How to Get Dry Puffy Paint off of Walls

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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.

Tip

    • 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.

Warning

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

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