How to Get Dry Puffy Paint off of Walls


Get rid of dried puffy paint on a wall by first scraping off as much as you can with a plastic gift card or even the bowl of a plastic spoon. Wet the paint to soften it, then scrape more away.

The Cleanup Process

Puffy paint is water-soluble, so it may be easy to remove from the wall without using harsh chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint scraper
  • Plastic gift card or plastic spoon
  • Nylon-bristled scrub brush
  • Damp white cloth
  • Cotton swabs 
  • Melamine foam eraser

Step 1: Pick and Scrape

Pick at an edge of the puffy paint with a fingernail, or jam the edge of a paint scraper underneath it if the paint feels too hard to pick off without a tool. If the paint is somewhat soft, scrape it from the edge toward the center with the edge of a plastic gift card or the bowl of a plastic spoon.

Step 2: Brush It

Rub a nylon scrub brush over the area to remove loose paint particles if the remaining puffy paint feels crumbly and falls off easily.

Step 3: Wet It

Wipe any remaining paint residue with a damp white cloth, or with the wet tip of a cotton swab, if the puffy paint covers only a thin area. Allow the water to soften the paint a bit.

Step 4: Scrape It Again

Scrape away remaining paint with the edge of a plastic gift card or bowl of a plastic spoon. Brush it again to help remove loosened particles.

Step 5: Use a Citrus Cleaner

Dab a citrus-based solvent over the remaining paint residue with a cotton swab. Wipe the area with a damp cloth after several minutes. Use a solvent only on painted, sealed or nonporous wall surfaces

Step 6: Erase the Spot

Rub the area with a damp corner of a melamine foam eraser designed for stain removal. Continue erasing until no more puffy paint remains.


    • For some surfaces such as a tile wall, a window-cleaning product may be used to wipe the puffy paint away.
    • Remove the dried paint as soon as possible; the longer it is on the wall, the more difficult it may be to remove. Wet puffy paint can be wiped away with soap and water.
    • If you have some of the original wall paint color left, you can sand away any remaining puffy paint residue, then paint over the area, if necessary, with the wall paint.


  • Test all cleaning methods on an inconspicuous area first to ensure they do not discolor or damage the wall treatment.

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