Paint and putty

Q: I have a friend who is in the final stages of building her home, she was basically her own general contractor. The hardwood was started before the drywall was up so when the drywall was installed and the ceilings textured a lot of the paint and putty ended up on her unfinished hardwood. We know that scraping and sanding will take care of the putty but someone has told her that the paint and primer will be difficult to remove since it has probably soaked into the wood.

It’s not oil based paint or primer so we’re hoping that soap and water will do the trick. Have you found that this is a problem, and are there any suggestions you can give for cleaning to floor in preparation of finishing it?

A: The floor should be professionally sanded and finished. Most of the paint will come off, but you may have minute trace amounts in the grain of the wood. You talk about washing the paint off, but water is an enemy of wood, and should be discouraged.