How to Remove Paint From Outside Window Seals

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Outer window seals are meant to enforce a home's insulation. They ensure the interior space is protected against adverse weather conditions and other outdoor elements. Window seals can be painted along with the rest of the house and may need to be removed. The proper solvents are required to remove paint from the seals, which are typically made from a vinyl, latex or other plastic material. The task can be completed in a timely matter using the appropriate method.

Things You'll Need

  • Damp rag
  • Scouring pad
  • Warm water
  • Acetone or isopropyl alcohol
  • Protective gloves
  • Paint thinner
  • Wet sponge
  • Wipe the loose dirt or residue from the painted seals using a damp rag. A paint-thinning solvent will need to be applied to a smooth, even surface for the most effective results.

  • Scrub the offending paint form the seals using a scouring pad soaked in warm water. Latex paint has become the most popular household paint on the market, and can be removed with water alone if applied within the last 2 to 3 weeks; it is water-soluble and comes loose rather quickly as long as it has not cured.

  • Dampen a rag with acetone, which can be found in common nail polish removers. Wipe the affected window seals until the paint begins to thin; this household remedy, along with isopropyl alcohol, can safely remove small quantities of paint from plastic and rubber surfaces.

  • Protect your skin against alkaline burns by wearing a pair of solvent-resistant rubber gloves. Paint thinner is extremely effective on stubborn, dried paint but can be hazardous to the skin. Use this method on especially difficult oil-based paints, but make sure the solvent is suitable for the targeted surface.

  • Test the paint thinner on a small section of the window seal to make sure it does not eat through the surface. Apply it sparingly using a small brush or aerosol spray can, depending on your chosen application.

  • Wipe the paint from the seal using a dry rag and rinse the excess with water. Clean the seals with a wet sponge to eliminate any remaining paint thinner and allow them to air dry.

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