How to Remove Latex Paint From Car


Removing latex paint from the inside and outside of the car is a tricky project. The paint on the exterior of the car can become damaged when certain paint-removing chemicals are applied. In addition, upholstery or carpet fibers can get dyed in the process of removing latex paint. Employ extreme caution by testing all paint removal methods on a small hard-to-see area before applying any chemicals to the car.

Things You'll Need

  • Car shampoo
  • Rags
  • Clay bar lubricant
  • Utility knife
  • Clay bar
  • Towel
  • Car wax
  • Spray bottle
  • Clear laundry detergent
  • Towels
  • Fan

Exterior of Car

  • Purchase a detailing clay bar kit from your local auto supply store. Clay bar is a resin that is designed to pick up foreign materials off the paint of the car and leave a shiny surface.

  • Wash the exterior of your car with car shampoo. Dry naturally or use soft rags.

  • Cut up an 8-oz. clay bar into 2-oz. pieces with a utility knife. Spray the latex paint area with the clay lubricant spray that comes with the clay bar kit.

  • Rub the clay bar back and forth across the latex paint stain. Wipe the area with a lint-free towel when stain has been removed.

  • Rub car wax over the car with a soft rag. Buff the wax with clean, soft rags.

Interior of Car

  • Blot up wet paint with a towel. Avoid rubbing the wet latex paint, because it will cause the paint to spread.

  • Wet dry paint with water. Spray the stained area with a spray bottle and dab at the stain with a towel.

  • Dilute 2 tsp. of clear laundry detergent in a 1-gallon spray bottle. Spray the area with the soapy mixture. Blot at the latex stain with a towel. Continue to spray upholstery and carpeting with soapy mixture.

  • Rinse off upholstery with clean water from the spray bottle. Open the windows or place a fan near an opened car door to help dry area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dry your carpeting and upholstery thoroughly to avoid causing mold growth in the car.
  • Refrain from using a detergent that contains bleach, because it can cause upholstery and carpeting to lose its color.

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  • Photo Credit car image by Brett Bouwer from
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