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How to Get Spray Paint off Plastic Like a Pro

Painting is understandably quite a tough job. Sometimes, mistakes happen, and remedying that is never easy. Especially, spray painting might be a little tricky.

Brushes can be quite precise, but sprays?

Oh boy, they are hard to control.

Maybe you’re a cosplayer making a new costume to go with your character. Or you’re an artist trying out this cool spray painting thing.

Either way, it must be infuriating to be in the middle of your painting process and discover that you colored on a plastic bit you did not want to color on.

Or maybe your colors overlapped and now it looks ugly and you just don’t know what to do!

Well, worry not because we are here to show you a few foolproof ways to get spray paint off any undesirable plastic surface. Just keep reading and find the method that suits you best!

Easy, Simple DIY Tricks!

For most of these processes, you will only require one or two objects or ingredients. And the best part? That’s probably lying around your house somewhere!

You also have a number of options to choose from, so if one does not work, you can always look around for something else. Sometimes, trying out different methods and deciding on one is a smart move.

That way, you will be sure of what works best for you.

Butter Up!

This is a household remedy for a disaster. We all have oil or butter at home, so just pop into the kitchen and get some!

Vegetable oil will work for this method as well. All you need to do is get a rag and coat it with oil or butter.

Then scrub the plastic with this oily rag and see if the paint comes off. The oil should be able to weaken the bonds of the paint and break it down. So, eventually, the paint will start to come off.

This may take a little more time than the alcohol but it is definitely much safer.

You will not need gloves or masks for the use of oils. They are quite easy to use. If for some reason, the oil does not work on the paint, you will have to go for stronger solvents.

Nail Polish Remover

Another household item to the rescue! This again, is not hazardous at all and is recommended as one of the first methods to try out before you have to take drastic measures.

Nail polish remover has acetone in it which is a paint thinner. Yet, it clearly does not harm the human skin. Pour a generous amount of the remover on to the painted spot.

You may want to leave this on for five to ten minutes, to let the paint dissolve and soften. If you start scrubbing right away and the paint starts to come off, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, wait!

After a while, you can take your dry rag and start rubbing again. Hopefully, this time, the paint will come right off.

Denatured Alcohol

We all know alcohol is a great solution for cleanup jobs but it can be a risky solvent to use. Nonetheless, this is a very strong paint thinner, thus it will be very effective in removing the paint quickly, no matter how hard it has gotten.

To ensure minimal risk, you must put on thick rubber gloves before you handle the alcohol. Also, put on a mask to cover your nose and mouth and work in an open space. A fan will also do, as it will help create movement in the air, preventing the alcohol from remaining in one place in a concentrated form.

This is a process that should be saved for last, due to the hazards it poses. If nothing else works at all, you may resort to this. But you must remember, this will only work on latex-based paint. Oil-based paints will need a different solvent.

First things first, just to be safe, you want to test the solvent out on a bare bit of plastic, if there is no reaction, go ahead and soak the paint in alcohol. You will have to wait a few minutes while the paint dissolves.

When you see the paint crumbling, get a knife or scraper and scrape the wrinkled up paint off. If you see quite a bit of the paint has been removed, shift to a rag and scrub until all of it comes off. This way, you won’t do any damage to the plastic itself.

Paint Scraper

Again, before we start, this is not the ideal method. You only want to try this if the paint is thick and has hardened so much that most solvents will not work. In that case, you want to get a scraper, knife, or a razor blade, and start scraping the paint off.

Be very careful so as not to scrape and scratch up the actual plastic and do much more damage. This is exactly why something less extreme should be your first try.

Get spray paint off of plastic: Final thoughts

As easy as these methods are, they will need some tests and trials to get right. You need to find the right process, considering the things you have at home and the quality of your plastic material.

The worst-case scenario would be you trying to remove paint and destroying the object itself! So, choose wisely and happy cleaning!

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