How to Remove Paint from Granite Countertops

Your granite countertops are made to last for decades. But let’s say you are repainting your kitchen, and paint is spilled on those beautiful granite counters? Are they a lost cause? What can you possibly do to save your granite countertops from paint damage? Fortunately, there are a few different things you can try.

Removing Wet Paint from Granite Countertops

For wet paint, your first goal is to contain the spill. The best thing to use is a clumping cat litter. The litter will help prevent the paint from spreading while it also soaks up a good deal of the liquid. If you don’t have this on hand, you can also use flour or shredded paper. You will then want to clean up this part of the mess and discard it.

At this point, there will likely be at least a small amount of paint residue remaining on the granite. To remove this residue, you will need to make a solution of water and powdered detergent or borax. With a sponge, apply this solution to any area with remaining paint residue. After all the paint resident is gone, use a soap-free, wet sponge to “rinse” the area. Use a squeegee to get rid of extra moisture and prevent water from pooling on the stone.

The above cleaning mixture should take care of your problems; however, if there are stains left from oil-based paint, you might need to do something to lift the oil out of the stone. Removing oil from granite is often possible with the use of a cornstarch poultice.

Removing Dry Paint from Granite Countertops

Dried paint will require a totally different approach. Removing dry paint from granite will require the use of a lacquer thinner. You will want to sparingly apply the lacquer thinner to the paint spill with a soft rag. Then, you will want to take a new razor blade, held at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the countertop, to scrape the paint off the granite carefully. For some, it might be easier to use the corner of the blade and use small, rotating motions from the wrist.

Only use a new razor blade to ensure that there are no nicks or inconsistencies in the blade.

As you are working, you will want to go slowly to help prevent injuries to yourself or damage to the stone.

If the spill leaves a large amount of dried paint residue, you might have to try a paint stripper. You will only want to leave the paint stripper on for a very short time, meaning you should work in small sections instead of just applying it to the entire stain. You should also carefully follow the instructions on the product to ensure that you are using it safely.

Once you have removed the paint stripper, you will want to go over the area with plain water or a diluted pH-neutral soap solution (Dove is a good option for soap). You will also need to resurface the area and apply a sealant.

What If These Methods Don’t Work?

If you are unable to get the paint off with these methods, it is time to call in a professional. Taking additional measures could cause extensive damage to the granite. While you might be able to cover up small scratches, you won’t be able to hide huge stains or cracks.

A professional will be able to assess the situation and come up with a solution for removing the paint from your granite countertops.

For more granite care tips, check out the Rock Doctor Blog.