How to Remove Paint on Clothes

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Stains are almost inevitable when you are doing any type of painting, whether you are painting a house or creating a portrait. Fortunately, there are methods you can use to remove acrylic or oil-paint stains from fabric. It is best to attend to a paint stain while it is still fresh, but it is also possible to remove dried-on stains.

How to Remove Paint on Clothes
(Carla de Koning /Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Spoon or table knife
  • Cloth
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Water
  • Varnish remover (optional)
  • Turpentine
  • Paint thinner
Step 1

Soak any dried-on acrylic paint in laundry detergent and water or apply a varnish remover.

Carla de Koning /Demand Media
Step 2

Scrape off as much of the moist paint as possible with a blunt edge, such as the edge of a spoon or a knife. Blot as much of the remaining stain off the fabric as possible with an absorbent cloth.

Carla de Koning /Demand Media
Step 3

Mix liquid laundry detergent with water and pour a small amount of the soapy solution on the stain. Rub the stained spot between your fingers, then rinse. Repeat this until the stain disappears.

Carla de Koning /Demand Media
Step 1

Apply paint thinner to any dried-on paint according to the manufacturer's directions. Read the label on the paint can to find out the type of paint thinner the manufacturer recommends.

Carla de Koning /Demand Media
Step 2

Use a spoon or blunt edge of a knife to scrape off as much of the moist paint as you can. Blot off more of the stain with a cloth, then rinse the spot.

Carla de Koning /Demand Media
Step 3

Place the fabric, stained spot down, on an absorbent cloth. Sponge the back of the stain with a cloth soaked in turpentine. Repeat this until most of the stain is gone. During the process, change the cloth underneath the garment when it becomes soaked.

Carla de Koning /Demand Media
Step 4

Pour some liquid detergent onto the remaining stain and rub it in. Soak the garment in hot water overnight. Rinse the fabric on the following day, then wash it according to the instructions on the care label.

Carla de Koning /Demand Media

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References

  • “Field Guide to Stains: How to Identify and Remove Virtually Every Stain Known to Man”; Virginia Friedman, Melissa Wagman, Nancy Armstrong; Quirk Books, 2002
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