How to Remove Spray Paint From Skin

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Spray paint is a convenient and inexpensive way to paint just about any object. Due to it’s design, it can also be messy. Spray paint easily gets on the skin--most often it gets on the skin of the hands or arms, but the spray can land on any exposed areas. You should remove the paint as soon as you can, not just because it looks bad but because spray paint can cause skin irritation.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Skin
(Tara Novak/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable oil, olive oil, mineral oil or cooking spray
  • Plastic card or scraper
  • Water
  • Pumice soap
  • Nylon scrub pad
  • Wash cloth
Step 1

Smear cooking oil or spray cooking spray all over the affected area of skin. The oil or spray will safely loosen the bond between the paint and skin.

Tara Novak/Demand Media
Step 2

Hold the skin taut with one hand. With the other hand use a stiff plastic card or scraper to gently scrape the paint from the skin. Be careful if you use a credit card for this--the oil may harm the magnetic strip.

Tara Novak/Demand Media
Step 3

Wet the skin with water and add a few drops of pumice soap directly on the skin, if any paint remains. If the oil removed all the paint, simply wash the oil away with soap and water. Pumice soap is an abrasive soap commonly used to remove automotive grease and oil from the hands. Scrub remaining paint from the skin using this soap and a nylon scrub pad.

Tara Novak/Demand Media
Step 4

Rinse the skin with warm water and wash it clean with a wash cloth. The paint should be gone now. If any remains, wash it again with the pumice soap.

Tara Novak/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • If the spray paint is over a large area of the body, it’s easiest to use this cleaning method while standing the shower: oil the skin down, scrub with the nylon scrubber (the card method will be time-consuming for large areas) and finish with a pumice soap and wash cloth.
  • Do not use chemical paint removers on the skin. Although they will work to remove paint, they aren’t intended for use on the skin.
  • Avoid using pumice soap on the face--especially near the eyes. Abrasive particles may enter the eye, causing irritation and damage. If spray paint is on the face, use only the oil, the nylon scrubber and regular soap and water.

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