When paint spatters mar your wood furniture, you can not reach for paint stripper or sandpaper, but there are a couple ways to refill the paint away without ruining the finish. If it’s been over two or three times because the spatters occurred, the paint was probably dried and treated. You may be able to emulsify it, but you need to do it with something that won’t harm the finish, so the first thing to do is find out exactly what the finish is. Lacquer finishes are easier to damage than reactive finishes, like acrylic or polyurethane.
Scrape the paint lightly with a plastic putty knife along with a credit card. Sometimes this is all you want to do to remove little spatter of paint. If the paint does not come off easily, do not force it, as you can scratch the furniture’s finish.
Consider softening the paint with a couple of drops of olive oil. Cover the paint with a cloth and allow the oil soak in for about an hour. If the treatment works, you should be able to wipe off the paint with a rag or scrape it away with a plastic paint scraper.
Examine the finish before resorting to more drastic steps. Use nail polish remover to analyze for conventional lacquer. Choose an inconspicuous spot and touch it using an artist’s paintbrush. If the finish softens, it is lacquer. If it stays hard, the finish is waterborne acrylic, alkyd varnish or polyurethane. You may use more powerful solvents on these finishes.
Soften paint on a lacquer finish with latex paint remover or mineral spirits. These are the strongest solvents you can safely use. Dab either on the paint with a cotton swab and then scrape off the paint with a plastic putty knife when it softens. If neither softens the paint, the only choice will be to sand it off and repair the finish.
Use lacquer thinner to soften paint in an acrylic, alkyd or polyurethane finish. Dab the solvent on the paint and then scrape it away when it softens. If the paint won’t soften, then it may be catalyzed lacquer or urethane. In that case, the only choice is to sand it away.