How to Remove Paint From Rubber & Plastic

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Paint projects can be fun, they can be important chores around the house, but they can also be sloppy. Whether you're painting walls outside or inside, or making a fun crafts project, you shouldn't be surprised if a little paint ends up somewhere you didn't expect.


If a cherished piece of rubber or plastic gets some stray paint splatter on it (or, for that matter, if you're tired of what you painted on it), you're in luck. Paint isn't permanent, and is in fact not too hard to remove from these materials.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Sponge
  • Scraper
  • Paint stripper
  • Certain types of paint, such as matte emulsion paints, should be essentially water-soluble on rubber and plastics. Soak a sponge in warm water, and apply the warm water to the areas with paint you're hoping to remove. See if the paint doesn't soften a great deal, and then use the scraper to gently remove it.

  • Gloss paints also shouldn't present too much difficulty, as they don't bond well to plastics. See if you can remove them with just a fingernail; if not, use the scraper. Rubber and plastic aren't likely to get scratched, so feel free to use some elbow grease.

  • If none of this works, consider trying some lacquer paint thinner. Test it first over a small area to make sure it doesn't corrode the rubber or plastic underneath. If it works, apply it everywhere.

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