from tile.

Spray paint removal from tile at Home 

We are discussing the three methods here. 

Method 1: Remove through Scraping 

Removing by scraping is the first method you should try. If it doesn’t work, move to the second (and third).

Step 1: Testing a small area

First, test it out on a particular tile. Then, hold a utility knife at a 45-degree angle and scrape the paint off the tile in a quick, firm, but gentle sweeping motion.

Step 2: Review your work 

If the scraping motion does the trick, continue until the area is clear. However, if the tile’s glaze shows signs of cracking or flaking, skip to the 3rd method to best preserve the tile.

Step 3: Clean the tile

Use a clean rag to clean the tiles. Wet it with water and wipe and scrape until no dried paint splatters are left.

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Method 2: Heat first and then scrape 

The paint’s moisture evaporates with heating, weakening the paint’s bond with the tile. Besides a heat gun, you can also use a hair dryer and a simple lighter. 

Step 1: Wipe the dust away

Start by wiping off any dirt or dust from the tile, and remember to wear a dust mask while working with old and resistant paint.

Step 2: Heat the paint 

Start by working on a small area at a time. 

To keep the tile from burning, apply heat often while moving the heat gun around. Keep doing this until the paint becomes loose and tacky.

Step 3: Remove paint with a scraper 

Hold a plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle, then start scraping.

Step 4: Clean the tiles 

Use a clean, wet rag to clean the tile. Then, repeat the heating process mentioned above, followed by more scraping, and wiping.

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Method 3: Using Paint Remover 

The following method involves using a chemical application. 

Start by using a paint remover that’s safe for the tile and any surface material that might be on the tile. No matter what paint remover you use, ensure your workspace has enough airflow so you don’t breathe in toxic fumes.

Step 1: Clean the tile surface 

Start by cleaning the tiles with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Then, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off the tile. Also, remember to wear safety glasses and rubber gloves.

Step 2: Testing a place 

Like other techniques, apply some paint remover on a small area using a clean rag, then let it sit for the recommended time.

Step 3: Remove the paint  

Hold a plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle and scrape off the paint. Then, use a rag to clean up the excess debris. If there are no cracks in the tile, you can safely remove all the paint.

Step 4: Clean and dry the tile 

When you’re done scraping off the paint, you then clean the tile with some warm soapy water and a rag.

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Graffiti removal from tiles 

Now let’s discuss how you can remove graffiti from tile. But first, we’ll have to identify the type of spray paint. 

We recommend testing a tiny area to determine what kind you’re up against. 

Water-Based Test 

In a spray bottle, mix mild detergent or dish soap with water, then saturate a small area and let it settle for a few minutes. If the paint comes off, it’s a water-based paint. 

Solvent-Based Test 

Use a few drops of mineral spirits to dampen a pure white cloth. Then, softly dab at the spray paint. If graffiti is simple to wipe away, then it is solvent-based paint.

JCS Refresh How To Remove Spray Paint From Tile

Method 1 (For water-based paint) 

Step 1: Remove the dirt  

It’s essential to clean the tile of any potentially abrasive particles, such as dust, dirt, or grit, so dampen a rag with water and wipe it down.

Step 2: Prepare and apply the solution

Mix a mild detergent or dish soap in a sprayer to prepare a solution. 

Next, use a gentle nylon scrub brush to spread the premade solution. Refrain from allowing the solution to dry out by focusing on smaller portions.

Step 3: Rinse the tile with clean water 

Rinse the tile with clean water after gently scrubbing it with the nylon brush.

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Method 2 (For solvent-based paint) 

First, make sure that the tile is dry. 

Step 1: Apply Paint stripper

Fill up a spray bottle with a paint stripper (mineral spirits work well, too), and mist it on the graffiti. Then clean it with a dry nylon brush and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Step 2: Rinse and repeat 

Now at this point, the paint should be ready to be removed. To clean, rinse the tile with a paint stripper, then repeat this process, but only work on one tile at a time is recommended. 

If you still need help removing graffiti, then Graffiti removal services from an expert are your way to go.

Safety Considerations

Here are a few points to ensure your safety. 

1. Don’t work with cracked tiles

If the tiles have cracks, then you should fix them before cleaning. Cracks can widen due to chemicals, and if you’re scraping, they can also hurt your hand.

2. Avoid substances that emulsify paint

Secondly, cleaners and stain removers should be carefully chosen because specific chemicals emulsion the paint and force it deeper into the tile, making cleanup more difficult.

3. Wear gloves

Safety first! Always wear gloves when working with chemicals to ensure your skin isn’t burned.


We hope this guide is helpful to you. At this point, you should know how to remove paint from tile and graffiti professionally.

To get rid of graffiti or overspray, you should first determine what spray paint it is and then use the correct method. 

We appreciate that you stayed with us until the end and wish you the best of luck on your next project.