How to take spray paint off plastic

Spray painting over plastic objects is problematic because paint expands when it touches the top surface and for this reason, spots can form.

Using nail polish remover and vegetable oil to remove spray paint from a plastic item is an effective method of removing unwanted pink and yellow paint splotches.

methods to remove spray paint from plastic surface

Here in this post, I will teach you the complete method to take spray paint off the plastic surface.

This step-by-step guide will be really helpful for those newbies who hesitate to apply anything on the plastic surface wondering if it could damage the surface.

We’re going to teach you exactly how to get spray paint off plastic the way it should be done.

This comes after careful consideration of the various options available to you, as there exist some products that could actually harm a plastic surface more than they could help and wind up literally making things worse.

So, you have a nice spray paint job and now you wanna make sure to keep it nice! This can be tricky because there are certain things that damage plastic surfaces.

For example, steel wool pads or chemical cleaners can eat away at the outer layer. A good way to clean plastic without damaging it is with an all-purpose gentle cleaner.

Use nail polish remover

Make sure the nail polish remover is well mixed and place a paper towel down to cover the area you do not want to get nail polish remover on.

Then take a Q-tip and dip it into the nail polish remover. Lightly dab the Q-tip in the area of the spray paint you want to remove.

You might want to change the Q-tip a few times. It may take a few days for the spray paint to come off all the way, but it will eventually come off. Wondering how you can remove paint from walls of your house?

Use vegetable oil to remove spray paint from the plastic surface

Here’s another method that can help you get rid of it:

  • Put some vegetable oil in a bowl.
  • Dip your hand into the bowl and rub the vegetable oil over the mark until the paint starts to soften.
  • Use a cloth to rub it out. With this method, you will get rid of the spray paint, but the paint will still be embedded in the plastic, so you’ll have to repeat the process a few times to completely remove it.

Rubbing alcohol method to remove paint from plastic

ways to remove spray paint from plastic surface

Rubbing alcohol will indeed remove spray paint from plastic, however, the process is slow and tedious. The best way to get rid of the paint completely is to use sandpaper or fine-grit sandpaper to remove the paint from the surface of the plastic and then follow up with the rubbing alcohol.

The paint will dissolve into the rubbing alcohol and you can then wipe away the liquid. This is a two-stage process, but it will be faster than using the rubbing alcohol on its own.

Use Denatured Alcohol

One of the best ways to remove spray paint from plastic is to use denatured alcohol and a soft cloth to wipe away the paint in circular motions.

This way the paint is likely to come off with minimal scrubbing. Denatured alcohol can usually be found in hardware stores and sometimes in supermarkets.

Denatured alcohol is basically the same as the alcohol that you drink, the only difference is that it has been altered to prevent people from drinking it. It is toxic, so don’t try to drink it. It’s also flammable, so don’t put it near a flame.

Soapy water

Spray paint is a heavy coat on the plastic surface. It is not easy to get rid of it, however, we can use a cleaning agent to dissolve the paint.

Take hot water and put a lot of dishwashing liquid. Let it dissolve. Dip a sponge into the solution and scrub it onto the bad paint.

Using dish soap

Spray paint can be a lot of fun for anyone who uses it for arts and crafts, but unfortunately, the cans often leak or explode, often damaging the environment.

If you spray paint a plastic item such as your bike, then you may be worried about how to remove this paint as a lot of products are not supposed to come in contact with plastics. If you want to know how to remove spray paint from plastic, then try washing the plastic item with dish soap.


Yes, it does. Spray paint does come off from plastic surface. Usually, spray paint comes off from plastic surfaces like the hood or the trunk of your car. But never worry. Just use a plastic razor blade, which is basically a flexible razor blade made from plastic. Scrape the surface gently in the direction of the grooves or in circular motions. One effective way is to scrape the surface and then spray it with a degreaser.

There are basically two ways to strip paint off plastic, either with paint thinner which is basically just alcohol (use caution here and be safe) or stripper. We recommend using stripper as it is safer, faster and more effective. Stripper is basically a chemical based solvent that is used to dissolve paint. There are a few kinds, but you want to get the one that says it is safe on plastic. Read the directions and get the right one. Apply it to the surface and then remove the paint in the direction of the grain with a putty knife. Safely remove all the paint and then wash and dry the surface. Make sure it is completely dried, otherwise it might create surfaces that are unsafe and can potentially start to crack. If it is plastic, make sure it is not really thin plastic. If it is not a safe plastic, then it might actually crack with the stripper. If you are not sure, it is best to err on the safe side and just go to a store and buy the new plastic part and replace the old one.

Whether vinegar will remove spray paint from plastic depends on what kind of plastic you are using. If the plastic is an acrylic kind that are used in most of the new car parts, I would say it doesn’t remove spray paint, but if the plastic is ABS, PVC or any other kind, then vinegar may remove the paint.

No, paint thinner will not destroy a plastic surface. Paint thinner mainly consists of petroleum distillates, which are very light and have a low surface tension. It will not harm any plastic surface, simply because it won’t stick to it! If a plastic surface is damaged by paint thinner, it is not the destruction of the plastic, but rather the destruction of whatever is on top of that surface.

Verdict on How to take spray paint off plastic

I have taught you the methods to remove spray paint from plastic surfaces with little effort and without creating any mess you can follow these procedures.

Newbies will be really happy to see this easy-to-understand guide and don’t forget to comment down if you found this guide helpful for yourself or for your client for whom you did the job.

Leave a Comment