How to Remove Paint From the Couch

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You may have been careless while painting your toenails, or you may not have positioned a drop cloth carefully enough, but the results are still the same: you now have a paint spill on your couch. You could spend hundreds of dollars on a new upholstery job. Or you could place a throw blanket over the spot and hope no one gets cold. But it would be far simpler to just get rid of the stain.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint thinner for the specific type of paint (ex. acetone or turpentine)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Mild detergent
  • Rubber gloves
  • Pull on rubber gloves to protect your skin. Most paint thinners are caustic and can burn your skin, so rubber gloves should be worn whenever handling these products.

  • Open windows in the room where you will be working. Most thinners also have fumes that can irritate your lungs, and an open window will help disperse these fumes. If you are working in a room with no windows, move the couch to a room with better ventilation.

  • Test a hidden section of your upholstery for color-fastness. Some paint thinners will remove dyes from fabrics as well. If the paint thinner you are using will remove the dye from your couch, try a different paint thinner, such as turpentine or mineral spirits.

  • Blot the stain with a clean cloth if it is still wet to remove as much of the paint as possible.

  • Wet a clean cloth with paint thinner and blot the stain. As the stain transfers to your cloth, switch to a clean section of cloth and continue to blot. Continue blotting until the paint is removed.

  • Soak a cotton swab with paint thinner. Transfer the paint thinner from the swab to any stubborn stains. Remove these stains by blotting with a clean cloth.

  • Wash the area with soap and water to remove any lingering paint thinner. Blot soapy water from the surface of the upholstery and rinse with clean water. Blot dry with a clean cloth.

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