Who doesn’t love a can of spray paint? Beautiful colors, instant results, and oh-so-easy to use. 

But, the mess. 

The overspray and dripping can leave you with an unwanted cleanup on your hands (sometimes literally on your hands).

Not to worry. Whether it’s water-based or oil-based, spray paint can be cleaned up with a little effort. In this post, we teach you how.

Table of Contents

First Things First, Gather Your Supplies

Before you rush out looking for paint solvents and cleaners, have a look around your home. You may have just what it takes to get the spray paint out.

Depending on the surface (we detail everything below), you may need:

  • A pressure washer
  • Cleaning brushes
  • Clean rags
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Paint scraper
  • Razorblade
  • Industrial paint remover/gel
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hairspray
  • Olive oil
  • Nail polish remover
  • WD-40
  • Oil-based soap

But don’t go rushing out to buy everything just yet. Depending on where you need to remove the spray paint from, you won’t necessarily need all of these items.

How to Get Spray Paint Off Practically Any Surface

What removes spray paint? It depends on the surface. Keep reading for instructions on how to remove spray paint from pretty much any surface. 

How to Remove Spray Paint From Brick

Spray-painted brick can be a source of panic for homeowners, especially if the home is historic and the brickwork is original. But luckily, it’s not so hard to remove. 

Here’s what to do:

  • Using clean rags, soak one by one in paint removing gel.
  • Stick the rag to the spray-painted area and allow it to soak for as long as the manufacturer recommends.
  • Remove the rag and watch all or most of the spray paint come off with it.
  • Use a bristle brush to gently scrub away any excess.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Glass

The main concern with spray paint on glass is that you need to avoid scratching the glass when removing it. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Apply nail polish remover (acetone) OR dish soap and warm water directly to the spray-painted area.
  2. Using a microfiber cloth OR safety razor blade, gently and carefully scrub or scrape until the paint is removed.
  3. Clean the excess nail polish remover off of the window with cleaner or soap and water.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Carpets

No matter how careful we are, accidents can happen. And while spray paint on your carpet may seem like a disaster, you don’t have to panic just yet. 

Here’s how to clean spray paint from your rug:

  1. Apply nail polish remover to the area.
  2. Using a clean rag or paper towels, dab or blot the area.
  3. Do NOT rub the paint.

If the paint is still wet, you can use glycerin and a clean rag to clean up the mess quickly. But again, you must never rub the paint as it can cause further staining. 

How to Remove Spray Paint From Fabric

As fun and convenient as spray paint can be, it’s pretty easy to end up with some overspray on your clothing. 

Here’s how to get spray paint off of fabric and clothing.

If the paint is wet:

  1. Immediately soak the clothing.
  2. Blot to remove as much of the stain as possible (do not rub).
  3. Apply stain remover or dish soap and rub out the stain with a dry cloth.

If the paint is dry:

  1. Use a butter knife to scrape off as much of the paint as possible.
  2. Apply nail polish remover or hairspray to help lift the stain.
  3. Run the material through a wash cycle to help get what’s left off the piece. 

Unfortunately, you may not be able to remove the entire stain once it’s dried on, but these steps should drastically reduce the appearance of the paint.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Concrete

Here’s where you might need to break out that pressure washer. 

Removing spray paint from concrete requires a little elbow grease, here’s how: 

  1. Start by loosening up the paint with a cleaning brush or paint scraper. 
  2. Next, apply industrial paint remover.
  3. Use the pressure washer to remove the remaining paint.

You may have a bit of damage to the surface of your concrete, so it’s a good idea to expect and plan for those minor repairs as well. 

How to Remove Spray Paint From Plastic

Getting spray paint out of plastic shouldn’t be too hard. 

Here’s how:

  1. Use olive oil to soften the area.
  2. Gently scrape at the paint with a plastic paint scraper or putty knife.
  3. Use soapy water to clean the area after the paint has been removed.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Vinyl or Linoleum

If some of the overspray made it to your linoleum or vinyl floors, don’t worry. You can remove the paint easily. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Using rubbing alcohol, blot the area with a clean cloth.
  2. With a plastic putty knife or scraper, gently scrape the excess.
  3. Wash the area with warm, soapy water.

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand, you can also try mineral water or floor wax.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Countertops

Spray paint can be removed from countertops in the following way:

  1. Apply olive oil to the painted area.
  2. Gently rub it in with a clean rag to loosen the paint.
  3. Wrap the rage around a plastic putty knife or paint scraper to get the more difficult spots.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Wood

If spray paint has made it to your beautiful hardwood floors or wood furniture, here’s how to get it out:

For latex paint:

  1. Apply denatured alcohol to the area and allow it to loosen up the paint.
  2. Use a clean rag to rub the paint off.
  3. Clean the area with warm, soapy water.

For oil-based paint:

  1. Apply mineral water to the area, allowing it to loosen up the paint.
  2. Using a clean rag, gently rub the paint away.
  3. Clean the area with warm, soapy water.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Metal

Depending on how much paint has made it onto your metal surface, removing it will take a little extra care.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Apply a liberal amount of nail polish remover to a clean, damp, microfiber cloth.
  2. Very gently rub the area in small, circular motions.
  3. After the spray paint is gone, use a new, clean cloth to thoroughly wash the area. No acetone should be left behind.

If the spray paint is on your car, it might be best to use detailing clay (a polymer abrasive that removes anything sitting on top of the paint). 

How to Remove Spray Paint From Drywall

Removing spray paint from your interior walls is a little trickier. If there is a lot of it, we’d recommend just painting over it. 

However, if you’re not up for the job of painting, here’s what you can do to remove the spray paint.

For smaller areas:

  1. Use a Magic Eraser or WD40 to remove the paint.
  2. Thoroughly wash the wall after. WD40 is a damaging solvent, and leaving it on your wall will damage the original paint job.

For larger areas:

  1. Use paint remover or graffiti paint remover on the area. (Test a small area first to ensure it won’t cause too much damage).
  2. With a sponge or Magic Eraser, gently rub the paint remover into the affected area.
  3. You may need a plastic paint scraper to help remove the more stubborn areas.
  4. Using heavy-duty removers can cause damage, such as holes. Drywall putty will be needed to repair the area.
  5. Repaint the wall.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Your Skin

Spray paint can be a little stubborn; however, removing it from your skin can be done easily with items you likely already have around your house.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. With about a teaspoon of dish soap, gently rub the area in a circular motion for about two minutes to loosen the paint.
  2. Use a terry or microfiber cloth and gently rub away the paint.
  3. For more difficult areas, a toothbrush can be used with warm water to bring up any remaining paint.

If the spray paint is oil-based, you may need to add a drop or two of olive oil or essential oil to help lift the paint.

Call A1 Paint Removal, Painting & Restoration in Portland for Easy Spray Paint Removal for Your Home or Building

If you’re dealing with a spray paint mess and don’t have the time or the desire to deal with it yourself, let us know at A1 Paint Removal, Painting & Restoration in Portland. We can remove the spray paint and help to refinish the area back to its original glory.

Give us a call, or click here for more details.