How to Remove Paint From Vinyl Weatherstripping

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Things You'll Need

  • Whisk-broom
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Bucket
  • No-scratch scouring pad
  • Putty knife
  • Standard head screwdriver
  • Gloves
  • Cotton balls
  • Goof Off 2 (water-based solvent)
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Replacement vinyl weatherstrip material (if needed)

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Brittle and damaged vinyl weatherstripping.
Brittle and damaged vinyl weatherstripping.

Vinyl weatherstripping can help reduce energy waste and save money on winter heating bills, but paint contains solvents that can break down vinyl or make it brittle. If there is paint on your weatherstripping, a 30-minute cleaning will keep it effective for years to come.

Step 1

Sweep the locations of the vinyl weatherstripping with a whisk broom to remove cobwebs or loose debris. It is important to have a clean surface to avoid scratching the vinyl weatherstripping surface.

Step 2

Mix ¼ cup of mild dishwashing liquid with 1 bucket of warm water. Use a no-scratch scouring pad to moisten the surface of the weatherstripping that needs paint removed. Allow the surface 15 to 20 minutes to soak.

Step 3

Use the edge of a small putty knife or a standard head screwdriver to scrape the paint. Run the edge of the tool nearly parallel to the vinyl surface and scrape lightly. Too much pressure will gouge the weatherstripping, rendering it ineffective. Moisten the scouring pad periodically with the cleaning solution and run it along the area covered in paint. Repeat the process as needed to remove as much of the paint as possible.

Step 4

Tape off areas adjacent to the weatherstripping and apply a small amount of a product such as Goof Off 2. It is a water-based solvent that is not harmful to plastics and vinyl. It will help remove both oil based and latex paints. Pour a small amount on cotton balls and wipe the painted vinyl with a gloved hand. Keep the area well ventilated. Dry with paper towels and remove the masking tape.

Step 5

Use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to remove the pieces of paint removed by the cleaning. Wipe the newly paint free surface with a damp cloth and let dry.

Tip

  • The U.S. Department of Energy has designed and energy savings program called Energy Star. Check out the latest government reviews and energy savings ratings for appliances, hvac units and more at energystar.gov.

Warning

  • Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on vinyl weatherstripping.

    Wear gloves and follow safety instructions when using any solvent product such as Goof Off 2.

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