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How To Get Paint Out of Your Clothes In 8 Easy Steps (with Pictures)

Paint Stain in Clothe

Painting can be a fun process, but it’s not fun to end up with paint on your clothes! Some paint stains can be hard to clean, so you should know how to treat them. If you’d like to know how to get paint out of jeans, shirts, and other clothing, you’ve come to the right place.

Depending on the paint type you used there are different methods. Keep reading to find out more about them.

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Paint Type

Different paint types require distinctive cleaning methods. To know which cleaning technique you need to use to get paint out of your clothes, you must determine which type of paint you are dealing with first. Below you can find three paint types, along with steps on how to get them out of your clothes.

How To Get Paint Out of Your Clothes (8 Easy)

Water-Based Paint

yellow paint in a can and brush
Image Credit: Sofia Iartseva, Shutterstock

Being water-based, this paint is easy to clean. You should be able to remove stains from water-based paint types without any issues. To get water-based paint out of clothing, follow these steps:

1. Scrape

First, you should scrape off any excess paint that fell on your clothing. It’s best to go outside to avoid creating a mess, then grab a spoon, brush, or a dull knife, and try to scrape as much paint as possible to make the paint easier to clean.

2. Rinse Out

Once you’ve scraped off the excess paint, rinse the clothes on each side to try and get the paint particles out. You can use a paper towel, clean rag, or a towel to absorb some of the paint that’s still there.

3. Dip and Wash

Make a mixture of water and dish soap, dip the garment in it, and repeat the process. You should get the stain out after the second or third dip. If the stain is persistent, wash it in cold water after dipping it into the mixture. If any paint remains on the clothing, you could try rubbing gently with acetone or rubbing alcohol and then wash it again.divider 1

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints palette and painted brushes on wood background stained with various color
Image Credit: S8, Shutterstock

Acrylic Paint can be tricky for stains because it dries more quickly than other paint types. If you get acrylic paint on your clothes, you’ll need to act rapidly. You can also remove it when it’s dry, but that is a far more complicated process.

4. Scrape

Firstly, scrape the excess paint off your clothing before treating the spot. Go outside, take a dull knife or a spoon, and remove as much paint as possible. Once you finish, rinse the area with lukewarm water.

5. Mix a Cleaning Solution

When you’ve scraped off the excess paint, you will need to use a cleaning solution. You will need:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 cup of liquid soap

Mix them up, and use a sponge to blot the stain. You might need to repeat this step if the paint is stubborn.

6. Final Step

If the solution didn’t remove the stain, try rubbing alcohol or acetone. Pour it over the stain and gently rub it with a cloth. Once you finish, wash it in cold water, and the stain should hopefully be gone.

divider 1 Oil-Based Paint

Paint cans
Image Credit: Sarah Lötscher, Pixabay

Many people use oil-based paint when painting floors, furniture, and other surfaces. Oil-based paint can be challenging to remove and might require aggressive treatment.

7. Blot the stain

If you make an oil-based paint stain on your clothing, put the garment on a thick stack of paper towels or clean rags. Use paint thinner or turpentine and blot the stain, and try to remove as much paint as you can beforehand.

8. Rinse And Soak

When you’re finished blotting, rinse the area out with lukewarm water. Grab your dish detergent mixture and apply it to the stain, and leave the garment in hot water overnight. Rise it out again, and the stain should hopefully be gone.

divider 1 Other Methods to Get Paint Out of Your Clothes

Apart from the methods we mentioned, there are several other different techniques you can try.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer contains alcohol which is very useful when removing stubborn paint stains. It’s best for latex or water-based paint stains. If you decide on this option, you should cover the area with hand sanitizer and scrub it away with a toothbrush. After you’re done, wash the garment thoroughly.

Hair Spray

Hair spray is another helpful tool when removing paint stains, and is a good option to get paint out of jeans. Many hair sprays contain alcohol which may dissolve the color, so it’s best to use it on more minor stains. Spray the stain to cover it completely, and scrub it with a toothbrush. Rinse it with lukewarm water and wash it to remove the rest of the paint.


Turpentine is perfect for removing oil-based paint stains, which can be tricky due to their durable oil base. You should put the garment on a stack of clean paper towels and dab the stain with a cloth soaked in turpentine. It’s best to do this outside because turpentine has a strong odor. After you finish, wash the garment, and the stain should be gone.

Duct Tape

Although this might sound strange, you can use duct tape to get paint out of clothing. It works best for latex-based paint stains, and for this method, the paint should be completely dry. Take duct tape and tape the sticky side on the color. Press firmly and then lift—this should hopefully separate the stain from the garment.

man putting painter's tape on the wall
Image Credit: Blue Bird, Pexels

How to Remove Paint From Different Fabrics?

If you need to remove paint stains from delicate fabrics such as silk, wool, or velvet, you’ll need to do it carefully. It might be a good idea to take the garment to a professional cleaner, but if you decide to remove the stain yourself, here are some tips:

  • Test out the cleaning solution you plan to use on a small area to ensure it will not ruin the color or damage the fabric
  • Try to use solutions that are complementary to the type of fabric of your garment
  • When scrubbing, dabbing, or blotting, make sure you do it gently

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You can use various techniques and methods to get paint out of your clothing. Knowing what kind of paint you are working with is essential since that will help you determine the proper method.

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Featured Image Credit: Joanna Dorota, Shutterstock


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