How to Remove Acrylic Paint From Glass

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Acrylic paints can be cleaned off glass much easier than you may think; in fact, many window-painting artists use acrylics for their holiday window decorations. Soften the dried paint with water; then scrape it off with a plastic gift card or a putty knife.

Things You'll Need

  • Butter knife
  • Paper towels
  • Warm or hot tap water
  • Plastic gift card or putty knife 
  • White vinegar
  • Bowl or spray bottle
  • Lint-free cloth

Step 1

Pick at thick blobs of hardened acrylic paint with your fingernails or the edge of a butter knife. In some cases, the thickness of the paint makes it soft enough to pull off with ease, especially on a smooth glass surface.

Step 2

Fold a paper towel several times; then soak it with warm or hot tap water.

Step 3

Rest the wet paper towel over the dry acrylic paint for several minutes. If the paint is on a vertical surface such as a window, hold the wet paper towel in place for at least a minute or long enough to soften the paint.

Step 4

Remove the paint by scraping it with a plastic gift card or putty knife, depositing the rubbery paint shavings onto a paper towel. Wipe off the scraping device onto a paper towel as you work, so you can see the surface you're cleaning a bit better.

Step 5

Clean the glass afterwards with equal parts water and white vinegar; mix the liquids in a bowl and dip in a lint-free cloth to clean the glass. Alternatively, pour the liquids into a spray bottle for a speedier way to clean a large surface such as a picture window.

Tip

    • If the paint is on a small, washable glass object such as a drinking glass, soak the glass in water and use a nylon scrub pad -- the type used when washing dishes -- to remove the paint. Pick up the paint bits and deposit them into the trash instead of allowing them to go down the drain with the water. 
    •  Use a scrub pad instead of a scraper if the glass surface you're cleaning is not smooth. 
    • If the paint is difficult to remove from a flat glass surface, use a razor-based sticker-removing tool or scraper to pry off the paint.

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