How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Plastic

Learning how to remove paint from plastic helps you eradicate fresh or dried acrylic paint stains from your plastic items at home or work. I bet you do not enjoy having paint-stained plastics that reduce the general beauty of plastics.

Luckily, you don’t have to get on with that paint-stained plastic items. Instead, you only need to comprehend the procedure and materials to eradicate the messy state.

As a plastic worker, I’m more than happy to help you with tips on how to remove acrylic paint from your plastic items.

Read on

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Plastic

Pour denatured alcohol on a cotton ball or clean rag. Rub the cotton ball or clean rag on the paint stain and wait for five to ten minutes as the paint lifts off. Wipe the loosened paint away using a paper towel.

WARNING: Test the denatured alcohol in an inconspicuous area of the plastic to ensure the solvent is not detrimental to the plastic.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Plastic Using Dishwashing Detergent

Dishwashing detergent removes wet acrylic paint. Dishwashing detergents are common in our kitchen, so you won’t hustle hard to acquire one.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Warm Water
  • Dish Washing Soap
  • Paper Towel
  • Clean Rag

The Steps

  1. Add a reasonable amount of warm water into a basin and add a few drops of the liquid dishwasher. Dip the plastic item in the warm water if it is small in size.
  2. Immerse a clean cloth in the warm water soapy solution and rub it on the paint stain.
  3. Keep rubbing until all the paint is gone.
  4. Once all the paint is gone, rinse the plastic using clean water
  5. Wipe off water drops using a dry towel and allow the plastic to dry for one to two hours.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Plastic Using Olive/Vegetable Oil

Olive/vegetable oil softens dried paints

Supplies You Will Need

  • Water
  • Vegetable/olive oil
  • Paper towel
  • A clean piece of cloth
  • Gloves

The Steps

  1. Add a small amount of olive/vegetable oil onto a paper towel
  2. Rub it on the acrylic paint on the plastic
  3. Continue rubbing at intervals to allow the oil to penetrate the paint
  4. Once the paint has softened, wipe off the paint using a clean paper towel. Repeat the process until all the paint is gone.
  5. Rinse the plastic using warm water to remove excess oil and paint residues
  6. Dry the plastic using a clean towel

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Plastic Using Denatured Alcohol

Denatured alcohol works best on cured, dried, or highly stubborn acrylic paints.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Paintbrush
  • Water
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Plastic scraper
  • Towel
  • Gloves

The Steps

  1. Apply denatured alcohol to the acrylic paint stain using a paintbrush
  2. Intensively apply the alcohol but ensure not to soak the plastic
  3. Let the plastic sit for five to ten minutes as the alcohol break the paint bonds
  4. Use the plastic paint scraper to lift off the softened acrylic paint. Embrace patience as you may need more than one attempt to remove old or cured acrylic paint.
  5. Once you are satisfied, use a damp soapy towel to wash the alcohol off the plastic item or surface.
  6. Rinse the surface using cold water and let it dry

Warning: Test the detrimental effects of the denatured alcohol in an inconspicuous area on the plastic to limit damages. Denatured alcohol may melt the plastic depending on the plastic-type. Denatured alcohol is flammable. Avoid using near flames or in the kitchen.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Plastic Using Rubbing/Isopropyl Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is common in our households. You can use it to remove dried or cured acrylic paint. Ensure the concentration is 99% to achieve the desired results.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic paint scraper
  • Clean rag
  • Cotton swab
  • Water
  • Paper Towel
  • Gloves

The Steps

  1. Test a small area of the plastic before you continue with the whole cleaning process. Testing helps to check on the harmful effects of alcohol on plastic. If it is safe, proceed to step two.
  2. Wipe the paint-stained area using water and a paper towel to remove dust particles
  3. Dip the cotton swab in the rubbing alcohol and rub it on the paint stain
  4. Wait for five to ten minutes as the alcohol softens the paint. Add a little elbow grease
  5. Wipe the softened paint using a paper towel. Repeat the process if it doesn’t work on the first attempt.
  6. Scrape off the remaining paint after wiping. You can use a plastic paint scraper to avoid scratching the plastic surface/item.
  7. Once all the paint is gone, rinse the surface using a damp rag and clean water.

Warning: Rubbing alcohol can cause irritation and skin redness, so wear protective gloves to avoid topical contact.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Plastic Using Ammonium Solution

One of the potential substances that can remove both semi-dry and dry acrylics paint from surfaces is ammonium solution. It performs best on non-porous surfaces such as plastic, metal, and glass.

Ammonia surges the ph. to stabilize the acrylic emulsion. Ammonia solution also has detergents that suspend the dissolved particles with water for easy removal.

But, apply ammonia with caution. Ammonia vapors frequently, so clean the plastics outdoors as ammonia can cause allergic reactions.

Do not apply ammonia solution to clean airbrushes and paintbrushes. The solution is robust and will dissolve the brass coating in the brushes.

The Steps

  1. Mix ammonia and hot water in a sprayer
  2. Spray the solution generously on the stain
  3. Wait for ten minutes as the solution penetrates through the paint stain
  4. Cover the paint stain using a clean old towel and press it with an iron full of steam for about 30 seconds.
  5. Check the progress. The paint stain should lift off to the towel.
  6. Repeat the process until the paint is all gone

Warning: When in contact with ammonia, wear protective gloves and a respirator. High concentrations of ammonia in the air may burn the throat, nose, eyes, and breathing tract, leading to blindness and respiratory complications.

I used this technique to clean my plastic carpet. I hope it works for you too.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Plastic Models

Plastic models refer to a plastic scale model developed as a kit and are majorly used for static display. They are often designed and assembled by hobbyists.

The models often depict multiple subjects such as civilian and military vehicles.

The assemblers often use acrylic paint to make the models eye-catching. However, as a plastic model developer, you may make mistakes when painting or feel the older paint is no longer attractive.

Removing acrylic paints from plastic models is complex compared to other paints. So, I have highlighted some options that can help you complete the task.

Various Ways to Clean Acrylic Paints off Plastic Models 

Dettol or Any Antiseptic Solution

Dettol works best when removing water-based acrylic paint from models. The solution should remove the paint easily; however, the surface may remain ragged. I recommend you add another paint coat to give it an eye-catching look.

Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaner also works best on stripping off acrylic paint from plastic models. You can apply two options when using oven cleaner. First, you can spray the oven cleaner foam onto the plastic model and lock it in a ziplock bag for 24-48 hours or spray it in a basin and scrub using a toothbrush.

Using the two methods will leave your plastic model sparkling clean. I recommend you paint a coat to clear off the ragged look if you opt to scrub using a toothbrush.

Revell or Humbrol-style brush cleaner

In some instances, Revell or Humbrol-style brush cleaner has removed acrylic paint from plastic models. If it doesn’t work for you, kindly consider other options.

Sand the plastic model

You can opt to sand the plastic model. Be careful to prevent scratching the panel lines or details.

I prefer using the antiseptic solution or oven cleaner. These two methods strip the paint stain after a few hours of soaking.

Safety Tips

Wear latex gloves when handling antiseptic solutions and oven cleaners to prevent skin irritation and redness.

Let the plastic models soak in the antiseptic solution for a complete paint strip. If you fail, use a toothbrush to scrub the paint while spraying the solution.

Strictly follow the safety tips on the bottles of the recommended solutions. Wear safety glasses and masks if need be.

How to Remove Fresh and Dried Acrylic Paint from Plastic palettes

After painting, paint palettes often appear a battlefield of color. Many artists or DIYers often find cleaning the palettes boring. However, cleaning the palettes leaves the workstation clean and supplies ready for the next project.

When it comes to cleaning plastic palettes, you can use the following steps.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Clean rag
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Acrylic medium, e.g., Golden clear tar gel
  • Paint thinner, e.g., Acetone
  • Plastic paint scraper

The Steps

  1. Dampen a clean rag in soapy water and wipe off excess paint
  2. Soak the remaining dried paints and remove the palette once the paint crumples. It works best if your palette can hold water.
  3. Peel off the densely grouped dried paint globs. You can use your fingernails if they are strong enough.
  4. Use acrylic mediums to peel off acrylic paint off the plastic palette successfully. You can apply Golden clear tar gel on the paint stain and peel it off after it has dried.
  5. Use paint thinners such as Acetone to remove the stubborn dried paints
  6. Use a plastic paint scraper to scrape off the enduring dry acrylic paint

Frequently Asked Questions

What Dissolves Dried Acrylic Paint?

Rubbing alcohol dissolves dried acrylic paint. It works best on non-porous surfaces such as plastic and metals. However, ensure the concentration is 99%. It also works on clothing, but you will need to add a little elbow grease.

Does Vinegar Remove Acrylic Paint?

Vinegar can remove dried and stuck paint from windows and other non-porous surfaces. Significantly, vinegar is cheap and less detrimental to the environment and removes dried and stubborn paint off surfaces without releasing toxic fumes and chemicals.

The Steps

  1. Prepare the paint stain using a warm soapy water solution. Add one teaspoon of dish soap to one cup of warm water to prepare the solution.
  2. Apply the soapy solution on the paint stain using a clean rag. Use a toothbrush to scrub the stain gently. Blot the stained area repeatedly and use a dry towel to dry up excess water.
  3. Mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:10. Dip a clean rag into the solution and continuously rub it on the stain. The paint stain should lift off. If not, repeat the process.
  4. Rinse the spot with cold water and dry using a clean towel

Bottom Line

You will find it easy to remove acrylic paint from any plastic surface with a suitable method.

The efficiency of each paint removal method depends on whether the paint is dry or wet, the supplies available, and the type of plastic.

While completing the task, ensure to abide by the safety measures.