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If you are going to hire a professional painter to paint your home, you will hopefully not need to worry about cleaning up too much after the job is done but sometimes things happen. If you do the paint job yourself and you are not an experienced painter, you can expect accidents to happen and there will probably be at least one mess. So here are a few tips to help you clean up the mess regardless of who made it.

Odds are that your painter will not be using oil-based products, most don’t anymore. Water-based paints and varnishes have improved a great deal over the years; there are a few instances where oil-based is better such as in restorations so if it is being used and there is an accident, a lot of paint thinner can be used to clean up the paint then follow up with hot soapy water to get rid of the smell from the thinner.

Paint thinner will not clean up dried water-based paint. Very hot water most likely will, especially if the paint is fairly fresh and is on a slick surface. Dried paint on clothing can be impossible to remove. You should try to work it out of the fibers with lots of water and a small scrub brush. Do the same for a carpet but blot, never scrub it.

Old hardened paint on the carpet may not be able to be cleaned. However, if it is a small amount, you can try cutting off the paint blob. Use white rags when you are cleaning paint from carpet. Colored rags may leave a dye stain.

Acetone (nail polish remover) will remove dried paint by dissolving it but do this at your own risk. Acetone also removes other finishes including dyes. Never use it to get paint off a varnished or lacquered surface. You should test it on a small unseen surface before using it.

TSP (trisodium phosphate) with hot water is a very efficient way to remove dried-paint if you are in really tough situations. Just as with acetone, TSP will discolor most surfaces and dull some metals. You should always follow directions and use this product wisely.

Paint remover will remove dried paint from concrete and masonry, but you will need to scrub it. This will likely leave clean light spots behind. If you want to, you can find creative ways to blend the spots in with the rest of the surface (dirt, mud, etc).

A scoop of dirt rubbed into a glob of paint then brushing it away will work wonders to get paint off your driveway if spilled. The dirt absorbs the paint quite well.

If you have old dried paint on brickwork, it is often easier to match the paint color and paint the brickwork. It will be a lot easier than trying to clean it off.

It is always very important to have your painter mask off, remove or cover anything you don’t want the paint to get on. If your painter steps on any spilled paint on the drop cloth, it will get tracked onto surfaces that you don’t want to be painted. If it is safe you can work or ask your painter to work barefooted so
that you or he can feel any paint that is stepped on.

Make sure you are careful when pulling up drop cloths and picking up used cans, brushes, and pans. The last thing you want is a trail of paint left through your home after the paint job is done.

If you get paint on yourself during the painting project, you can rub baby oil on your skin before you get into the shower and it will make the paint come off much easier.

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