Many home repair jobs require you to remove bolts that are have been covered in paint for many years. Bolts in this condition tend to be difficult to remove, as the paint has essentially glued them in place. Trying to remove them by force may damage the surface area or even break the bolt, making it even harder to remove. The best solution is to remove any paint from the bolt before removing the bolt itself.
Things You'll Need
Commercial paint stripper
Remove enamel-based paint from bolts by using a commercial paint stripper. Aerosols work the best for smaller jobs like removing paint from bolts. Spray the paint stripper directly onto the bolt. It will create a foamy, clinging layer which is thick enough to remove multiple layers of paint.
Use nail polish remover or turpentine to remove oil-based paint from bolts. Apply nail polish remover or turpentine to a paper towel or a cloth, and rub the area of the bolt until the paint has been removed.
Use isopropyl alcohol to remove latex paint from bolts. Coat the surface area of the bolt and dampen a paper towel or cotton ball. Place the cotton ball or paper towel over the bolt, and cover with cling wrap or other non-porous material to prevent evaporation. Secure the plastic in place with adhesive tape. Remove the plastic once the paint is soft and easily loosened, after around 30 to 60 minutes, and rinse paint from the bolt area.
Always ventilate the area in which you will be using chemicals such as nail-polish remover or turpentine. Follow the directions on solvents carefully and keep them away from heat sources or open flames.