Whether you are a passionate DIYer painter or a professional, working with paint means you will be getting splashes of it on your clothes every now and then. If you are not used to wearing old clothes while working, then the chances are that you’re going to end up staining your fresh clothes, which can be frustrating, really. Worry not, however, as in this guide, and we’ll be walking you through how you can get paint out of your clothes.
So, to get rid of paint stains, you generally begin by scraping off the excess paint. Then, you apply some sort of cleaning solution and blot the garment until the stain is gone. Finally, you launder the cloth and dry it to finish off the process.
However, the entire process to get paint out of clothes is much more complex than it sounds and is governed by several factors, such as the type of paint you are dealing with and the kind of affected fabric.
Below, you will find the breakdown of everything that you need to know to be able to ensure that your stained clothes are restored to be as good as new. So, let’s begin!
Types of Paint
Basically, there are three major types of paint, namely oil-based, latex/water-based, and acrylic paint.
Talking about oil-based paints, they are mainly used in congested areas, such as trims, wood doors, and cabinetry. Due to their pungent smell, you might need turpentine or a paint thinner to get them out of your clothes.
As for water-based/latex paints, their common use is in painting drywall or plaster. Unlike oil-based paints, their smell is not that strong, nor are they flammable. You can get rid of them with relative ease.
Finally, we have acrylic paints. They are commonly used in painting walls, crafting projects, and artwork. It is best if acrylic paint is removed quickly because upon drying, the process gets quite difficult.
If you’re unsure about the type of paint you are dealing with, just refer to the labeling or packaging of the paint can.
Types of Fabric
Whatever the type of paint that you are dealing with, make sure that you deal cautiously with delicate pieces of fabric such as wool and silk if you are a DIYer. In fact, you should adhere to the following guidelines when handling sensitive fabrics:
- Before starting the paint removal process, it’s recommended to spot test the cleaning solution you are using in a hidden area of the fabric. This way, you can avoid any sort of damage to your fabric.
- Always make sure that the cleaning solution you are using is suitable for the kind of fabric at issue. For instance, for washing silk, use a silk-friendly detergent.
- Make sure that you scrub and blot the paint gently.
- It’s better if you use a dry spotter as they not only function well with oil-based stains but also are soft on clothes.
As for relatively stronger pieces of fabric, you can skip the aforementioned guidelines. Also, it’s worth mentioning that before cleaning your garment, make sure that you check whether its label says dry or wet cleaning.
How to Get Paint Out of Clothes – Everything You Need to Know!
There is a wide range of paints that can stain your clothes. So, below, we have detailed instructions on how to tackle every single one of them!
How to Get Latex or Water-Based Paint Out of Clothes
If your garment has been stained with latex/water-based paint, here’s what you should do.
- Use the back of a spoon, a dull knife, or something similar to scrape off as much paint as possible from the stained area.
- Reverse the garment and pour warm water over this side to push the color out from the other side.
- Prepare a mixed solution of one cup of cold water and a tablespoon of dish soap or detergent.
- Soak the cloth in the solution and blot the stain. Keep blotting until the stain is removed.
- Wash the garment in cold water and dry it according to its care label.
- If the stain persists, dip a cotton ball in non-acetone nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol and blot the stain to the point it is gone.
- Again, wash the garment and dry it.
- Hopefully, the stain would’ve been removed by now. If not, consider taking the garment to a professional cleaner.
Note that before executing the sixth step, be sure to check the rubbing alcohol or the nail polish remover in an inconspicuous region of the garment.
How to Get Oil-Based Paint Out of Clothes
As mentioned above, if your garment contracts an oil-based stain, the quicker you act, the better chance you would have of getting rid of it without hassle. It’s also recommended that you look at the can of the oil-based paint to see what its manufacturer has to say about removing stains. Most probably, you will need either a paint thinner or turpentine.
Having done that, choose a well-ventilated area as your workspace in order to cater to the strong smell of paint thinner or turpentine. Next, take the following steps sequentially.
- Use the back of a spoon or a dull knife to scrape off as much paint as possible.
- If the garment has two layers, turn it inside out and place paper towels against the stain from inside. Doing so will prevent the paint from staining the other side.
- Dip a clean rag into turpentine or paint thinner and test it on an inconspicuous area of the garment to assess whether it damages the fabric or not.
- If the product is safe to use, blot the stain with it. Keep doing so until the stain is completely removed. Feel free to switch between the front and backside of the garment in the process.
- Now, run a minute amount of nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol on the stained area and use a toothbrush to scrub it to eradicate the stain residue.
- Wash the garment in cold water. Dry if the stain is fully removed.
Remember that turpentine or paint thinner is recommended only for cotton clothes. Using either of them to remove stains from a delicate piece of fabric can likely damage it.
How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes
Coming to acrylic paints, they work quite similarly to oil-based paint. Hence, getting rid of them as soon as possible is in your best interests.
- Start off by scraping off the paint using the back of a spoon.
- Wash the stained area with water.
- Prepare a mixture of one cup of warm water and one cup of dish soap.
- Dip the sponge in the mixture and blot the stain. Continue blotting until the stain is removed.
- If the stain remains, pour an alcohol-based product like a nail polish remover over the stain and rub it delicately with a cloth to remove the stain.
- If the stain remains intact, pour a brush cleaner over the stain and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before scraping off the stain, again, with the back of a spoon.
- Wash the garment and dry if the stain is entirely gone.
Again, it’s recommended that you first test the alcohol-based product on an inconspicuous area of the garment.
How to Get Spray Paint Out of Clothes
Before you get all ready to deal with the spray paint stain on your garment, it’s imperative that you figure out whether the spray paint is oil-based or latex. With that out of the way, move on to the steps stated below.
- Using a rag or paper towels, dab as much paint as possible.
- For a water-based stain, prepare a mixture of one part of warm water along with one part of dish soap. Dip a rag into this mixture and scrub the stain.
- For an oil-based stain, pour either turpentine, WD-40, or hairspray on the stain and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before scraping off the stain.
- With most of the stain removed, use a dry cloth to rub the affected area and soak up the remaining stain. Continue until the stain is entirely gone.
- Launder the garment and dry it if the stain is removed.
How to Get Fabric Paint Out of Clothes
Before you set up to remove the fabric paint out of the affected garment, you should try to keep it as far from the heat as possible as it serves to set the stain. So, avoid activities such as ironing, drying, or washing the garment with warm water.
Once that’s taken care of, here’s what you need to do.
- In the case of a wet stain, try scrapping as much of it as possible using the back of a spoon.
- Prepare a mixture of cold water and detergent, and immerse the stained garment in it. Doing so should get you rid of the stain.
- In the case of a dry stain or if the washing doesn’t work, start off by laying the garment on the ground with a clean rag underneath suck up any drips of liquid.
- Scrape off the excess paint.
- Run a few drops of denatured alcohol over the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Use a dry, clean cloth and dab the stain, ensuring that all the excess alcohol is removed. Continue until the stain is gone.
- Use a solution of cold water and detergent to wash the garment.
- Dry if the stain is completely removed.
How to Get Dried Paint Out of Clothes
In some of the cases above, we have provided you with tips on how you can get rid of a dried stain. However, if they don’t work, here’s what you can do.
- Start off scraping off the dried stain as much as possible.
- To cause the paint to loosen, use hairspray on the affected area or drench it in rubbing alcohol.
- Again, try to scrape the paint off the garment using a butter knife or the back of a spoon if the fabric is soft. Repeat until the stain is lifted.
- Pour warm water over the stain to get rid of any remaining stain.
- Wash and dry the garment as usual.
Keep in mind, however, that oftentimes, it may be impossible to remove a dried stain, so don’t feel disheartened if your efforts don’t bear fruit.
How to Get Paint Thinner Out of Clothes
Paint thinner is supposed to be used for removing stains. However, if somehow, your clothes have contracted spots or odor of the paint thinner itself in the process, here’s how you can deal with them.
- Commence by applying a tiny amount of dish soap or laundry detergent to the stain.
- Rub the applied product concentrically to cover the entire affected region and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
- If the stain is gone after the prescribed time, use hot water to rinse the stain. Otherwise, use cold water.
- Allow the garment to air-dry.
- If either the stain or odor remains, feel free to repeat the process.
- This time around, however, use a mixture of the hottest water (according to the garment care label) and a half cup of distilled white vinegar to rinse the stain and remove the odor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Hairspray Remove Paint from Clothes?
Since a hairspray contains alcohol, it serves to loosen up the paint. You can spray it on the stain and rub it with an old toothbrush. Finally, rinse the garment and drop a little amount of regular stain remover on it before washing it.
How Can I Get Gloss Paint Off My Clothes?
The procedure for getting the gloss paint off clothes is pretty much the same as the latex paint. Here’s what exactly you need to do.
- Lay the fabric on a rag with the stain-side down.
- Use a cloth dipped in paint thinner or paint remover to dab at it. Continue to remove as much paint as possible.
- Rub the stain with a detergent and soak it in the hottest possible water (according to the care label) for a few hours.
- Treat the stain with the detergent once again before washing it at the highest temperature that the garment manufacturer recommends.
Can You Remove Paint from Clothes Using Baking Soda?
Although the characteristic of being an absorbent allows the baking soda to be great for stain removal, when it comes to stains caused by paint, it isn’t good enough. The pace at which paint sets into fibers is too quick for the baking soda to cater.
By now, you must have realized that the stains caused by the many different types of paints can be removed from the clothes pretty much the same way, with slight variations. Whether you are dealing with oil-based paint, latex paint, or acrylic paint, the guide above has got you covered.
Nonetheless, whichever type of paint stain you are dealing with, keep in mind to factor in the texture of the fabric as well as to spot test the stain removal products, such as turpentine and nail polish remover, beforehand on an inconspicuous part of the garment.