How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Glass, Wood, Plastic and all other Surfaces

Last Updated on June 7, 2022 by Bright Calister

It is only normal to get paint onto surfaces you do not intend to when painting. While some paint can be washed off easily, acrylic paint is different. It tends to dry real quick.

On how to remove acrylic paint from glass, so if you accidentally spilt it somewhere you don’t want, you should act fast to get rid of it whilst still wet. I’m not necessarily saying it’s impossible to remove when dry, but it’d require a bit more tricky than you’d have to deal with when it is wet.

However, whether there’s a need to clean up an accidental spill or splatter, or perhaps you need to fix a mistake made during a painting project or even get rid of unwanted artwork, it is possible to remove acrylic paint from glass.

Compared to other surfaces, glass is non-porous, so acrylic paint only tends to sit on the surface rather than soak in, making it relatively easy to remove paint from glass.

We will walk you through the tips on how to remove acrylic paint from the glass and other surfaces in this article.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Glass

Removing acrylic paint from glass could be as simple as wiping or scraping off the paint. Yes, it’s that easy.

Meanwhile, if the glass surface was primed before painting and sealed afterwards, the job could be a bit trickier as you’d be required to use harsh solvents.

But first and foremost, you may need to take a trial-and-error approach, starting with one of the gentler options before using chemical cleaners if need be. I mean, let’s get started already!

Getting rid of wet acrylic paint and minor mistakes.

If you spilt or splattered acrylic paint onto a glass surface, or perhaps you just need to fix a mistake while painting glass, you want to work as quickly as possible while the paint is still wet.

Plain water may be enough to get still-wet acrylic paint off the glass, so try to wipe the paint off using a damp cloth, cotton bud or paper towel.

And should any paint traces remain again, try rubbing with alcohol or window cleaner.

Lastly, if you intend to paint over the surface again, ensure the glass is properly and completely dried.

How to Removing Acrylic Paint from Glass Using the Nonsolvent Method

  • Before you eventually resolve to use harsh chemicals to remove acrylic paint from glass, start with the gentler option of getting the paint scraped off or rubbed off with hot, soapy water.
  • Using a putty knife, a plastic paint scraper, or the edge of a gift card or credit card, scrape dried acrylic paint off the glass. If you’re lucky, the paint will easily glide off the surface.
  • When scraping the surface alone isn’t enough to remove all of the paint, you’ll need to switch to scrubbing with soapy water.
  • In a basin or sink, combine hot water and dish soap, then soak a non-abrasive scrubber or scourer with the hot, soapy water while scrubbing the paint off the glass.
  • If the item on the glass is small, soak it for 15 minutes in hot, soapy water to loosen the paint before cleaning it off.

How to Removing Acrylic Paint from Glass Using various household solvents

Many common household solvents remove effectively acrylic paint from the glass without having to damage the glass.

Some less harsh options recommended by paint experts are rubbing and denatured alcohol alongside hair spray, window cleaner and fabric softener.

So you want to apply these products to a scrubber or cloth while you wipe or scrub the paint away. Perhaps the paint still seems difficult to remove; try coating the paint surface with your preferred solvent and ensure it sits for 15 minutes, after which you wipe or scrub the paint away.

Some of the harsher household chemicals that’d certainly get rid of acrylic paint off glass include lacquer thinner, acetone and ammonia solution.

These products usually give out toxic fumes, so you want to ensure you work in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoor, and put on your protective gloves.

Get the product applied to a scrubber or cloth or directly over the painted surface. Wipe or scrub the paint if need be.

Use a scraper until you’re sure the paint has vanished completely.

Finally, wash the glass item with hot, soapy water.

Removing acrylic paint from clothing

  • Flush any wet paint using cold water.
    Position the acrylic paint stain under cool, running water and flush the stains properly until the water runs clear. Or better still, you can soak the entire piece of clothing in cold water until the stain fades.
  • Spray any dry stains with hairspray.
    You want to use the regular hairspray to treat the stained area. So ensure you spray enough hairspray such that the fabric feels wet. Alternatively, a nail polish remover or a latex paint removal will do. If you’re worried about the nail polish remover or hairspray causing damage to your fabric, test it on the unrevealed section of the garment.
  • Rub the stained area with a sponge
    Using a sponge or clean cloth, rub the stained area vigorously until you begin to see the colour of the acrylic paint being transferred from the fabric to the sponge. If the stain doesn’t come out immediately, spray the surface with more hairspray and try rubbing at it again.
  • Scrape stubborn dry paint off with a knife
  • Perhaps any solid dry stain remains on the fabric; while you’re being careful not to cut into the fabric, use the edge of a blunt knife to push it away.
  • Apply commercial stain removal to pre-treat the stain.
    Depending on the instruction on the packet of the commercial stain removal, either apply the stain removal directly into the acrylic paint stain or soak the whole piece.
  • After that, you wash the clothing in the washing machine, using your regular laundry detergent and a low-temperature setting between 86°F(30°C) or below.
  • Air-dry the clothing once the machine cycle is completed.

Note: You can use commercial stain removal for both wet and dry acrylic paint stains and avoid using harsh chemicals when trying to remove paint from your clothes.

How to Remove Acrylic paint from wood or plastic

  • Wipe away as much wet acrylic paint as possible with a clean cloth or paper towel. If you’re using a cloth, ensure you flush it with water and rinse immediately after you’re done to avoid staining the fabric.
  • After that, a thin layer of vegetable oil is applied to the paint and wiped over the spots of dry acrylic paint. This method is to help you soften the paint before scraping it off.
  • Use a plastic scraper to scrape away any dried paint on plastic surfaces. Begin at the outer borders of the stain and work your way inward. Apply more vegetable oil as required.
  • Also, you can make use of denatured alcohol for those stubborn stains on plastic or wood. You apply denatured alcohol to either a cloth or a cotton ball and rub at the stain to lift the paint away.
  • However, you want to test the denatured alcohol on an inconspicuous area of the plastic or wood first to ensure it doesn’t damage the material.
  • Then you fill up a bucket halfway with soap and warm water. Use bar soap or dish detergent, preferably. Ensure the container you’re using is large enough to dip a cloth.
  • And use the soapy water to clean away all traces of denatured alcohol. The cloth only needs to be damp and not saturated.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Carpet or Upholstery

  • Using a knife, lightly scrape any excess wet paint on the carpet surface.
  • Wipe the knife on a cloth or paper towel to clean it each time you scrape the paint away.
  • Get your warm water and soap mixture in a bucket and blot the stain with the warm, soapy water.
  • Ensure the cloth is slightly damp, and indulge in a quick upward motion to twist the pile of the acrylic paint as you lift it away.
  • Dab the stain slightly rather than pushing it, and work your way carefully from the outside, to the centre of the stain.
  • If the damp, soapy towel doesn’t work, dab the discolouration with nail paint remover.
  • Before blotting the stain with the nail paint remover until it lifts away, tests it on an unnoticeable area to ensure it won’t ruin the carpet or upholstery.

Conclusion – How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Glass

Now that you know how to get rid of acrylic paint from glass, you can sure go-ahead to fix that which you’ve always seen as a challenge when ordinarily, the real challenge is knowing what to do.

However, keep in mind that acrylic paint is an emulsion of acrylic polymer. If the paint is still tacky, you can use water-soluble solvents like acetone or alcohol.

While for completely hardened paint, you want to use harsher chemicals such as lacquer thinner or an ammonia solution.

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