Oil-based paint stains can occur in many ways. Maybe you have just completed a DIY paint project around the home, which can be a bit messy, so you will always have some paint splatters to clean up, especially if some happen to land on your clothes. When this happens, you might be thinking of throwing those paint-splattered clothes away. However, we have some good news for you. In this article, we will be discussing how to remove oil-based paint from clothes, so keep reading!
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Remove Oil-Based Paint from Clothes
- 2 Removing Oil-Based Paint from Clothes
- 3 Tips for Removing Oil-Based Paint from Clothes
- 4 What Happens If You Are Unable to Remove Oil-Based Paint from Clothes?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
How to Remove Oil-Based Paint from Clothes
When you spill oil-based paint on any surface, it can be very difficult to remove, especially when you spill it on your clothes. The secret is to act fast and remove the paint stain before it starts to dry, as once it dries, it is almost impossible to remove completely. Oil-based paint stains can be very tricky to remove from clothing or any other surface. This is because oil-based paint stains are combination stains that include different ingredients. They contain not only oily elements but also pigmentation.
The oil-based paint stains need to be taken care of quickly while the paint is still wet.
However, if you cannot remove it immediately, try to keep the stain wet until you can. Be careful not to grab a paper towel or cloth and try to rub the paint stain off. This will only make the paint stain worse by embedding the paint further into the fabric, making it impossible to remove it from your clothes.
What Needs to Be Done Before You Start to Remove Oil-Based Stains from Clothes?
The first thing to do is to try and establish what type of paint you are dealing with. According to the composition, most paints are either oil-based or water-based. Water-based paints are latex or acrylic and oil-based paints are gloss, satin, or undercoats. You can easily tell if the paint is oil-based by looking in the tin as the oil will separate from the paint pigments and additives and lie on the top. The paint also takes a long time to dry, and the type of paint should be written on the label of the tin. We are now going to give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to remove oil-based paint from clothes.
Removing Oil-Based Paint from Clothes
When removing oil-based paint stains from clothes you will need certain tools and equipment. There is no need to worry, as most of the materials and equipment are usually found in your home, and you probably use them every day without realizing it. Successfully removing the paint may require some extra elbow grease and hard work. Let us start with a list of the tools and items needed.
- Paper towels and clean rags
- Spoon or blunt knife
- Liquid detergent
- Paint thinners or turpentine
- Hot water
Before you start removing oil-based paint from clothes, you should use the cleaning materials on a small inconspicuous section of the garment first to ensure that it will not damage the material fibers, especially if the garment is made from silk or wool. Using the blunt knife or spoon, scrape away as much of the wet paint as possible, taking care not to spread the oil-based paint stain any further. Now lay down some clean rags and paper towels on a table or other surface that is flat and smooth.
Moisten a clean cloth or rag with the turpentine or paint thinners and begin to blot out the oil-based paint stain from the back of the garment. Continue blotting out the paint stain until it is gone, making sure you move the garment to a clean area of the cloth or rags, and continue to blot out the paint stain.
Now you can use some warm water and rinse the stain, then take some liquid detergent and apply it to the stain. Soak the garment in hot soapy water overnight, making sure you first check the care tag on the garment for the recommended water temperature for that fabric. On the next day, rinse the garment thoroughly in clear clean water and wash the garment in your washing machine, using the recommended water temperature for that fabric. If the stain is still not gone, repeat the above treatment until the stain is completely removed.
How to Remove Dried Oil-Based Paint from Clothes
The method we have shared above will be successful in removing oil-based paint stains from clothing when the paint stain is still wet. However, if the oil-based paint has dried, it is more difficult to remove, and you may want to try one of the other methods that we are going to share with you now.
Remove Paint Using a Hot Iron
Once the paint has dried, it may require some heat to loosen the paint from the fabric so that you can remove it properly. You will need a clothes iron, some tissue paper, and a table close to an electric socket. Plug your iron into the electrical socket and make sure it gets very hot, apply a piece of tissue paper over the paint stain and start ironing. The paint will melt and stick to the tissue paper, but make sure you only use tissue paper, or else the paint will stick to the iron instead. Repeat the process if necessary.
Remove Paint Using Rubbing Alcohol
If you have some rubbing alcohol in your cupboards at home, it is ideal for removing dried paint from your clothes. To proceed with this method, you will need some rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, a stiff brush, a soft sponge, and some warm soapy water. Pour some rubbing alcohol onto the dried oil-based paint stain and begin rubbing it using the stiff brush. When the alcohol evaporates, keep adding some more and rub the stain until it is almost gone.
Now use the sponge to remove the rest of the paint stain to prevent damaging the fabric and ruining your garment. Finally, wash the garment in some warm soapy water.
Remove Paint Using Baking Soda
Every household has some baking soda in their kitchen cupboards, which can be used very efficiently to remove dried paint stains from your clothes. To accomplish this, you will need baking soda, dishwashing liquid, detergent powder, warm soapy water, and a small basin. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda, dishwashing liquid, and detergent powder in a cup of water and pour it into the small basin.
To make the solution more effective, you can also include a little rubbing alcohol.
Take the section of the garment that has the dried paint stain, soak it in the solution, and leave it for about 10 to 20 minutes. Now take the garment and start brushing the paint off. You may need to work a little harder, and once done, you can wash the garment in some warm soapy water.
Remove Paint Using Acetone or Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover or acetone does not only remove nail polish but can also be used effectively for removing dried oil paint on fabric. To proceed, you will need acetone or nail polish remover and a sponge. Apply some of the acetone or nail polish remover to the dried paint stain and allow it to soak for a few minutes. If it evaporates too quickly, simply apply more acetone. Now take the sponge and begin rubbing the paint stain until it comes off completely. Repeat the treatment if required and clean the garment further in some warm soapy water.
Remove Paint Using Hairspray
Hairspray is another method to use for removing dried oil-based paint stains from clothes, as it contains alcohol that can loosen the dried paint. You will need some hairspray, a stiff brush, and some warm water. Spray a generous amount of your hairspray on the dried paint stain, leaving it for a few minutes to dissolve the dried paint stain. Then use the stiff brush to take away the stain from your garment.
Finally, you can wash the garment in some warm soapy water to make sure all the paint has been removed.
Tips for Removing Oil-Based Paint from Clothes
Maybe you have had a little accident while painting and got some oil-based paint on your shirt or jeans, and you have tried the above methods, but you are not completely satisfied with the results. Here are a few tips you can try, one of these ideas just might be what you need for a better cleaning job.
- Blot the paint stain with some paper towels or clean cloth before it can spread.
- Paint stains are a lot easier to remove when still wet, so act quickly.
- Follow the instructions on the paint container to see what to use to remove paint spills.
- Read the label on your clothes to avoid using something that can damage the fabric.
- Make sure you have adequate ventilation when using any type of solvent.
- Have sufficient paper towels, and clean rags available.
- Always turn the garment inside out with the right side facing the paper towels when cleaning.
- When rubbing the stain, use gentle motions to help prevent any paint from spreading.
- Paint stains can be stubborn, so be persistent and repeat the process as many times as necessary.
- Remember to move the paper towels around to avoid the satin spreading.
- Try using a toothbrush to remove stubborn paint stains.
What Happens If You Are Unable to Remove Oil-Based Paint from Clothes?
You may have tried all the different methods we have suggested to remove the oil-based paint stains from your clothes. However, the paint might just be too deeply embedded in the fabric, and you may be unable to remove the paint stains from your garment. Instead of throwing the garment out, why not make use of it when you and your family are busy with a DIY painting project?
You or the kids can use it to protect your good clothes and save you a lot of added stress when any more paint is spilled.
If it is a large garment, make use of it as a type of tablecloth to spread on the table when you are busy painting, and spare your furniture from any unnecessary paint spills. You can also use it as an activity project with the family, allowing them to cut it up or try dyeing it a different color.
Preventing Unnecessary Oil-Based Paint Spills in the Future
We are all aware that when painting, it is inevitable that you are going to have some paint spills on your clothes. So, it is best to select some old clothes from your closet and set them aside only for use when painting. This will save on any damage that might occur to your good clothes.
The methods we have shared with you above are the easiest and best solutions for removing oil-based paint from clothes. The use of solvents is the most efficient and effective way to remove wet or dried oil-based paint from your clothes. By following these basic guidelines, we hope that you can save and wear your clothes again!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Vinegar to Remove Paint Stains from Clothes?
Vinegar is a common household product that we all have in our homes and can be used to remove paint stains from clothes. Saturate the stained area of the garment with some warm vinegar, let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes, and then use a sponge to rub the paint stain off.
Can You Use WD-40 to Remove Paint Stains from Clothes?
WD-40 is a lubricant that can be effectively used to remove dried oil paint on fabric. Saturate the affected area with the WD-40, let it stand for a few minutes, and then use a sponge to remove the paint stain. After this, wash the clothes as usual. Make sure to use the WD-40 carefully, as it can also stain the garment if left on for too long.
What Liquid Can You Use to Remove Oil-Based Paint Stains from Clothes?
Mineral spirits is a petroleum product that is a lot less toxic and less costly than turpentine and can be effectively used to remove paint stains from clothes. However, take care using it, as it will emit a vapor when used, which is also flammable.
In 2005, Charlene completed her Wellness Diplomas in Therapeutic Aromatherapy and Reflexology from the International School of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy. She worked for a company offering corporate wellness programs for a couple of years, before opening up her own therapy practice. It was in 2015 that a friend, who was a digital marketer, asked her to join her company as a content creator, and this is where she found her excitement for writing.
Since joining the content writing world, she has gained a lot of experience over the years writing on a diverse selection of topics, from beauty, health, wellness, travel, and more. Due to various circumstances, she had to close her therapy practice and is now a full-time freelance writer. Being a creative person, she could not pass up the opportunity to contribute to the Art in Context team, where is was in her element, writing about a variety of art and craft topics. Contributing articles for over three years now, her knowledge in this area has grown, and she has gotten to explore her creativity and improve her research and writing skills.
Charlene Lewis has been working for artincontext.org since the relaunch in 2020. She is an experienced writer and mainly focuses on the topics of color theory, painting and drawing.