How to get spray paint off car windows

Here I will explain the method to remove spray paint from car windows and glass surfaces.

This guide will be helpful for those newcomers who have accidentally sprayed over car windows and now hesitating about the removal process.

removing spray paint from car window surface

But don’t worry this guide is very easy to understand and apply to the glass without any issue.   

Ever owned a car and noticed those annoying brush marks made by light overspray on your window or paint flecks on your hood?

It gets really annoying after a while, but have you ever stopped to wonder why that is the case?

It’s because the initial layer of polyurethane isn’t fully cured so basically the new layer of poly sticks to the surface below and you end up with what can best be described as an unsightly mess.

But don’t fret! Despite being a common problem it’s incredibly easy to remedy. If these problems continue to appear it’s just a matter of applying more coats of polyurethane.

The best way to prevent this from happening is by making sure the surface has completely dried first before applying another coat.

Lastly, when looking for quality products to apply remember that cheap alternatives may cause this type of result so make sure you know what you need and shop smart.

There’s nothing worse than having to drive your car around with paint decorating the view from the inside.

It can be a real turn-off for any driver, but you don’t have to worry about looking at it anymore because removing car window decoration and making one whole again is actually a very easy process.

Whether it’s paint overspray after getting your windows fixed or those unsightly colorful decorations from your last kid’s birthday party, you really don’t have to live like that anymore.

All you have to do is find the right tool that will work best on this job and then finish just in time for your next road trip or event.

Tools you need to complete the job

Cleaning paint off a car’s window is not as easy as it might seem. In fact, drying paint hardens as it dries and is the only way to effectively remove the dried-on hardened residue.

And make your car look good like new again is with a bit of specialized help. To do that you need to gather up the right supplies and tools, check out the list below:

  • Warm water for cleaning the surface can be used with a water-based detergent
  • Water-based liquid detergent for the removal of paint
  • Two or three buckets required
  • Razor blade or plastic putty knife
  • Use a plastic putty knife if windows are tinted
  • Dustpan for collecting scraped paint dropped from windows
  • Rag, sponge, and cotton towel
  • Acetone or wd-40 are preferred products for the removal of oil-based paint
  • Gloves for protection of hands (Preferably Rubber made)
  • Face or protective mask for protection from acetones vapors

Check your paint if it’s Oil-Based or Water-based

Before you take a rag and start wiping the paint off your car window, consult this instructional photo to check for the type of paint job the car has.

There are various types of paint jobs – one being water-based, which can be cleaned using a wet rag, and another type that is oil-based.

Now wash the window

A quick hack that we’ve found will make cleaning the windows of your car easier is to mix a soapy solution with warm water.

You can wash your windows with this solution for a nice and easy cleanse! This will also prevent scratching as you won’t need to use as much muscle power on your window washing duty.

Scrap the surface

Now that the solution is applied and it’s time to remove the paint, scrape off as much paint as you can. The best tool for scraping paint off tinted windows is a razor blade.

Hold the blade at an angle and drag it across the window for a clean, even finish.

Scraping off paint doesn’t have to be hard! Follow these 3 Steps: place the edge against the surface, at an angle. Then push it against the surface, scraping with long strokes of only one direction.

Next, you’ll want to either clean up the debris or reapply more solution, depending on how much paint is left and how long it’s been since your last step (remember not to let it sit for too long).

Wait 15-30 minutes and then repeat these steps until there’s no more paint to scrape.

Clean the paint from the window surface

There are a number of different options for getting rid of paint from your car window. As mentioned earlier, checking the type of paint you’re dealing with will determine the method you’ll use.

For water-based paint, you can only use warm water and a mild detergent solution to clean it off – no magic required (unless you count good old elbow grease that is).

remove spray paint from car windows surface

For oil-based paint, though, there are two options: WD-40 and acetone. You might have some questions about whether or not these chemicals are safe on glass and your concerns aren’t unfounded.

By following proper instructions for both methods, you can remove stubborn graffiti from your windscreen without any worries that it might end up damaging your car, or worse yet leave a chemical residue!

Method to clean water-based paint

Compared with oil-based paint, water-based paints are much easier to remove.

You simply have to apply some warm water and squirt in a little bit of liquid detergent on the affected area and rub it with an old rag or a sponge. Then you’ll start noticing that the paint is coming off easily.

Method to clean Oil-based paint

The secret to removing old paint with WD-40 lies in its ingredients and how they are used in combination.

To begin, you will want to thoroughly wash the surface with a commercially available water-based liquid detergent.

Once this is complete, the area can be lightly sprayed with a coat of WD-40 which is diluted by an equal amount of warm water.

This mixture should then be left on the surface which may or may not is covered for about 10 to 20 minutes after which it should be thoroughly washed again with a fresh solution of a commercial water-based liquid detergent.

Should you still notice some remaining paint after repeating this process, seek professional assistance from experts such as Midtown Power Washing.

Now Acetone method: If you need to remove oil-based paint with acetone, remove yourself from the area first.

We’re kidding – no need for isolation boots and a gas mask! But you will want to wear some rubber gloves and use an old rag before cleaning with the acetone in order to preserve the paintwork on your car.

Wash the window

Lastly, we’ll finish things off by washing the area that we worked on thoroughly with the water-based liquid detergent to get rid of any residues and make sure the window is as clean as can be.

FAQ’s

The best way to get spray paint off a car would be to use a pressure washer with a soft spray tip. This will soften the paint, making it easier to remove. Work in small areas, then rinse and repeat. You’ll be able to see when the paint starts to come off the car by looking for dark smears on the surface of the water. Once the paint is dissolved, use a high-pressure hose to blast the remaining paint off the car.

Sure, Windex will remove spray paint. If you have particularly old paint that you don’t want to get on your skin, you may want to wear old clothes and gloves, but Windex should be fine for most paint jobs.

Yes, it should work.  Spray paint is a type of paint that sprays through a nozzle onto an area. It’s essentially the same thing as other paint in the sense that it contains pigment, binder, and solvent. The solvent evaporates, and a thin, hard layer of paint is deposited on the surface. It generally takes several thin coats to get a solid appearance.  The first step is to test the paint to see if it is a true paint or if it is a coating. If you are lucky, it may very well come off with a solvent, like acetone. If not, then you should try vinegar. Vinegar is a weak acid and will slowly dissolve the binder of the paint. It may take a while, but it should work.  If you do try it, use a natural vinegar (preferably unpasteurized) and dilute it with water. Spray it on, and wipe it off with a rag. This should remove the paint. If not, or if you have a large surface area to cover, you could try boiling water or kerosene to apply the steam.

The method I use to remove dried paint from a vinyl window frame is to sand it down. If a sharp knife or scissors can’t get under the edge of the dried paint, then a window frame sander can be used.

Conclusion

When you find paint overspray on your car window, here’s all you need to know to remove paint from a car window.

First, section off the area with tape so that it’s easier to contain and avoid accidentally getting any of the removal solutions applied elsewhere.

Then, you’ll find that it works best if you first use rubbing alcohol to lightly dissolve and separate the damaged paint before removing it completely with a glass cleaner which will enable an even smoother finish once again for the vehicle windows in question.

Comment down if you have any questions regarding this post and I will make sure you get your answer as soon as possible my friend.

In this post, I have explained almost everything from my own painting experience but don’t hesitate to place your query. Professionals should also give tips if they have from their own painting experience.

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