How to Remove Spray Paint From Metal, Plastic, or any surface

Spray Painting is an amazing art, you can easily use spray paint for everything like making decor out of recycled household items to giving your old dressers a stylish new look without dirtying a paintbrush.  Overspray is a common problem with spray paint, If you have painted an unwanted area on your valuable possession, there is no reason to panic. Accidents do happen, and these are accidents that can easily be taken care of.

Removing paint water alone usually is not enough to remove the errant paint unless you are quick enough to clean it off while it is still wet as water-based paints fuss together and even get harder as the paint dries.  We have some techniques and tips to remove spray paint from some common surfaces which will surely release your tension of cleaning.

Removing Spray Paint From Metals

Removing paint from metals is not that difficult, but at the same time, you have to be very careful as metal surfaces can easily get scratches, so be extra conscious. 

To safely remove paint marks from metal, use a lint-free rag and soak them in rubbing alcohol. You obviously won’t want to drip of alcohol so squeeze it properly to get out all excess liquid. Rub that rags on that painted area until it is completely cleaned. You can also work with acetone in place of rubbing alcohol. This will also work with water-based paint and also for oil-based paints.

Another way to remove paint from metals is to rub that painted area with steel wool or fine-grit sandpaper. If you are working with anyone of them, you have to be careful that you don’t apply too much elbow grease because this will increase the risk of scratching the metal surface underneath. Once the paint is cleaned, it is recommended to use metal polish on that surface before repainting that as this will help the new coat to adhere well with the fresh paint.

Removing Paint From Plastic

Getting spray paint from the plastic can be a burdensome task as plastics are highly vulnerable, and applying a wrong solvent can damage your object or even melt that.

If you want to get paint from plastic, you need to very careful that you are using the safest and most effective way.


Firstly you should get a putty knife and try getting the paint from the plastic surface. Do not use much force as this is only to get an idea of how stuck the colour is to the body when you get any more paint off from that knife than stop there.

Use some vegetable oil and rub that on your plastic by your rag until you observe the colour starting to coming away. As the paint will be somehow loosened with the oil so try your knife again to get the colour off.

If even then paint does not come off you can use nail polish remover. Rub it on your painted area and leave it for some time. Rub it again, and you would see the paint fading. In a case where nail polish remover is also not working, you can even use denatured alcohol. This is a strong solvent so just leave it on your surface for 5 minutes, and you would see the paint dissolving. Remember not to apply this denatured alcohol again as this may damage your plastic. Once you see paint wrinkling, try to scrape it off with your putty knife. Remove the small trace of paint by using warm water or detergent and your rag to scrub the area.

Removing Spray Paint from Fabrics

Type of stain remover from any fabric will depend on the kind of spray paint you have used as most of the spray paints are acrylic so rubbing a dish soap vigorously will clean it to some extent if and only your spray paint is wet by that time. After using a dish soap take a dry cloth and rub it on that stained part as this will not only clean the stains but also helps the soap to get deeper into your fabric to get more effective result.


If your stain is dried, then you have to use use a table knife to scrape as much off as possible. There is a probability that the paint will come out in chunks because it is all dried.

Use now any alcohol-based solvent such as any hairspray or nail polish remover and immediately wash it from water to break the bonds of the paint. This will help you to lighten the stain from your fabric but not be able to get out off completely as it is already dried.

Removing Spray Paint From Glass

In all of the materials mentioned above, removing paint from glass is probably the most easiest one.


You just need to have microfiber cleaning cloths, nail polish remover and rubber gloves.

Slightly rub the microfiber cleaning cloth against your unwanted painted area to get the paint loosened and when you see the colour is getting soft, get any piece of clean cloth and wipe it away. Keep doing this until and unless all the paint is completely removed.

Once all the paint is removed with a water-dampened microfiber cloth wipe away the traces of nail polish remover. Finally, use a commercial glass cleaner that prevents streaks on your glass.

Removing Spray Paint from Wood

If you have any unwanted latex paint on your wooden surface, don’t get worried. Rub that with denatured alcohol and a clean rag. If you were painting with oil-based paints, then using mineral spirit will help you to remove that.

Removing Spray Paint from Concrete

Use a paint scraper and a stiff brush to get the paint soft. After Vacuuming up all debris,  apply a chemical paint stripper and clean all the traces of colour with a pressure washer. 


This guide includes all the information about getting the paint off from almost all types of surfaces. Going through this guide has probably given you the assurity that removing the colour is not at all difficult. All you need to do is to show some patience and give time to cleaning.

Hopefully, this article will help you with your problem, and you would not stop yourself from showing your creativity without being getting stressed out about cleaning your valuable items.

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