How to Remove Craft Paint From Clothing

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Removing acrylic paint from clothing can be difficult.
Removing acrylic paint from clothing can be difficult. (Image: Paint brush and aqua paints image by PaulPaladin from Fotolia.com)

Crafters use different types of paint for different projects, but acrylic paints are the most popular because they are the most versatile. Acrylic paints can be used on wood, plastic, fabric, some metal and many other surfaces. Acrylic paints dry fast and contain pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. They can be diluted in water and be made to resemble watercolors; however, they will be water-resistant when dry. Acrylic paints are easy to get off surfaces while still wet, but once dry, they can be difficult to get out, because the paint is designed to adhere well.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Ammonia
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Old toothbrush
  • Sink or large bowl
  • Warm water

Saturate the area with the paint and the surrounding area with rubbing alcohol. If you are concerned with the colorfastness of your garment, test the rubbing alcohol on it in an inconspicuous area first. Use a fingernail or Popsicle stick to gently scratch the paint away.

Apply more rubbing alcohol as you work. When all of the paint has been removed, there may be some residual staining. Wash your garment as you normally would. This should remove the remaining stain. Check the stained area before drying it. If it is still stained, you can apply more rubbing alcohol, a spray or two of hairspray or some pine cleaner, like Pine Sol, to try and remove more of the stain. Rub them in gently and wash as normal. You may need to repeat the process several times.

Place 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of ammonia and a tablespoon of salt in a bowl or sink. Either place the mixture directly on the affected area if it is large, or soak the affected area in the bowl. Mix in enough water to cover the garment. Immediately use an old toothbrush to brush off as much of the paint as possible. Soak the garment in the mixture overnight. The stain and paint should be gone in the morning.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always test fabrics for colorfastness before putting any solution onto them. You may ruin an entire garment by trying to remove one small stain if the solution is too strong for the fabric or dye.

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