Spray paint can be used for many different things, and it’s a great way to personalize a project of your own with color. One of the golden rules of using spray paint, is to protect yourself and the surrounding area.
And yes, that also means your clothes. Usually, you should wear something over your clothes so they don’t get sprayed, or you should at least wear old clothes that you don’t mind ruining.
But maybe you were doing something small and were overconfident in your spray painting control. Whatever the reason, a lot of us have been there and have accidentally gotten the paint on our clothes. (Hopefully not on brand new ones!)
However, there’s no need to worry. Sure, you should have protected your clothing. But it’s not the end of the world, and there are ways in which you can get the spray paint off the clothes. So let’s get right into that!
Methods for getting spray paint off clothes:
Rather than multiple different methods for getting the spray paint off your clothes, it’s best to tackle this with the time frame in which you’re attempting to clean the spray paint from the clothes.
Essentially, when the spray paint is recent and still wet, it’s a lot easier to get rid of it and clean your clothes up. But once the spray paint has dried up, it’s a lot more stuck to the clothes and it will take some more time and effort to get rid of it.
With that said, the golden rule for getting spray paint off your clothes, is to do it as soon as possible! Ideally, immediately after getting the spray paint on them. That way it will be a lot easier and faster.
While the spray paint is still wet:
This is the method you can use if the spray paint is still wet on your clothes, because you’ve just gotten the spray paint on them.
Here is a step by step guide to help you out:
1. If you’ve caught the spray paint stain fresh, you’re in luck. But do not start by trying to rub it off, because that will just push the paint deeper into the fabric, and will worsen it.
Instead, take a paper towel and blot up all the excess paint. It might take a few paper towels, as they will absorb a good amount of the spray paint from the clothes.
2. Next, spray the paint with a stain remover. There are several types of stain removers, and certain ones will work better than others depending on the type of spray paint you’ve gotten on your clothes.
Here are the main two to look out for:
- Water-based spray paint:
This is the most common type of spray paint, so if you’re in doubt, this should be your assumption.
For this, you can use any regular stain remover, or you can simply apply some dish soap.
- Oil-based spray paint:
This spray paint is tougher to remove, although if caught wet, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Turpentine, WD-40, or even hairspray, can be good stain removers in this scenario.
3. Let the spray stain remover settle for a few seconds. Then take a dry cloth (or similar) and rub the area. This will help the stain remover take effect, and the rubbing will also help lift the spray paint from the clothes.
If the stain is very big, you might have to switch cloth at some point. Also, take into account that the cloth will probably become unusable after this, so it’s best to use an old one!
Once the spray paint is dry:
Once the spray paint has dried, it becomes incredibly stuck to your clothes, and it can be very hard to get off.
So although we’re going to give you a method to use, you’re not guaranteed it will work! (But hopefully it will.)
But either way, this will at the very least get rid of some amount of the spray paint, so the stain isn’t as visible.
Here is a step by step guide to help you out:
1. Start by scraping off as much excess paint as you can. For this, you can use a butter knife, your fingernails, or similar.
This basically gets rid of the excess spray paint that dried on top of the clothes, and it should come off in chunks if you use enough force. This should make a good initial difference, as the stain should become a lot less visible.
2. Now that all the dried excess spray paint is removed, the spray paint that got absorbed into the clothes is what remains.
To remove this, try using an alcohol-based cleaner or some paint remover. You apply some on the stain, and then you rub it in in circular motions.
3. If this doesn’t work (because the spray paint is too far gone inside the fabric, and is too dry to loosen and lift), then you could try with something stronger like a heavy-duty paint remover.
However, with this, you run the risk of the dye of the fabric coming out too, in which case your clothes would be equally ruined.
4. After you’ve applied the cleaner (whichever one you’ve used) and you’ve rubbed it into the stain, throw the piece of clothing into the washing machine. This should finish off the spray paint removal process.
However, if it comes out of the wash and the stain is still there, then that is a pretty good indicator that there’s nothing you can do about it. You wither try and cover up the stain, or you rock it.
And that’s it, those are the two methods you can follow to try and remove spray paint from your clothes. As you now know, you have a way better chance of succeeding if the stain is still wet.
Once the spray paint has dried out, the chances become slimmer, and you might just end up with a permanent stain.