Ways to Get Paint off
A question which is often asked of us these days is how to get spray paint off an item which was not meant to be painted or as sometimes happens in this day and age, a teenager has decided to tag your car or vehicle. There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when figuring out how to remove paint that should be taken into consideration. The first factor which should be considered is Time, how long has it been since the car or item has been spray painted? Secondly, the surface that has been spray-painted? Thirdly, what type of paint has been used? Let’s look at these factors a bit more with a car as an example.
When was the car spray painted?
The timing factor for when the car was spray painted is essential. If you are lucky enough to have caught the accident or tagging within the first minutes, the paint will most likely be still wet and a sponge with warm water should remove the paint for you and with that done, you can be finished, dependent upon how much of spray paint is on the car be finished within a few minutes. Now, if you have been unfortunate enough to have your vehicle tagged by a spray painter and, you did not catch it in time to use soapy water to remove the paint, you may have to resort to another method such as using acetone or nail polish remover but that is dependent on the surface.
Which surface was spray painted or painted?
If we look at a car which has been tagged, the majority of cars are all spray painted at the car manufacturers with the same process which includes primer, multiple coats of paint and then a protective lacquer. Due to the protective lacquer which is sprayed on all cars, you can most times get away with using acetone or nail polish remover if you are lucky, however, sometimes this may not be enough and you may have to perform a re-spray on the affected part of the car. If the affected part of the car is a detachable part such as a door, wheel guard or bonnet, it is best to detach it first to prevent any damage. To unaffected parts of the car and proceed with removing the spray paint using sand paper. Please note, that you should ensure correct colour coding when re-spraying any detached part of any vehicle of the best results when you reattach them to the car.
If another item has been sprayed other than a vehicle, the surface may be very different to the protective layers on a vehicle. For example, it could be unsprayed surface where a light scrubbing will do, or a wall, where a yard brush with a stiff scrubber will suffice with soapy water. If the surface has been painted with water based paint, then some soapy water and a repaint will complete the job.
Which Type of Paint Has Been Used?
There are two main types of paint that are available to spray painters or taggers, the first type of paint is a water based paint and the second is a non-water based paint. Taggers or vandals are not too dumb and most will want their handy work to be a difficult to remove as possible and thus will go for the second type of paint as in order to remove this paint, you will have to use, on most occasions, paint remover or complete a full paint over.
Please look at the table below for the best technique for removing paint from different surfaces for a water based paint and non-water based paint.
|Surface||Water Based Method||Non-Water based|
|Vehicle||Soapy water. Detergent, jet wash, polishing compound||Abrasive cleaner, Paint remover. Solvent wipes, aerosol paint remover|
|Wall||Soapy water with scrub brush||Jet wash, scrub brush|
|Wooden Furniture||Sugar soap scouring pad||Acetone. Solvent|
|Shoes||Water based Degreaser, Detol||Pre clean or solvent|
|Coat / Jacket|
|Wooden Chair||Soapy water, sugar soap, scrub brush||Nail polish remover,|
|Wicker Chair||Soapy water, sugar soap, scrub brush||Solvent wipes, aerosol paint remover.|
|Fence||Soapy water, unless the furniture has water based as well.||Acetone, aerosol paint remover|
|Path||Jet wash and solution||Jet wash & solution|
|Cladding||Water based Pre clean.||Pre clean, light solvent solution|
|Alloy Wheels||Water based pre clean, scotch pad||Paint remover, acetone, solvent scotch pad|
|Carpet||Hot water, detergent, vacuum||Light solvent|
|Window||Water based pre clean||Light solvent / craft knife|
|Window Frame||Sugar soap, water based pre clean, Detol||Paint remover, acetone, solvent|
|PVC Window||Washing up liquid hot water||Light solvent|
|Desk||Sugar soap||Paint stripper, light solvent|
|Hand Bag||Washing up liquid, packaging tape||Olive oil, nail polish remover|
|Leather Chair||Washing up liquid||Nail polish remover|
|Roller Shutters||Sugar soap||Paint stripper, acetone|
|Plastic Chair||Washing up liquid||Pre clean solution|
|Plastic Table||Washing up liquid, sugar soap||Pre clean solution. light solvent wipe|
|Leather Brief Case||Washing up liquid, packaging tape||Pre clean solution, light solvent wipe|
|Pushchair||Detergent, soapy water, Detol||Solvent wipe|
|Trainers||Sugar soap||Nail varnish remover|
|Push Bike||Washing up liquid||Solvent wipes|
|Mountain Bike||Soapy water||Acetone, anti graffiti remover|
|Trousers||Detergent, soapy water||Nail vanish|
|Motor Bike||Water based pre cleaner||Paint stripper, solvent wipes|
|Horse Box||Soapy water, jet wash||Acetone, solvents, anti graffiti remover|
|Trailer||Jet wash, Soapy water||Acetone, solvents|
|Camper Van||Soapy water, light detergent, jet wash||Acetone, light solvent|
|Caravan||Soapy water, light detergent, jet wash||Acetone, light solvent|
|Mobile Home||Soapy water||Acetone|
|Static Caravan||Soapy water, light detergent, jet wash||Acetone|
|Arctic Lorry||Traffic film remover, jet wash.||Acetone|
|HGV Vehicle||Traffic film remover, jet wash||Acetone|
|Wooden Door||Soapy water||Paint stripper|
|PVC Door||Detergent||Plastic cleaner|
|Aluminum Door||Water based pre clean||Solvent wipes|
|Aluminum Window Frames||Water based pre clean||Solvent wipes|
|Deck Chairs||Sugar soap||Paint stripper, solvent wipes|
|Swing||Sugar soap, jet wash||Paint stripper|
|Concrete||Jet wash||Jet wash|
|Tarmac||Jet wash||Jet wash|
|Marble Floor||Sugar soap||Solvent cleaner|
|Marble Tiles||Sugar soap||Solvent cleaner|
|Shop Window||Fine wire wool, safety blade||Fine wire wool, safety blade|
|Glass||Fine wire wool, safety blade||Fine wire wool safety blade|
|IPhone||Neat washing up liquid||Nail vanish remover|
|Dress||Hair spray, chewing gum remover.||Turpentine, solvent wipes|
|Trousers||Chewing gum remover||Solvent wipes|
|Shirt||Hair spray||Solvent wipes|
|Glasses||Water based cleaner||Solvent wipes|
|Watch||Water based wipes||Solvent wipes|
**Disclaimer; whilst we are pleased to give general advice, we will always recommend seeking professional advice before applying any of these generalised methods of paint removal.