How to Remove Latex Paint From Doorknobs


If you've repainted a room or door with latex paint, chances are that you may have dripped or spilled some paint on the door knob. This can be a problem if the paint seeps into the mechanism and then dries and hardens. Here are some quick and inexpensive ways to remove both minor spills and paint that has seeped inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol or Denatured alcohol
  • Copper-mesh pot scrubber
  • Plastic sandwich bags
  • Rubber bands
  • Optional: razor blade
  • Warm, soapy water in a container
  • Newspaper, plastic or drop cloth

How to Remove Latex Paint from Doorknobs

  • Check spilled paint to see if it has dried. If it is still wet, remove the paint with cotton balls or rag dampened with alcohol. Wipe off residue with a rag and soapy water. If the paint has dried, apply a compress made of an alcohol-dampened rag as in the following steps. First , cover the door and the floor below with newspaper, plastic or drop cloths.

  • Wrap the doorknob with a rag and secure in place with a rubber band. Then, holding the plastic bag open underneath the wrapped doorknob to catch drips, lightly pour the alcohol over the rag until it is thoroughly damp. Stop pouring if the rag begins to drip alcohol.

  • Slide the plastic bag over and around the wrapped doorknob and secure in place with another rubber band. Leave the compress in place for a half-hour or more, to dissolve and soften the paint. Then remove the plastic bag and rag. The softened paint can then be wiped off with the rag or cotton balls. If necessary use the ammonia (sparingly) with cotton balls to remove stubborn patches.Thick paint globs can be removed by gently using the copper-mesh scrubber.

  • Turn the doorknob to test the working mechanism. If it sticks or turns sluggishly, it may be necessary to remove it from the doorknob and clean off the internal works. Use the copper-mesh scrubber to remove paint.. The razor blade can be used to scrape paint from crevices. In a worse-case scenario, it may be necessary to first soak the parts in a closed container of alcohol, such as a coffee tin with a plastic lid. After removing the paint, clean up residue with soapy water and rags.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use proper precautions and keep all solvents out of the reach of children. Use only in well-ventilated areas. Alcohol and ammonia are poisonous. Alcohol is flammable, so do not smoke while using and keep away from open flame or electrical sparks. Read manufacturer's labels for additional warnings. Dispose of alcohol- or ammonia-soaked rags in sealed plastic bags.

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  • Photo Credit David A. Claerr
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