How to Remove Water Based Paint From Fabric

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We've all done it before -- we're working on a project and don't think we'll get any paint on our clothes and then it happens. The first thing to do is look at the ingredients on the package and determine if the paint is water based or not and if it is, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Water-based paint is generally much easier to get out of clothing than oil-based products because it is usually washable with water. Follow these simple steps to remove water-based paint from fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Solvent for water-based stains

How to Remove Paint from Your Fabric

  • Wet the spot of paint as soon as possible before it dries. Once the paint hardens, it is not impossible to get out, but it will be more difficult.

  • Place your clothes under slightly warm water and wash away as much of the paint as possible. Saturate the spot of paint with water.

  • Lightly rub the affected area with your hands while the water is running on the clothes. Many water-based stains will come out with just water if you try to remove it immediately.

  • Spray the solvent on the stain or rub it in if necessary. Check the directions to make sure it is for the type of stain you are trying to remove. Let it stand for about an hour, then thoroughly rinse with water. If the stain is not removed, you may need to repeat these steps.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the water-based stain has completely dried and has set for more than a day, most likely it will not come out. Do not try to remove with water if the paint or product is oil-based because these stains usually will not come out this way and could make it worse. Use a product specifically designed for oil-based paint.
  • Before using on clothes, you may want to test the solvent on a spot that won't easily be seen. Some products may fade or remove color from clothes.

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