In How To

a man wearing clothes covered in paint
You get paint on your clothes now what? Sure we can laugh about it 🙂 just like the guy in the pic, but if you really want it off then simply follow these tips on how to get paint off clothes and you’ll never know it was there.

Let’s say you just finished doing a small touch up on interior painting because you noticed a scratch or a blotch, or maybe even a missed streak. You take out the paint can and start to brush away. Just when you think you are finished you look down to find paint on your clothes or even your hands or arms. Don’t despair it’s not too late, paint can be removed from either your clothes or skin.

One trick to find out what type of paint it is, is to test it. Apply some rubbing alcohol on a clean white rag and dab the paint stain. If the paint comes off on the rag then it’s a latex paint, acrylic paint and or water based paint.

hands covered in paint

Removing a water based, latex, acrylic paint from either your skin or off your clothes is as simple as using some soap and water. Because it’s mostly a water base paint to begin with it’s that easy to remove, yet luckily it’ll last for years on your walls. 🙂

If you have to remove an oil based paint then know that you will have to use chemicals such as turpentine or a paint thinner to help get the paint off your clothes. If it’s on your skin, before turning to the chemicals sometimes you can get it off with some vegetable or olive oil from your kitchen. Try putting some of the oil onto a rag and rubbing it on your skin till the paint comes off. If it doesn’t then try some of the turpentine or paint thinner.

What You Need For Removing Paint From Clothes

You may already have some of these items on hand around the house. Most likely the soap is a sure bet. Whether it’s dish soap, laundry detergent or even a bar of soap any of them will do. Of course not everyone has paint thinner or turpentine just lying around the house. Head over to your nearest local home improvement store and pick up some. Turpentine or paint thinner is not required to remove water based, acrylic, latex based paints, it is only needed to remove oil based paints.

A couple of other things you may need, if you don’t already have at home. Buy some rags, a couple of sponges, paper towels, duct tape, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, toothbrush, turpentine or paint thinner, disposable plastic bag or container, and cotton balls. Now you are all set. Let’s get started with trying to get that paint off your clothes.

Getting Latex Water Based Paint Off Clothes or Skin

The following are tips to help you remove latex, acrylic – water based paints off your clothes whether the paint is still fresh or even if it is dried. The process to removing paint off your skin is the same.

Tip 1:

While the paint is still wet, place a couple of clean rags or paper towels under the area with the paint that needs to be removed. This will prevent any further spreading or transferring of the paint. Scrape off the wet paint blotch with the tip of a knife or spoon. Rinse under water (it can be warm or cold). Using a clean rag or paper towels carefully blot over the area. The rag or paper towels should absorb any of the excess paint.

Tip 2:

In a not so visible or noticeable area of the fabric run a small patch test with liquid dish soap. Rub the soap onto the paint stain with a finger or toothbrush, rinse it off under water. If it is colour safe and the test run went well then go ahead place some paper towels or rags under the stained area as to not have any other part of the fabric soak up any of the paint, and apply the liquid dish soap to the entire area with the paint stain, work it up into a lather with your hands with a clean sponge. Rinse and repeat as necessary, until all the paint is removed. Although it’s best to remove the stain as soon as you notice without leaving it to sit for days. The chances of it coming off are just so much better.

Tip 3

Using cotton balls, soak them with a small amount of alcohol and apply directly onto the fabric dabbing as you go along. Use the dabbing/ blotting technique or with a toothbrush if the paint has really hardened or has been on for sometime.

If you got oil based paints on your skin try using olive oil, or vegetable oil or mineral oil. Canola, sunflower oils will do the trick as well. Most times getting either the interior oil based paint which is hardly used in house painting anymore or for exterior paint in oil is easy enough to get off clothes or skin with any of the above mentioned oils. If the oil based paint is a little more stubborn and makes it difficult to come off then use turpentine or paint thinner you can purchase at any local home improvement store.

If you have hired a professional house painting company to do the painting in your house and you just happen to accidentally walk past and rub against the fresh paint and you get some on your clothes or your arm or elbow, just ask the painter whether it is latex, acrylic – water based paint or oil based paint. There is a difference between the types of paint which will help you know what product and or process you will need to clean it off.

Read more tips on interior painting in these articles. From topics on paint to how to hire a professional painters to what tools you will need to get your house painting jobs done you’ll find many great tips and advice.