Kilz and Zinsser Primers are considerably stickier compared to normal paint.
So, when it drips onto your laminate floor and dries, it can be quite difficult to remove.
However, the issue is not one that is impossible if you use the right products, tools, and techniques.
First, you should avoid some common mistakes that many people make in trying to remove primer from laminate floors.
Do not sand or scrape as that will only damage the flooring itself.
This means that you will need to use the right chemicals.
Unfortunately, mineral spirits and paint thinner are not the right chemicals for most people.
While they do work, they also give off toxic fumes that come from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained within each product.
If you can properly ventilate the area and wear a respirator, then you can use mineral spirits or paint thinner, but be careful.
But you can start with simple chemicals that do not require elaborate protection for your lungs, eyes, and skin.
If the following does not work, then you can work your way up to stronger chemicals.
Homemade Cleaning Solution
Vinegar, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol are all quite effective when mixed with water in removing Kilz and Zinsser primer.
Mix the vinegar or alcohol in equal proportions to the water, then add a few drops of dish soap which will cause the solution to start forming suds when you are stirring it together.
Next, vacuum away any dirt that may be around the area where you spilled the primer.
Next, use a soft cloth that is dampened with the cleaning solution and rub into the primer until it starts to become loose.
By rubbing into the direction of the wood grain, you can avoid creating streaks.
Stronger Chemical Paint Removers
What if your homemade concoction does not work?
Then you will need to use something stronger for removing white Kilz and Zinsser primer of the surface.
Ammonia is one of the more potent chemicals that is quite good at removing paint and primer that is water-based.
However, it can also damage the finish so you will need to be careful.
You do not have to mix pure ammonia with water.
In fact, many window cleaning sprays already have ammonia mixed in.
If you have one around the home, spray that on the paint or primer and start rubbing with a soft cloth. But what if that does not work?
The next chemical which will remove the primer or paint is acetone.
What makes acetone a solid choice is that it will lift up the primer or paint and not damage the finish.
If you have some nail polish remover, then you have acetone.
Dampen a cloth with the acetone and then rub with the grain of the wood to remove the primer from the floor.
Paint Thinner Should Be Your Last Resort
If you do not have access to any acetone or in the unlikely event that acetone does not work, then you will need to go to the paint thinner or mineral spirits.
Keep in mind that these are quite strong, and you will need to ventilate the area properly.
Open two windows or one window and one door and place a fan pointing outwards in the window.
Next, dampen a cloth with mineral spirits or paint thinner and apply to the paint or primer.
It is possible that the stain may still stick around, but if you apply a little heat this will loosen the binding properties.
Dampen a towel with water, place it over the paint, and then set an iron on low heat on top.
Move the iron around every 30 seconds to avoid scorching the towel.
After a few minutes, the paint or primer should be loosened.
Rub in the mineral spirits or paint thinner with the cloth on the heated area.
Use Water and Vinegar to Neutralize the Surface (Optional)
Some of the products you may use to remove the paint or Kilz primer may have to be neutralized after their use.
To do so, use a spray bottle that contains one part vinegar and one part water and spray it on the surface after it has been cleaned.
Let the solution soak in for a minute or two, then wipe away the excess.
This should neutralize the products used to remove the paint or primer.
Use a pH strip to see if the acid has been removed.
If the result is 6.5 or lower, there is too much acid. You will need to add more of the vinegar and water solution.
The Bottom Line
You may have some of the household products like vinegar around your home.
If so, you can start with these ingredients to mix with water and remove the Zinsser or Kilz primer of your laminate floors.
However, if the thick primer layer has dried and is tough enough to get rid of, you can try other stronger options.
Just be sure to protect your surfaces and skin while performing the job.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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