Paint stains

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Through fingers, brushes, or splattering rollers, during painting there will always be paint spilled on clothing. The best advice is to wear old clothes on which it is no problem to spill paint. There will also be situations in which paint is transferred on clothing even when not painting.

It is very important to remove the stains as fast as possible before the paint dries.

This tip explains a couple of ways to remove paint from clothing, hands, and glass.


Use an absorbent cloth, tissue or toilet paper to remove as much paint as possible. Carefully scrape the paint away with a knife or spoon is an option too.
Important: Do not rub! Make sure the paint is being absorbed.

Paint on clothing

  • Water-based paint can be easily removed by rinsing the clothing under the tap with running water. This only works if the paint is still wet. If the paint has dried then soaking in warm water can be a solution.
  • No water-based paint? Do not put the clothing in the washing machine to start with! The paint will almost be impossible to remove. Carefully dab the paint with a cloth drained in turpentine or perchloroethylene ( "PERC"). Once the stain is removed wash the clothing in the machine.
  • Older, dried, stains are very hard to remove. Usually the success-rate is minimal. Scrape as much paint away as possible using a sharp knife. Make sure not to damage the clothing. Try to remove the remainder with a cloth drained in turpentine or perchloroethylene ( "PERC"). If this is unsuccessful then soak the stain in turpentine or perchloroethylene ( "PERC") for a while and brush the stain away with an old toothbrush.

Paint on glass and hands

  • Paint on glass can be easily removed with a cloth containing turpentine or perchloroethylene ( "PERC") as long as the paint is still wet. Dry paint can be removed with a razorblade.
  • Rub dry soap on the hands before painting. Paint will not attach to the hands and can easily be washed off.
  • Use latex gloves during painting. A lot of scrubbing and cleaning afterwards will be prevented this way.
  • Smear butter or olive oil on the hands before painting and the spilled paint can be washed off easily. Downside is greasy hands. Washing with some detergent will remove the grease.
  • Wash hands with coffee grounds and hand soap. This is less aggressive for the hands than turpentine or perchloroethylene ( "PERC").
  • Remove paint splatter from face and hands by applying body lotion.
  • Smear hands with a crème before painting in order to apply a greasy layer. Pain will not attach and can be washed off with water and soap.