What Removes Acrylic Paint?

Whether you’ve been upcycling some furniture or have recently undertaken a home improvement project, as soon as acrylic paint has splattered somewhere it shouldn’t and has been given time to dry, it can be difficult to remove.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, because there are some ways that you can effectively clean the acrylic paint off all kinds of surfaces, and we’re going to show you how:

Removing Acrylic Paint with Vegetable Oil:

  1. Take a paper towel and some cold water from the tap. Gently begin to wipe the dried paint, as well as the surrounding area, as this will help to begin loosening the dried paint while also cleaning any dirt or debris.
  2. After you have finished doing this, take another paper towel and grab some vegetable oil (the kind that you’ll likely already have in one of your kitchen cabinets) and pour some of the oil onto the paper towel.
  3. Immediately take the oil-saturated towel and place it carefully on the dried paint for a few minutes, as this will allow the oil to soak into the paint and begin loosening it up.
  4. After the oil has been given time to soak into the paint, then start wiping the oiled towel into the paint to begin lifting it off the surface.
  5. This should be enough to lift away the bulk of the dried paint, however, if you still find that there are some stubborn spots that won’t come off, take a plastic scraper to gently remove the remaining dried paint.

Removing Acrylic Paint with Denatured Alcohol:

  1. If you have some particularly stubborn spots, or the paint has been stuck on the surface for quite some time, you might need to use something stronger than vegetable oil – which is where denatured alcohol comes in! Start by pouring a little onto a cotton pad.
  2. After you have saturated a cotton pad with denatured alcohol (or even a cleaning towel) and carefully place it directly on the stains. This will allow the denatured oil to seep into the dried paint and begin loosening it up.
  3. After you have allowed the denatured alcohol-soaked cotton pad to soak on the dried paint for a few minutes or so, then begin using gentle circular motions.
  4. The circular motions should start to gently lift the dried paint up and off the surface. Keep in mind, if you have some super stubborn spots, you may need to repeat this step until it has all lifted away.
  5. Once all the paint has been removed, you can then take a warm soapy towel to clean the surface of any alcohol.

Can I sand acrylic paint off wood?

More often than not, acrylic paint will usually only need detergent or oil to effectively remove it off the surface of wood, especially if you’ve only just noticed that the staining has occurred.

However, for particularly large paint stains, you may need to consider sanding the stain off, especially if you’re finding that other methods simply won’t work.

Sanding the wood can be a fairly simple process, although we don’t necessarily recommend that you do it if you aren’t overly confident using a sander or sanding machine, as there is a chance that you could damage the appearance of the wood.

To sand the acrylic paint off your wood surface, you should first begin by preparing the area that you are going to sand.

Take a damp cloth and gently wipe it over the surface in order to rid it of any dirt and debris, and then proceed to take either your sander or sanding machine and begin to gently sand away the dried paint.

As a side note, if you have a particularly large amount of paint that you need to sand away and have chosen to use a machine rather than sand it by hand, we recommend wearing protective clothing and goggles to prevent the paint or any dust from getting into your eyes.

Is Acrylic Paint Easy to Wash Off?

Acrylic paint is generally quite simple to wash off, especially if you have just noticed that the staining has occurred. Generally speaking, most acrylic paints will wash off easily from a surface with

the help of some detergent and scrub, and the same applies to acrylic paint that has gotten stuck to the skin.

Additionally, though acrylic paint washes off easily while still wet, it can be a little harder to successfully wash off once it has been allowed to dry, particularly to porous surfaces such as brick and wood floors and walls.

In these instances, you may need to use substances such as denatured alcohol (which is well-known for its ability to break down dried acrylic paint) in order to effectively wash it off the surface it has dried on.

Keep in mind that, if you do plan on using denatured alcohol to scrub the dried paint off, you should make sure to wear gloves so that you do not allow any to come into contact with your skin.

Will Rubbing Alcohol Remove Acrylic Paint?

Though denatured alcohol is usually the best choice for removing acrylic paint due to its solvent properties, the next best option is to use rubbing alcohol – especially as it is a more common household item than denatured alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove dried acrylic paint from all types of surfaces, although it works best with non-porous surfaces.

To use it, all you will need to do is drop a little bit onto a washrag or cotton wool ball, and then saturate the dried paint in it for a moment or two.

After you have done this, you should then proceed to begin rubbing the dried paint in circular motions, until you notice that all of the paint has been effectively removed from the surface that it dried onto.

As a side note, if the surface with the dried paint contains a color or varnish (such as hardwood flooring) then rubbing alcohol may not be the best option for you, as it runs the risk of stripping the surface of its color.

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