How To Remove Spray Paint From Plastic With Household Items

If you clicked on this article, you are probably wondering how to remove spray paint from plastic using readily available household items.

As a plastic expert, I will tell you the household items you can use easily to remove spray paint from plastic.

Why Use Household Items to Remove Spray Paint from Plastic

I recommend household items such as vegetable oil and rubbing alcohol because they do not contain chemicals that might melt or dent the plastic surface.

Spray paint is available in latex and acrylic paints. Latex paints contain water-based ingredients, while acrylic paints have chemical-based ingredients. Regardless of the paint type, the tips provided in this article are ideal.

Household Items You Can Use To Remove Spray Paint from Plastic

  • Dish soap
  • Vegetable/olive oil
  • Nail polish remover
  • Razorblade
  • Rubbing alcohol

How to Remove Spray Paint from Plastic with Household Items

  1. Pour a small amount of vegetable/olive oil, nail polish remover, or soapy solution on the paint spill or stain. You can only use one at a time.
  2. Let it sit for five to ten minutes as the solvent breaks down the paint bonds.
  3. Rub off the paint using a paper towel or cloth continuously until all the paint is gone
  4. Use rubbing alcohol if the paint stain persists. Rubbing alcohol works best on stubborn and dried paints using the same process.
  5. Use a razor blade to scrape off the excess paint and solvent
  6. Rinse using warm water and dry using a towel

How to Remove Spray Paint from Plastic using Dish Soap

Dish soap solution breaks down paints, and it’s primarily effective when the paint is still wet or fresh.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Towel
  • Sponge

The Steps

  1. Add 1 gallon of hot water to a bucket
  2. Add three teaspoons of liquid dish soap into the warm water and stir to mix properly.
  3. Use a sponge to spread the mixture on the paint-stained area
  4. Scrub using the sponge repeatedly until all the paint lifts off
  5. Rinse the plastic surface using clean water. Use hose pipe or pressure washer for larger plastic surfaces
  6. Dry smaller plastic surfaces using a clean towel. Let the larger surfaces dry outdoors

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

When you run out of paint removers and other solvents, turn to your kitchen and pick a can of vegetable or olive oil. Vegetable/olive oil weakens the paint bonds making it easier to remove off plastic surfaces.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Putty knife
  • Vegetable/olive oil
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Paper towel/clean small rag
  • Gloves

The Steps

  1. Pour a little amount of vegetable/olive oil on a paper towel or clean rag
  2. Rub it on the paint-stained area. Spread the oil thoroughly to cover all the paint-stained area
  3. Let the oil sit on the paint-stained area for five to ten minutes as the oil weakens the paint
  4. Brush off the paint stain using a toothbrush to help lift off the paint. The toothbrush will further weaken the paint bonds. You may use a plastic putty knife to scrape off dried paints.
  5. Once all the paint is gone, rinse the surface using warm water. Warm water helps clear off the vegetable/olive oil from the surface.
  6. Dry the surface using a clean, dry towel.

Vegetable/olive oil may react with sensitive skin. Avoid contact by wearing gloves.

How to Remove Spray Paint from Plastic using Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover is readily available, especially if you are around women. It is cheap and easy to apply.

Using excess nail polish remover may dent, discolor or melt the plastic. Use it three times only to avoid damaging the plastic.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton ball/paper towel
  • Elbow grease
  • Warm water
  • Clean rag
  • Gloves

The Steps

  1. Soak a paper towel/cotton ball in a nail polish remover
  2. Rub the cotton ball/paper towel on the paint stain. Ensure all the paint stain is covered with the polish remover.
  3. Add a little elbow grease and wait for five to ten minutes as the paint softens. Elbow grease catalyzes the solvent to work faster. The paint should loosen.
  4. Rub continuously at intervals to loosen all the paint
  5. Once the paint has loosened, rinse the surface using a clean rag and warm water
  6. Allow the plastic to dry

Ensure the nail polish remover contains acetone. Acetone dissolves dried paint, making the removal of paint stain easy.

Wear protective gloves since acetone can lead to skin cracks, dryness, and redness. You may wear a face mask, too, if you plan to use a high amount of acetone.

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

Rubbing or isopropyl alcohol is ideal for stubborn and dried paint. Consider rubbing alcohol as the last option when using household items as they may not be readily available at home. All you have to do is apply it correctly.

Ensure to test the detrimental effects of the rubbing alcohol in an inconspicuous area. Proceed with the whole project if you deem it safe.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Warm water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Old toothbrush
  • Plastic wrap
  • Razorblade
  • Clean rag
  • Gloves
  • Mask

The Steps

  1. Pour a little rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and rub it on the affected area. You can also pour the alcohol directly on the affected area. Ensure the concentration is 91 or 99%.
  2. Spread the rubbing alcohol on the surface using an old toothbrush to ensure all the paint-stained area is covered.
  3. Cover the affected area using a plastic wrap to prevent the rubbing alcohol from evaporating and let it sit for five to ten minutes as the paint bonds break
  4. Wipe out the softened paint using a clean rag. Scrape off stubborn paint using a razor blade
  5. Rinse the surface using warm water and allow it to dry

Wear protective gloves and a face mask to prevent skin irritation and inhaling toxic fumes.

How to Remove Spray Paint from Plastic Using Paint Scrapper

I would not recommend paint scraping as it may damage your plastic surface. Scrape the paint if the methods mentioned above have failed.

In this case, you can opt for a razor blade, putty knife, or a plastic paint scraper. Take caution to avoid scratching or denting the plastic. Try something less detrimental before resorting to scraping.

Tips to Follow While Removing Spray Paint from Plastic

  1. Always put on safety gear such as gloves. You may consider masks if necessary.
  2. Always ensure the chosen solvent is compatible with your plastic-type. Aggressive solvents may melt or dent the plastic.
  3. Be careful when using the scraper to avoid hurting yourself and damaging the plastic.
  4. Please dispose of the removed paint as it is hazardous. Use the readily available trashcan.
  5. Do not overuse the nail polish remover as it may dent, discolor or melt the plastic. Instead, use it three times only to avoid damaging the plastic.

How to Avoid Overspray When Spray Painting Plastic

Preventing overspray helps achieve a clean and even finish on your plastic surface.

Establish a DIY Spray Booth

Using a spray booth helps you avoid spilling the paint all over. Working in a spray booth minimizes the possibility of sprinkling the paint on your other items that are not paint intended.

If you don’t have the capital to acquire a spray booth, you can construct a DIY shelter using second-hand cardboard. The shelter should be outdoors, away from other items you don’t want to paint-stain.

Use Cloth or Adhesive Tape

The method works best when painting a specific part of the plastic. You can use the tape to rip the areas you want to paint, for example, the edges of a plastic surface.

You can also use a clean cloth to wrap the areas you don’t want to paint-stain other items.

Do not use newspapers as the paint can pass through them, making your painting a mess.

Ensure You Have the Correct Sprayer

Using the correct type of sprayer helps avoid over-spraying. Using the traditional spray gun will lead to over-spraying precisely when working on a tiny surface.

I recommend you pick a high volume low pressure (HVLP) sprayer which uses low pressure and releases a fine mist of paint. You may also consider an airless paint sprayer.

Apply the Right Pressure

Using the correct pressure ensures you avoid over-spraying—excess paint results from poor pressure choice.

Start from low pressure and adjust gradually to achieve the desired outcome. Use an airless paint sprayer, relying on pressure to coat the surface with a fine mist.

I would recommend spray guns for smaller plastic surfaces.

Choose the Correct Nozzle Size

Nozzle size matters. The bigger the size, the larger the amount of paint released and vice versa.

Therefore, choose a smaller nozzle for your paint gun to prevent overspray.

Increase Electrostatic Charge

Electrostatic painting involves painting plastics using a magnetic field. It allows the mist to attach to the plastic surface smoothly.

Applying electrostatic charge on paint particles aids a robust adherence to the surface. It reduces paint wastage.

Professionals commonly use the method.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Spray Paint Difficult to Remove From Plastic?

No, removing spray paint is not difficult. However, it isn’t elementary since water-based paint tends to fuse and harden as it cures. Ensure to follow the correct process and use the right tools to achieve the desired outcome.

How to Get Spray Paint off Plastic with Vegetable Oil?

Oils help remove spray paint by loosening the paint.

The Steps 

Step 1: Loosen the paint using olive or vegetable oil

Step 2: Scrape off the paint with a razor blade or putty knife to remove paint from plastic without damage.

Bottom Line

We have just learned how to clean paint-stained plastics using our everyday household items. However, you may be required to perform them more than once to achieve the desired outcome.

Significantly, wear protective gear as some items may react with your sensitive skin.