How to Remove Acrylic Paint Easily (2023)

Being an artist, you often get paint stains on your clothes and walls.

Acrylic paint is the most widely used paint medium by artists as it is easy to paint with.

You can accidentally spill the paint and it can be annoying.

Therefore, you might need to find ways on how to remove acrylic paint.

You can remove acrylic paint easily by using things around your home like vinegar, a scaper, baking soda, soap, and water depending on the surface that paint is on.

There are also stronger and effective chemicals you can use like Isopropyl Alcohol that works well to remove acrylic paint on clothing.

Find out the best liquids and chemicals that remove acrylic paint mentioned in the account below!

Other topics to help you with acrylic painting:

  • Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off?
  • Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Skin?
  • 27+ Top Acrylic Paint Brushes Pros Recommend
  • Can you Paint a Mural with Acrylic Paint?
  • How Pro Artists Choose the Best Canvas for Acrylic Painting
  • 9+ Best Acrylic Painting Supplies
  • 85 Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas on Canvas for Beginners
  • 18 Awesome Acrylic Painting Techniques on Canvas

How to Get Dried Acrylic Paint Off Clothing?

If you are tired of searching for how to remove acrylic paint, here are some tricks.

As soon as you notice a stain over your clothing, hurry up to the washroom.

Place the piece of clothing under fast-running tap water.

Fresh stains are easy to wash away because acrylic paints are water-soluble.

But if it has already dried and you are late in noticing it, then follow the tips below:

  • Place the cloth under tap water and add a bit of detergent. Wash it to remove acrylic paint.
  • Did you know that hairspray can also be used here other than on your hairstyles? Well, just spray a bit on the affected area. Once wet, the stain will become tender, and you can easily scratch it.
  • You can also utilize nail paint remover for acrylic paint removal. Take some on a piece of cotton and press it on the affected area, and it will soften the stain. You can now easily scratch to remove acrylic paint.
  • Because of the growing industry of artists nowadays, companies have started manufacturing commercial stain removers. You can buy one if you are an acrylic artist. Follow the steps as guided upon the packing to remove acrylic paint.

Remember! Acrylic paint becomes permanent once exposed to heat. If you do not wash it soon and use an iron or expose it to a dryer, it will stay on clothing forever.

What Removes Acrylic Paint?

If you are looking for liquids or chemicals that remove acrylic paint, here is a detailed account of the top 7 liquids and items that can dissolve and soften acrylic stains.

  1. Ammonia Solution

Ammonia solution is a cost-effective method for acrylic paint removal.

It is easily accessible to all. It has the properties of detergent and works well over stubborn stains.

Ammonia solution raises the pH and is used to neutralize acrylic medium.

You can use it for acrylic stains stuck on metal, plastic, and glass surfaces.

It will not work on clothing and wooden surfaces.


Be careful when using ammonia solution because of the potent fumes it leaves.

And do not use ammonia solution to clean your brushes, specifically those made from brass, because ammonia tends to dissolve brass.

(Video) The EASIEST Way To Clean Acrylic Paint Palette (No Scrubbing!)

  1. Isopropyl Alcohol

This is cheaper and readily available.

One can call it better than the ammonia solution because it can work on clothing that is the primary victim of getting stained while painting.

This is called rubbing alcohol.

You can rub it over the affected surface, including all kinds of non-porous surfaces like wood and plastic.


It is often safe to use but do use gloves with it. It can irritate and make skin reddish once exposed.

  1. Acetone

Acetone is used when the acrylic paint has almost dried and is not vulnerable to scratching anymore.

Add a few drops on a piece of cotton and rub the stained area and wait until tender.

Now, you can easily peel it off.

Acetone is readily available for everyone.

It is the main constituent of your nail polish remover.

You can utilize it for acrylic paint removal from glass and metal too.


Do not use acetone over plastic and synthetic clothing.

Although it is non-toxic, it is highly flammable.

When using acetone, make sure the area is well ventilated.

  1. Denatured Alcohol

This type of alcohol is more powerful and dangerous than the one discussed before.

It is not a water-based solution and contains methyl and ethyl, making it stronger than isopropyl alcohol.


It consists of methanol which is also known as a poison.

Although methanol (non-drinking alcohol) helps remove acrylic paint, it can be poisonous if consumed accidentally.

Avoid suffocating places when using it for acrylic paint removal.

  1. Lacquer Thinner

You can use it for acrylic paint removal from surfaces like glass and metals.

It is the strongest of all because of the presence of toluene and methanol.

It is hazardous as well.

(Video) How to Remove Acrylic paint from your Scale models - tips and Tricks (Featuring James Bond!)

Be careful with it. It is highly recommended to use outdoors because of its fumes and flammability.

  1. Vinegar

If any of the above mentioned are not present, you can even utilize vinegar from your kitchen.

Mix one part of vinegar in ten amounts of water.

Dip any piece of cloth into the solution and use it to dab the cloth stain.

Keep doing and finally wash the stain with cold water.

  1. Baking Soda

You can use another item from your kitchen which is baking soda.

Use a mixture of baking soda and hot, boiling water for this.

This lets the paint break its bonds by expanding.

Thus the stain is removed.

You can use any of the above-mentioned steps that best suit your requirements.

It is suggested to keep a strong remover or chemical at home if you are an artist who uses the acrylic medium.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint From Jeans?

It is often challenging to remove acrylic stains from denim and jeans. It is not impossible, but it is thirsty work.

You should take off the jeans as soon as you notice a stain.

Then quickly wash them and use lots of washing powder to avoid the paint from hardening.

Keep washing it as long as the stain stays.

It takes four washes on average to get rid of it, and It is better to opt for handwashing.

It is gentler than the washing machine.

If the stain isn’t disappearing with washing powder and several washes, you may need to utilize a more potent chemical.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Walls?

If you have accidentally made the walls dirty with acrylic splashes, do not panic.

You can fix it in several ways:

  1. Using Soap and Water

This is the simplest one.

Just add liquid soap to a bucket of water.

(Video) How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Carpet & Upholstery

Mix it and rub it over the wall using a cloth.

This will work quickly if your walls have a coat of washable paint.

  1. Use a Scraper

If the stains are stubborn, use a scraper first.

Slide the scraper over the paint till the upper layer comes off the wall.

Now you can use the first method which is water and soap, to clean it further.

  1. Use Sandpaper

Rub sandpaper over the affected area back and forth.

It peels off the paint, and you can wipe away the excess.

  1. Use Sandblock

The usage of sandpaper to get rid of acrylic stains is annoying and difficult.

To make it easier, use a sand block that allows you to wrap sandpaper at one of its faces and hold the other face to rub it over the paint.

It is very comfortable to hold.

This process leaves toxic dust in the air.

It is hazardous to inhale.

Wear a mask before doing such an activity.

  1. Use a Paint Stripper

If you find it difficult to remove the stain or it becomes a stubborn one, then use a paint stripper which is a chemical manufactured for this purpose.

Here are the exact steps to make it easier for you:

  1. Safety first! Put on your mask and gloves beforehand.
  2. Ventilate the room because of the danger of toxicity diffusion.
  3. Cover all the items and floor. This chemical eats away the stain and even the surfaces of your precious furniture and floor. So cover it all. Or just remove all the things from the room.
  4. Apply a coat of paint stripper over the affected areas. Wait for some minutes or hours. It all depends on the strength of your stripper.
  5. Once the time is over, you will see bubbles due to emulsion. Take a scrapper and peel the paint stains. They will quickly come off.
  6. Now clean the walls with clean water.
  7. You can repeat the process if you see any stain is remaining.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off?

How to remove acrylic paint?

Are acrylic paints washable?

The answer is yes and no, both.

It all depends on when you take action against it.

The acrylic paints are water-soluble.

They can dissolve easily in water if you wash them as soon as in the first 20 to 25 minutes.

If not quickly washed, they eventually become water-resistant.

(Video) Acrylic paint removal

Moreover, exposure to heat can make them permanent too.

Do not iron over the stained clothes.

You will need to be patient when dealing with such situations.

You may need to wash your stained clothing multiple times before the stain comes off the surface.

Avoid wearing denim and jeans that are vulnerable to permanent staining.

Wear rough clothing and buy aprons for artists.

You should opt for disposable aprons that are much better as you do not need to worry about stains and splashes.

Now you can work without any headache.

To save your floors and tiles, cover the area where you paint with a cloth.

And stay away from the walls to protect them from staining.

Make your own space in the middle of the room, and no expensive furniture or items are around.

But in case of emergency, keep a strong removing chemical.

You can choose from any of the above chemicals that you can easily manage without harming yourself, as we all are vulnerable to making mistakes and errors.

Does Acrylic Paint Stain?

Acrylic paints, regardless of their nature that is dry or wet, stain when you expose them to surfaces like fabric, glass, wood, metals, and plastic.

All kinds of artists from beginners to intermediates to experts, acrylic paints are known to be great solutes in water and are preferred.

Therefore, as long as you use the paint with caution, you’ll be good to go.

However, it is always good to be aware of the precautions and remedies in case of a worst-case scenario.

These can be tough to remove once applied with water if you get late in removing the stains.

The Bottom Line

Acrylic paints are tough to remove once their stay becomes prolonged on various surfaces.

Try to avoid such situations by avoiding good clothes while painting.

But in case of an accident, you can use the above methods to help you remove acrylic paint.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint Easily (1)


Does vinegar remove acrylic paint? ›

Using Vinegar and Ammonia to take off Acrylic Paint

If your garment contains triacetate or acetate, or if you do not have any Isopropyl Alcohol, you can use a mixture of vinegar and ammonia with a pinch of salt instead.

Will rubbing alcohol remove acrylic paint? ›

Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is effective in removing dried acrylic from not only non-porous surfaces but also clothing with a little elbow grease. It is another cheap and readily available cleaning solution. The 99% concentration works best, but that concentration needs to be ordered online.

How do you get dried acrylic paint out of brushes? ›

Pour some rubbing alcohol into a jar and let your brushes sit in it for five minutes. Make sure your room is properly ventilated as the smell can be strong. After five minutes have passed, take the brush out. With gloves on, you will be able to pull the dried paint from the bristles.

What quickly removes acrylic paint? ›

5 Liquids That Can Remove Acrylic Paint
  • Ammonia Solution. Good old cheap ménage ammonia is relatively effective in removing semidry and dry acrylic makeup from porous shells, similar to essence, glass, and plastics. ...
  • Rubbing Alcohol. ...
  • Denatured Alcohol. ...
  • Acetone. ...
  • Lacquer Thinner.
Dec 7, 2021

Does hydrogen peroxide get acrylic paint off? ›

If all else fails, you can always try hydrogen peroxide. Pour it directly onto the stain and let it sit for about five minutes before blotting up with a clean cloth or sponge.

How do you get acrylic off without acetone? ›

Hot, Soapy Water

Soap and water are another great way to remove acrylics without harsh chemicals or solvents. Simply fill a bowl or sink with hot, soapy water and soak your nails for about 10 minutes. Soaking will help soften the adhesive and make it quicker to remove the false nails.

How do you get stubborn acrylic off? ›

Pour acetone into a small bowl and submerge your fingers. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes to break down your acrylics. "While your fingers are submerged, use your thumbs to rub the other four fingers — it helps break down the product faster," says Johnson.

Will dried acrylic paint come off with water? ›

Yes, acrylic paint can be washed off with water while it's wet. If the paint dries down, the paint solidifies into a stain and begins to resemble a substance similar to plastic. Then it cannot be removed with water.

Will Goo Gone take off paint? ›

Cleaning up paint spills and splatter is easy with Goo Gone Latex Paint Clean-Up Wipes. Just wipe the paint away.

Will hand sanitizer remove acrylic paint? ›

Like hairspray, hand sanitizer contains some alcohol that helps loosen up latex paint. Cover the stain in hand sanitizer, scrub it with a toothbrush, and wash it out.

Does nail polish remover remove paint? ›

Acetone nail polish remover

Nail polish remover has a similar effect on paint stains as rubbing alcohol. It is most effective on latex paints, so soaking a rag in it and then blotting the stain should help loosen up most of the paint. Toss the garment in the wash once you've treated the stain.

Can acrylic paint be removed once dried? ›

Use denatured alcohol, as it works the best on the most stubborn dried acrylic stains. Pour a little on a cloth or cotton ball and hold against the stain for a minute. With small circular motions, rub the paint until it lifts.

Can you use Dawn to clean acrylic paint brushes? ›

Acrylic paint washes off pretty easily with just Dawn and warm water, but for stubborn spray paint and dried latex paint, you can use a soft toothbrush combined with the dish soap to gently scrub the paint off.

What liquid is used to remove acrylic paint from brushes? ›

The most effective solution for cleaning acrylic brushes is using a painting medium or brush cleaner. If you do not have one then using things like rubbing alcohol, acetone or even some soap and water would help.

Does dish soap remove acrylic paint? ›

You can use simple dishwashing liquid to try to remove acrylic paint from your fabric or any hard surfaces. Apply soap over the stain with some warm water. Scrub to work up a lather on the stain using an old toothbrush or with your hands. Rinse the with warm water or machine wash.

Does Windex remove acrylic paint? ›

Yes. Windex removes acrylic paint because it's an effective degreaser and it also has a high level of ammonia which can help to break down the paint. However, it's important to be careful when using Windex around painted surfaces, as the ammonia can also damage the paint if it's used in excess.

Will rubbing alcohol remove paint from plastic? ›

For truly stubborn paint spills on plastic, turn to isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), which you can buy pretty much anywhere, including Amazon. Rubbing alcohol helps remove paint without melting the plastic, unlike harsh paint thinners.

How do you clean 100% acrylic paint? ›

If acrylic paint gets on your clothes, you need to wash the stain immediately while it's still wet with soapy water, rub well, and rinse thoroughly. If the paint is hard to get off, you can add washer detergent or spray spot remover and rub it with an old toothbrush.

Does OxiClean remove acrylic paint? ›

Step 3: If any paint remains, apply a stain remover like OxiClean directly to the spot and run through the washing machine. Note: Don't place the garment in the dryer until the stain is completely gone.

Is fingernail polish remover acetone? ›

Traditional nail polish removers are made up of an acetone solvent and a fatty material like lanolin or caster oil. Acetone removes polish by quickly breaking apart the nail varnish and stripping the polish from the nail plate surface.

What does nail polish remover do to acrylic? ›

Attempting to remove nail polish while you are wearing acrylics can damage your acrylic nails or even cause them to come off. Most nail polish removers are made with acetone, which is the same ingredient used to strip off acrylics. Therefore, using non-acetone remover is a good option for regular nail polish.

What is the healthiest way to remove acrylic? ›

What Is the Safest Way to Remove Acrylics? One of the most common and foolproof ways to remove acrylics without damaging your natural nails is to do an acetone soak. This is typically the same process that's used at salons.

Why won't my acrylic soak off? ›

Properly applied acrylic nails aren't supposed to come off, and definitely not easily. You need to file off the bulk, about 70–80%, of the acrylic, especially if light cured gel polish was applied over the acrylic. Gel polish creates a barrier that's impervious to many solvents, especially acetone.

Does soap and water remove acrylic? ›

To remove the remaining glue, immerse your fingers in warm, soapy water for about 10-15 minutes, and then you can scrape them away using a nail file and nail buffer. Now, you have finally removed your acrylic nails effectively and safely!

Is acrylic paint permanent when it dries? ›

When dry, acrylics are lightfast and permanent, and the surface becomes strong and flexible. Acrylics clean up with simple soap and water, making them easy to learn how to paint with. In addition to painting on canvas, you can use these versatile paints for craft surfaces made of wood, leather and many other materials.

What happens if you water down acrylic paint? ›

Water breaks down the binder in acrylic, thinning the paint so that it looks like watercolor and allows it to sink into the surface, resulting in a matte finish.

Will acrylic paint wash off of plastic? ›

Wipe all stains with a damp sponge. If any stain remains, apply Soft Scrub with a damp sponge, work in a circular motion and rinse. If stain persists saturate a cotton ball with alcohol and blot the stain and rinse.

What removes paint? ›

Use a plastic scraper or putty knife to gently scrape away paint (tip: vegetable oil can be used to soften up the paint). Denatured alcohol or acetone will work on tougher areas but be sure to spot test beforehand.

How long do you leave Goo Gone on? ›

Hard Surfaces

Apply Goo Gone (for extra gooey messes, let sit 5–10 minutes). Wipe. Wash with hot soapy water.

What does Goo Gone take away? ›

Goo Gone Adhesive Remover - 8 Ounce - Surface Safe Adhesive Remover Safely Removes Stickers Labels Decals Residue Tape Chewing Gum Grease Tar.

Does all acrylic paint wash off? ›

Acrylic paints can be removed easily if wet, however, once dry it becomes hard and is more difficult to remove. The paint can irritate the skin and block pores. Acrylic paints dry fast, so you will have to wash any paint off quickly.

Will 99% acetone remove acrylic? ›

But removing the nails will be possible with acetone remover. 100% acetone works best and there are a few ways in which this can be done so let's have a look at how we can successfully remove the acrylic nails.

Does rubbing alcohol remove paint? ›

Even if you have OLD latex paint on a window or mirror, if you wet the paint with some rubbing alcohol and rub, the paint wipes off quickly. You can also use rubbing alcohol to remove latex paint from your clothes.

How do you remove dried paint? ›

  1. Step 1: Scrape off excess paint. Scrape off as much excess dried paint as you can with a spoon, dull knife or brush.
  2. Step 2: Flush stain with warm running water. ...
  3. Step 3: Saturate stain with detergent and water mixture. ...
  4. Step 4: Apply stain remover. ...
  5. Step 5: If stain remains, blot and rewash. ...
  6. Step 6: Take item to a dry cleaner.

How do you remove paint without nail polish remover? ›

Rubbing Alcohol

"Apply some to a cotton ball or pad and place it on your nail," Boyce says. "Let it sit for about 10 seconds and gently rub it back-and-forth.

Can I soak my acrylic brush in nail polish remover? ›

While it isn't recommended, sometimes you need something stronger than monomer to clean your acrylic brushes. If your only other option is to throw your brush away, you could try using acetone to shift clogged up product. Try and wipe it away with an acetone-soaked pad.

Do you wet the brush before using acrylic paint? ›

Acrylic Paint Instructions and Tips. You don't 'need' to start with a wet brush, but if you want your paint to glide smoothly then it's best to have the bristles wet. I just quickly dip my brush in water, it doesn't have to be soaking wet.

Can you use rubbing alcohol to clean acrylic brushes? ›

RUBBING ALCOHOL: You can use rubbing alcohol to remove dried on acrylic paint. However, this can dry out the brush hairs and you'll need to finish the cleaning job with the bar of moisturizing soap as mentioned above.

Is vinegar used to remove acrylic paint from brushes? ›

Removing Dry Acrylic Paint

Heated vinegar, acrylic solvent, rubbing alcohol and turpentine are all useful for removing dried-on paint. To use vinegar, heat it in a pan until it boils. Pour the heated vinegar into a bowl or jar and insert your brushes. Allow the brushes to soak 30 minutes to 1 hour.

What takes off acrylic besides acetone? ›

Non-acetone nail polish remover, hot soapy water, cuticle oil and a nail file are all great options that won't damage your skin or natural nails. Bear in mind that some of these methods (like using a nail file) may take longer than acetone, but they'll help keep your nails healthy.

Can you use nail polish remover to get acrylic paint out of clothes? ›

Acetone nail polish remover

Nail polish remover has a similar effect on paint stains as rubbing alcohol. It is most effective on latex paints, so soaking a rag in it and then blotting the stain should help loosen up most of the paint. Toss the garment in the wash once you've treated the stain.

Does acrylic paint wash off easily? ›

Luckily, acrylics wash out much easier than any other medium, including oil paint, charcoal or pastels. Here's everything you need to know to save that T-shirt—rather than be forced to start using it as a rag.

What liquid removes acrylics? ›

Acetone is your best savior when it comes to removing acrylic nails at home. This strong liquid-based chemical dissolves the acrylic nails and helps you remove them easily.

What product gets acrylics off? ›

Soak Off Your Acrylic Nails Using Acetone. We know — acetone has a harsh scent and can leave nails feeling dry. But despite what some folks would have you believe, gentler options like dental floss, warm water, and dish soap won't work to remove your fakes. There is no way to remove acrylic nails without acetone.

What is the best acrylic paint remover? ›

Use denatured alcohol, as it works the best on the most stubborn dried acrylic stains. Pour a little on a cloth or cotton ball and hold against the stain for a minute. With small circular motions, rub the paint until it lifts. Use a damp, soapy washcloth to wipe the area free of the alcohol.

How do you get dried acrylic paint out of clothes without alcohol? ›

How do you remove dried acrylic paint without rubbing alcohol? Use an old toothbrush to rub a good-quality, heavy-duty laundry detergent into the stain. Then rinse or wash in cold water. Repeat these steps until the stain is gone.

Can detergent remove acrylic paint? ›

Scrub the Stain

"You can use a soft nylon brush like a toothbrush to give the fabric a quick scrub," says Mary Gagliardi, in-house scientist and cleaning expert at Clorox. After applying detergent, rinse the stained item thoroughly in cold water and repeat the process as many times as needed to remove the paint.

Will acrylic paint wash off once dry? ›

If you have not treated the surface in any way and the paint is still wet, the rain can wash away the acrylic paint. When the paint has dried, it is slightly water-resistant but will eventually start to peel or flake off.

Is it OK to clean acrylic paint brushes in the sink? ›

Many people wash their paintbrushes in the sink with running water or clean them outside with a hose. These practices not only increase your water bill but can damage your septic system and pollute the groundwater supply.

Does acrylic paint come off with soap and water? ›

It can be removed with the help of water, soap and a cloth. You will have to scrub the area clean but it can be done. Can acrylic paint be washed off with water ? Yes, acrylic paint can be washed off with water while it's wet.

Will acrylic paint come off with water? ›

Acrylic paints are great for painting many things, even objects that will be stored outside, like a birdhouse. While the paint might stick to your painting surface, if it's exposed to water before it's completely dry, the paint will wash off.

What paint comes off with water? ›

Water-based paint does not require turpentine or mineral spirits for clean-up; it washes away easily with soap and water. However, it still offers a durable, lasting finish for both interior and exterior surfaces that can be cleaned if needed. Water-based paints contain acrylic and/or vinyl.


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