Do you enjoy using spray paint but find it burdensome to remove the paint from your skin? Though spray paint can be a fun and easy paint to work with, it is unavoidable to have some paint on your skin when doing a project. Is there an easy way how to get spray paint off skin?
The easiest way to get spray paint off skin is by using rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover or acetone on your skin. You can also use dishwashing soap or cooking oil if you prefer less harsh methods.
I’ve tested more than 20 ways to remove spray paint from my skin and I’ll good and less effective in this article.
You will also find out how you can remove paint from your clothes, hair, nails, and even glass.
Table of Contents
What happens if you get spray paint on your skin?
A small quantity of spray paint may not cause great harm to your skin especially if you use spray paint rarely.
But, you may want to be more cautious if you regularly use spray paint in large quantities, on mural, canvas or painting furniture.
Both techniques of airbrushing and spraying are harmful ways of painting if done regularly.
These techniques release dangerous fumes that are dangerous when inhaled.
Spray paint contains chemicals such as solvents and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that can have a negative effect on your skin as well.
Too much exposure to these chemicals can cause:
- skin irritation,
- skin rashes,
- skin burns,
- eye irritation, and
- even respiratory problems such as asthma and lung cancer.
If you do get spray paint on your skin, you should wash it off immediately. Do not wait for the paint to dry before removing it.
Dried spray paint can be difficult to remove which will lead you to scrub your hands or skin hard.
If you are a professional spray painter, you should be more careful by using protective gloves and wearing face masks to minimize your exposure to spray paint. I highly recommend to wear a respirator.
I wear one even when I just use a spray varnish, for safety but gosh it stinks!!
You should get a respirator that can protect you from paint fumes, gases, vapor, dust particles, and other particles that can enter your respiratory system.
How to Get Spray Paint off Skin: 23 Safe and Easy Ways
There are several ways you can easily remove spray paint from your skin without using harmful chemicals.
You can easily and quickly remove spray paint from your hands with household items such as:
- Warm water and soap
- Nail polish remover
- Cooking oil
- Dishwashing soap
- Coffee grounds
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paint thinner
- Baking soda and coconut oil
- Moisturizing lotion
- Paint wiping technique
- Mineral Oil
- Makeup Remover
- Paint Wipes
- Odorless Method
- Dry Erase Marker
- Pumice Stone
- Cold Cream
- Hand Sanitizer
It is best to remove paint from your skin before the paint sets.
Whatever method you choose to get spray paint off your skin, always remember to apply hand cream or moisturizer once the paint is removed to protect your skin.
I use out homemade shea-cocoa butter that my partner makes after long painting sessions, if I had to use gloves or harsh solvents. And my hands are grateful 🙂
To help you remove paint the fastest way possible, here are some of the suggested products and ways you can remove spray paint from your skin:
1) Warm Water and Soap
The safest and gentlest way to get spray paint off the skin is by washing it with soap and warm water.
This is an effective method for removing paint from the skin. You can use a scrub to help remove the paint.
At the same time it is often also the least effective way, especially for oil-based spray paints.
2) Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover works like magic.
With just a few drops on a cotton ball, you can easily and quickly remove spray paint from your skin. Just dab a soaked cotton ball onto your skin to break down the paint particles.
Rinse off the nail polish remover using warm water.
Choose removers with a soft composition (and the one that doesn’t smell like it can wake up the dead) that care about your nails and don’t use harsh chemicals.
3) Cooking Oil (Olive oil and Vegetable oil)
Spray paint is mostly oil-based paint. With the principle “like dissolves like”, oil-based paint can be removed by using oil such as cooking oil.
Cooking oil is always available at home. Rub a bit of oil onto your skin and wash it with soap and water afterward.
Cooking oil melts the paint from your skin.
This can help break down the paint particles to easily remove the paint.
All other natural oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, and soybean oil can be used to remove spray paint from the skin.
However, if you are using latex spray paint, or water-based paints you can be fine with just soapy water or alcohol.
4) Goof-Off to remove latex spray paint off skin
Most spray paints are oil-based but not all. In removing latex spray paint, an easy home remedy is to keep the dried paint wet by applying water for 30 minutes.
Then, using a scraper or plastic knife, slowly remove the paint from the skin. If you want a faster remedy, you can use a spray solvent like Goof-Off.
5) Dishwashing Soap
You may want to use a dishwashing soap that is perfect for grease and oil.
With a few drops of dishwashing soap onto your skin, rub the paint off and rinse with water after.
Mayonnaise is great to remove oil-based spray paints.
Here is how you apply it:
- Apply a generous amount of mayonnaise to your painted skin.
- Rub and let the mayonnaise stay on for at least 2 minutes.
- You can rinse off the mayonnaise and paint using soap and water.
7) Coffee Grounds
After having a cup of coffee, you may want to set aside the coffee grounds for this can be useful when you need to remove paint from your hands.
All you have to do is mix coffee grounds with dishwashing soap.
Rub the mixture onto your hands until you can see that the paint is gradually peeling off. Once all the paint has been removed, you can rinse your hands with warm water.
8) Rubbing Alcohol
You can use 70% rubbing alcohol if you don’t want to use nail polish remover.
Place a generous amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. Dab this on the skin. Once the paint has been saturated in the cotton ball, you can rinse it off.
However, you must be extra careful in using rubbing alcohol on your skin. Rubbing alcohol may damage or irritate your skin.
9) Paint Thinner
Paint thinner is helpful and it can remove paint from your skin.
The only downside to using paint thinner is that it has a strong odor. Thus, you need to apply it to your skin in a well-ventilated space and use gloves.
10) Baking Soda and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has moisturizing and antibacterial properties which will not only remove paint from your hands but also make them soft. If coconut oil is unavailable, you may use olive oil or vegetable oil.
The recipe will require a 1:1 ratio of coconut oil and baking soda. You can also add lemon oil.
Here are the steps on how to use coconut oil and baking soda:
- Mix coconut oil and baking soda in a bowl. The coconut oil will soften once it mixes with baking soda.
- Apply generously on the skin
- Spread and massage evenly to loosen the paint. You may use an old toothbrush to help with the scrubbing.
- Let the mixture stay for 5 minutes
- Rinse with water
If you are constantly using spray paint, you may want to stock up on this mixture for not only does it remove paint, but it also smells good and makes your skin soft!
11) Moisturizing Lotion
A moisturizing lotion can also remove paint from your skin.
Apply a generous amount of lotion onto your skin and massage the area.
You have to patiently massage the painted area to allow the lotion to effectively remove the paint. You may let the lotion sit on your skin for 5 minutes.
Toothpaste is another useful household item that you can use to remove spray paint from your hands. Toothpaste consists of mild abrasives which can help scrub off the paint.
Gently rub toothpaste over the painted skin. When the paint has been removed, you can wash it off with water.
13) Towel Wiping Technique
If none of the items above are accessible for you or if you don’t want to use them as paint remover, your next bet to remove paint is by using the paint wiping technique.
This technique is simple and easy to do.
You just need to soak a clean towel in water. Wipe the towel onto the painted skin until the paint is removed. The towel serves as a paint absorber.
Acetone can easily remove paint from the skin by loosening the paint particles. But, you have to be careful when using it because it can harm your skin.
Don’t let acetone stay on your skin for a long time.
Acetone or white spirit have a very strong odor!
15) Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is another effective way to get spray paint off the skin.
If you don’t have mineral oil on hand, baby oil can be used as an alternative. All you need to do is apply enough mineral oil to your painted skin while rubbing it with your fingers.
Let it sit on your skin for 5 minutes. If the paint is tough to remove, you can use your fingernails to gently scratch off the paint from your skin.
16) Makeup Remover
You can also use a makeup remover to get spray paint off skin.
Just like a nail polish remover and rubbing alcohol, makeup remover can dry up your skin. As soon as you’ve removed the paint from your skin, you should apply lotion or moisturizer over it.
17) Paint Wipes
Using paint wipes is a quick but pricey way to remove spray paint from your skin.
18) Odorless Method
You also may want to try the odorless method in removing spray paint off skin.
You can use an odorless turpenoid, which is an artist’s paint thinner and cleaner.
- Rub the odorless turpenoid on paint-covered skin for a few seconds.
- Then, rinse it off with warm water and soap.
19) Dry Erase Marker
Using a dry-erase marker, draw over the painted skin. After doing so, scrub everything off with water and soap.
A dry-erase marker is not only great for removing paint from the skin, but it can also remove permanent ink from your skin, painted clothes, and even painted walls.
20) Pumice Stone
Good old pumice stone!
Gently rub the pumice stone over your painted skin and it can remove spray paint.
Be careful when using pumice stone because it has sharp edges that can scratch you, better do it under running water with soap.
I personally can’t use pumice stone as it tickles too much I can’t take it – as silly as it sounds, it is what it is.
21) Cold Cream
Cold cream contains mineral oil that can help remove makeup and paint from skin and it moisturizes skin at the same time.
Simply rub a generous amount of cold cream over your painted skin. Let the cream sit for 5 minutes. Then, wash it away with soap and water.
Ponds cold cream is a great choice because it can remove all types of paint without any worries.
You read it right! Butter is another great choice to remove spray paint from skin.
You can use regular or ghee butter, which is higher in fats.
Butter contains natural oils that help loosen paint from your skin. Rub a good amount of butter on your painted skin.
Let this sit for a few minutes. Then, wash it off with soap and water.
23) Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer can also get spray paint off your hands.
Hand sanitizer contains alcohol that helps break down paint from your hands. Hand sanitizer is also easy to wash off (and often times smells much better tha alternatives).
After 2020 I think some of us are programmed to carry some hand sanitizer everywhere evermore than before so this method is very accessible 🙂
How to Remove Metallic Spray Paint from Skin
If you are using metallic spray paint, you will still be able to remove it as any other spray paint with soapy water, acetone, paint wipes or alcohol.
Metallic spray paint is still spray paint.
It is called metallic spray paint because it gives a metallic and reflective finish to the surface on it is applied so it can have added shimmering agents or glitter.
If your hands are irritated or you are experiencing some pain, itching, or burning sensation from the spray paint or products you have used to remove the paint, you can apply a Neosporin or any topical analgesic. This can help with pain relief.
Some suggested home remedies to get spray paint off your skin that DO NOT WORK (for me) are:
- sodas, or
- homemade paint remover vinegar.
You may have discovered that these don’t do the job. Don’t feel disappointed.
How to Get Spray Paint off Hands and Nails
When paint goes on and under your nails, it can be challenging to remove.
Though, you would still be able to remove paint from your nails with manicure sticks, toothbrush, or your regular nail polish remover!
Here are the three items that could help you remove paint from your nails:
- Manicure Stick
A manicure stick would be very helpful in reaching underneath your nails. A manicure stick has a pointed end and another end that is curved.
If the paint has dried on your nails, you can easily scrape it off using a manicure stick. Be careful when using a manicure stick. Don’t push the manicure stick too hard or you may end up hurting yourself.
If you don’t have a manicure stick or are afraid to use one, you may want to use an old toothbrush. Wash your hands with dishwashing soap and rub off the paint using the toothbrush.
Be gentle when brushing around and under your nails for there are portions that are thin and soft. You may end up with a bleeding fingernail.
Once you are done scrubbing using the toothbrush, you can rinse it off with water. To completely remove the paint, you can rub cooking oil or mayonnaise all over your hands and nails.
- Nail Polish Remover
A nail polish remover can be used to get spray paint off skin or hands and nails.
Using a nail polish remover, you can cover one end of the manicure stick with cotton soaked with nail polish remover.
Run the soaked cotton around and under your nails to remove the paint.
If the cotton is covered with paint, you can throw it away, and get a new one soaked in nail polish remover.
Keep repeating this process until you have completely removed the spray paint. Wash both your hands and nails with soap and warm water.
How to Get Spray Paint Primer off Skin
A paint primer is different from paint. It is slightly tackier and thicker. Baby oil, rubbing alcohol and sugar can beeffective to remove spray paint primer from your skin.
Paint primer has a different composition from paint and is more harmful to the skin.
You can get paint primer off the skin by also using the same ingredients for removing spray paint off skin such as:
- Soap and water
- Cooking oil
- Baking soda
- Rubbing alcohol
But here are the other items you may want to try to get spray paint primer off the skin:
You must use granulated or caster sugar to remove the paint. Don’t use confectioners’ sugar because this can’t remove the paint. Sugar can help break down the paint primer and will detach from your skin.
You can rub the sugar all over your primer-covered skin. If you don’t want the sugar to keep falling off, you can mix it with cooking oil. Sugar will not dissolve in oil rather it will stick to it. You can apply this mixture to either wet or dry primer.
- Baby Oil
You can use baby oil to remove paint primer from your skin.
Massage baby oil all over the primer-covered skin. Do this for 30 seconds and wash the oil off. If you feel that there is still primer on your hands, just repeat the process.
If you want to rub the primer off, you can use a cloth to rub the oil against the primer.
How to Get Spray Paint off Clothes
If the spray paint is still wet on clothes, it is easier to remove it from your clothes than when it has dried. The most effective spray paint remover on clothes, whether wet or dry paint is Turpentine and WD-40.
Here are some of the items that you can use to get spray paint off clothes:
- Dish soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Coconut oil (can also be used to remove paint from hair)
- WD-40 (best to use on wet oil-based paint)
Though, despite all your efforts to get spray paint off clothes, your clothes will not look the same again. There will definitely be stains caused by the paint.
Strong chemicals such as turpentine can get spray paint off clothes. The chemicals can remove the strong bond between paint and fiber.
How to Get Spray Paint off Glass
Wet spray paint on glass can easily be removed if you act immediately. Acetone or rubbing alcohol should remove spray paint from the glass.
If you allow the paint to dry, you would need a solvent to remove it.
If you are a beginner, this could be an added cost on your end, not to mention you would need rubber gloves and eye protection when handling strong solvents.
Here are some items you can use to get spray paint off glass:
- Acetone (not to be used on fiberglass)
- White Vinegar (can remove both paint and hard-to-clean water stains on glass)
- Rubbing Alcohol (can also remove paint from plastic surfaces)
- Mineral spirits (can only remove fresh or wet paint)
How long does spray paint stay on the skin?
Regular spray paint is ideally not safe for the skin and it will not stay permanently on skin, but a small patch can dry out and stick to your skin for a couple of days.
However there are body paints, there are those available in spray form, and they are sweatt resistant and can stay on skin for a few hours.
These are water-based paint that can easily be removed using soap and water.
Is spray paint on the skin dangerous?
Yes, spray paint is dangerous to the skin especially if it is not removed immediately. It can cause skin irritation, burns, and rashes.
Will rubbing alcohol remove spray paint from the skin?
Yes, rubbing alcohol can remove spray paint from the skin. Avoid overusing alcohol on your skin because this may cause skin irritation.
Does spray paint come off the skin?
Yes, spray paint can be removed from your skin. There are several quick and easy solutions to remove spray paint like using soap, coffee grounds, mayonnaise, nail polish remover, and many more.
Spray painting is easy, quick to apply, and fun to do. But, you have to be extra cautious when using spray paint because it can cause respiratory and skin concerns. When getting spray paint off the skin, start with the gentlest and safest approach possible like soap and water. If there is still paint, that is the time you try the other ingredients listed above.
Knowing how you can easily remove spray paint from your hands or skin makes life a lot less frustrating. You will most certainly enjoy using spray paint without having to worry about how you can remove it.
If you do acrylic painting projects, you may want to give this article a read which talks about how you can apply acrylic paint to your skin. If you have other tips on how to get spray paint off skin, share them by leaving a comment.
If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family who would also benefit from this article.
Masha Eretnova, born in 1991, is a Buenos Aires-based certified teacher, artist, and member of the Professional Artist Association with 20+ years of personal painting journey.
She started painting and drawing very early and is now an international abstract artist and educator passionate about acrylic painting, gouache, and crafts.
Her works are part of international exhibitions and contests, including ArtlyMix (Brazil), Al-Tiba 9 (Spain), Exhibizone (Canada), and many more.
Besides her artistic pursuits, Masha is also skilled in SEO blogging and digital marketing, running several niche websites. She also holds a post-grad diploma in Teaching Film Photography and 2 music school diplomas: piano and opera singing.
Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API