Did you accidentally spill some paint on your sink and don’t know how to get it off? It’s easy to get paint on the sink but is it easy to get it off? Stainless steel sinks are popular work sinks because they don’t get easily damaged during construction or do-it-yourself projects.

Quick Answer:

  • You can remove paint from sinks using turpentine, paint thinner, acetone, denatured alcohol, ammonia, including other solvent types.

When trying to clean paint from a sink, though, ensure that you are not using harsh chemicals to remove the stain. In this article, you will learn how to get paint off a stainless steel sink, a composite sink, a utility sink, and a porcelain sink, including other helpful tips and information.

How to Get Paint off a Sink

How to Remove Paint from Stainless Steel Sink

If you must remove paint from a kitchen sink, you need to be cautious about how you are removing it. For dried bathroom sink paint or paint on stainless steel sinks, it would be best not to use any abrasive material or technique to prevent damaging the sink in the long run. You can use solvents to remove the paint; however, test them before applying them in a highly visible area.

When working with solvents, ensure to use gloves. There are various solvent types you can use. These solvents vary in toxicity degree and strength. It would help if you never combined your solvents.

Also, ensure that you use the correct strength, depending on the stain’s severity. Additionally, when working with solvents, open a window so that you are not susceptible to hazardous fumes. Inhaling or ingesting the fumes is highly dangerous.

When using a solvent, you can use either a turpentine or lacquer thinner. If it’s your first time removing paint, you can try using turpentine. Apart from turpentine being less toxic than petroleum-based chemicals, it can also remove both fresh and dried paint.

How to Use Turpentine and Lacquer Thinner

The table below explains how to use turpentine and lacquer thinner in removing paint.

When using turpentine, get a clean rag/cloth piece and dampen a corner with it. Afterward, apply the turpentine to the paint stains with a rubbing motion to remove the stain. It will help dissolve and dislodge the paint. Once the paint is up, rinse the area and lightly cleanse it using Bon Ami and water.Lacquer thinner is a combination of acetone and other solvents. You can also use it to remove paint on your sink. When using lacquer thinner, first, dampen a clean rag or sponge with the thinner, and afterward, rub it directly on the paint to remove the stain. After removing the paint, you can rinse the area with water and also, wash with a little Bon Ami amount and water. After lightly cleansing the area, pat it with clean, dry paper towels. It is essential to ensure that there is no residual water left behind and the area is dry. If your sink has a dull appearance after cleaning the paint off, you can condition it with a little olive oil amount. Using a clean paper towel or soft cloth, add some olive oil and buff the sink lightly. This will help maintain the sink’s longevity and make it look less dull.

How Do I Remove Latex Paint From a Porcelain Sink

Latex paints are water-based; thus, they are easy to clean up while still wet and can still be scraped away when hardened. The longer the paint stays on the sink, the harder it will be to remove. Therefore, it’s better to clean it up as fast as you can. The steps below explain how you can remove latex paint from a porcelain sink.

1) First, touch the paint with your finger to determine if it is still wet. You can also use a paper towel corner for this job. If it’s still wet, dab up as much paint as possible using a paper towel. Ensure not to smear the paint as you dab. For paint splattered within the sink bowl, run adequate water in the sink. You can splash the paint spots to wash the paint away.

2) Squirt a few liquid soap drops onto a damp sponge and wipe up any remaining wet paint. Rinse the sponge frequently to prevent rubbing the paint onto other sink areas/parts. Afterward, wipe the sink down and rinse thoroughly to remove the paint-streaked water.

3) Try getting a paint scraper and afterward, scrape the hardened paint splatter. For difficult paint spots, you can use a blade from a razor knife, specifically one with a straight razor edge on one side and a flat, non-sharp area on the other edge that you can hold. Score the thick paint drips’ tops using the razor blade to help break them away. Keep scraping the drips until most or all of the paint is removed. If any paint remains, scour the surface with a plastic scrub pad.

How Do I Remove Paint from a Utility Sink

Materials needed: WD-40, plastic ice scraper, cloth scouring sponge, dish soap, and water.

  • First, spray the paint splatter with WD-40
  • Afterward, wait a few moments for the WD-40 to work. It could take 10 – 15 minutes. However, effective penetration time depends on the paint type, the splatter’s thickness, and the stain’s age.
  • Once the paint starts softening, use the plastic ice scraper to try to remove the splatter. You may be able to scrape off the paint’s top layer or a portion of the paint. If so, repeat the WD-40 application process on the remaining paint to remove the leftover.
  • If the paint is flush with the surface and you cannot remove it with a scraper, spray it well with the WD-40. Then, scrub the surface gently with a cloth scouring pad. You can also use a nylon pad especially if you are concerned about scratching the surface. Avoid scrubbing pads that are too abrasive to avoid adding more grooves to the surface. It is because the grooves will trap dirt and make the surface appear dirty sooner.
  • Repeat the steps above until the paint is gone
  • Finally, wash the sink using dish soap and water to remove the WD-40 residue. Use the cloth scouring pad to remove trace paint/color amounts left on the sink. Rinse with enough water.
Below are some helpful tips to take note of when removing paint from a utility sink.
  • WD-40 will not dry out, thus, for really stubborn paint splatter, you can use a heavy WD-40 coat and allow it to soak overnight. It will help soften the paint, making it easier to remove
  • If the WD-40 does not remove the paint, you may need a paint stripper. Ensure to check the labels carefully. You can also ask an associate at the hardware store to help get one that will safely clean the plastic surface.
  • Bra Keeper’s Friend and Soft scrub are other cleaning products that are effective in removing stain variety and marks from utility sinks. Both are mildly abrasive and safe to use on a wide surface variety.
  • For latex paint, moist a cotton ball or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub the moistened cotton ball/soft cloth on the area. It will help cut through the paint and ease its removal.
  • If the paint won’t remove, consider it a sign of character and use. Utility sinks are produced for all the grungy messes we would never let touch our good house sinks. For several individuals, a new utility sink is the only clean utility sink they have seen.
How to Get Paint off a Composite Sink

How to Get Paint off a Composite Sink

If you got some paint on your composite sink, don’t panic. To clean the sink, mix some household cleanser and water. Use the cleanser and water solution to remove the paint by pouring a little amount on a clean cloth and rubbing the damp cloth on the paint. Rinse with sufficient water afterward.

When removing oil-based paint all at once, dark stains may be removed. For oil-based paint, you can also use other chemicals like ammonia, mineral spirits, acetone, or bleach according to the Marble Institute. However, never combine any of these cleaners.

If it is a Granite Composite Sink, note that it will be made of fired granite and acrylic resin. These materials provide you with the beauty of natural stone, but, not the porosity. Granite composite sinks are polished and nonporous, thus, making them hygienic, durable, and almost stain-proof. However, they are not invulnerable to oil-based paints.

If you have some paint splatters/spills on your granite composite sink, it is possible to remove them. The best method to use depends on the paint’s amount on the sink.

Easy Steps to Get Paint off Granite Sink

The steps below will guide you on how to remove paint splatters or stains on your granite sink.

1) First, remove small paint drops with a razor blade. Carefully chip the paint flecks from the granite. Be cautious while doing so to avoid scratching the finish.

2) Put on safety goggles, rubber gloves, and a painter’s mask. Use a commercial paint stripper for large paint spills.

3) Ensure to follow the label directions and leave the stripper on the sink for the recommended time.

4) Once the paint softens, scrape it with a plastic putty knife. It would be best not to use metal tools to remove paint softened by a paint stripper.

5) Rinse the sink thoroughly using adequate water to remove the paint stripper and any paint residue.

6) Afterward, clean the sink with a mild household cleanser, and rinse with sufficient clean water. This will help remove dark stains that may have resulted from the oil-based paint, especially if you used one. Additionally, The Marble Institute also recommends using ammonia, acetone, bleach, or mineral spirits to remove oil-based stains. However, never combine any of these cleaners.

7) Sprinkle some marble polishing powder over the areas/parts discolored by the paint stripper and rub using a wet cloth. Continue applying polishing powder until the etching is gone.

8) Finally, rinse the sink with clean water. Afterward, leave it to dry. If the stains don’t come out, or perhaps, you cannot get all of the paint off the sink, you can result into calling a professional stone refinisher.

How to Remove Dried Paint from a Porcelain Sink

If it is a porcelain sink, the method to adopt will be different. It would be a bad idea to use the same technique for removing paint stains from a porcelain sink.  Latex paint is water-based, unlike acrylic paint which is chemical-based. Removing dried latex paint from a porcelain sink is easier than removing acrylic paint.

First, determine whether the paint is water-based or oil-based.  Afterward, get the materials below.

  • A cotton rag/towel
  • A cloth piece, sponge, or scrub
  • A plastic scraper/brush with soft bristles
  • Sink cleaner
  • Denatured alcohol

Step One: Surface Cleaning

First, clean the porcelain sink’s surface so that there is no residue/dirt on the surface. Gently, dip the cotton rag or sponge in the denatured alcohol. In case you don’t have denatured alcohol, you can use regular alcohol as both works in similar ways.

Step Two: Surface Rubbing

Rub the soaked cotton rag or sponge on the paint surface. If the paint is old and dried, you may need to rub it a little vigorously for a while. Look at the rag/sponge to see if it has some color stains on it. If it has some color on it, the paint is water-based, and if otherwise, the paint is oil-based.

Step Three: Removing Water-Based/ Oil-Based Paint from the Porcelain Sink

It is easy to remove water-based paint from a porcelain sink. Simply pour some denatured alcohol on a cotton cloth or a sponge and rub it over the paint vigorously. Although it may take some time, you will begin to see the paint fading. Keep rubbing in the same direction for a while until the paint is entirely removed from the porcelain surface. Alcohol is safe for a porcelain sink and won’t damage the surface beneath the paint.

If the paint is oil-based, you can use a paint stripper. Paint strippers are incredibly effective in removing tough paint stains from the porcelain surface. You can use it to remove both oil-based and water-based paints with equal ease. If you are using a paint stripper, you can follow the steps below.

1) Apply the Paint Stripper on the Dried Paint & Wear Protective Equipment

Before using a paint stripper, ensure to wear protective gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes. Afterward, spread the paint stripper on the stained surface using as much or little as you need to cover the area entirely.

2) Leave it to Soften & Loosen Up

Leave the paint stripper on the stain until the paint layer softens underneath and loosens up. You can use nylon or a scraper to confirm if it is working or not. If the paint is not completely removed, you can apply a little more.

3) Use a Scrapper but with Caution

After completing step two, use a scraper to scrape off the paint. Porcelain has a smooth and durable surface, however, it is prone to scratches. Avoid rubbing the scrapper too vigorously or it will leave scratches on the porcelain sink.

4) Wash with a Cleaner or Vinegar Solution

Once you have removed the paint, rinse the sink with clean water and use a regular house cleaner/ vinegar solution to clean the paint residues or chemicals from the sink surface. You may use a mild scrub and cleaner to wash the porcelain sink.

How to Get Dry Paint off a Sink

If the paint is dried, you can use a lacquer thinner to remove it. This is because lacquer thinner is made of acetone with other solvents in an acetone-flavored liquid. By dampening or raging the sink with the solvent and rubbing it directly onto the dried paint, you can remove and soften the dried paint. Once the paint is softened, you can rinse it off with Bon Ami and water.

Do you need a solvent that can dissolve an acrylic resin to clear the acrylic paint stain from your sink? You can use denatured alcohol, acetone, or an ammonia solution for the job.

If it is a stainless steel sink, you can use turpentine. Turpentine is also very effective at drying latex paint effectively. Compared to oil-based alternatives, turpentine’s chemical content is relatively low.

To remove dried paint from a stainless steel sink, all you need is a clean rag, turpentine, and some cayenne pepper for the job. Pour some turpentine on the clean rag and rub the damp rag on the paint. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the paint in the process and keep rubbing until the paint comes off.

For more explanation on how to remove dried paint from a sink, I’m sure the video below will help.


Getting paint off your sink may be easy or difficult depending on certain factors such as how heavy the paint coats are, how long the stains have been on the sink, the solvent types used, etc.

Ensure to know what paint type is on your sink before setting yourself to remove it. You can use alcohol to test if the paint is oil-based or water-based. Also, ensure to follow all safety guidelines on the label of any solvent type you use.


How do you get paint out of a ceramic sink?

All the things that we mentioned like Alcohol, and/or paint strippers are all safe to use on ceramic sinks.

How do you get dried paint off a utility sink?

Removing the dried paint off a utility sink is not a difficult task. you should follow just a few steps to get it completely off your sink. They are:
1. Start spraying WD-40 on the affected area. However, you can use other cleaning agents or detergents, I think WD-40 is perfect for the job.
2. Wait for a few minutes for the agent to start working its magic
3. You will start to see the paint soften when WD-40 works its magic, then you can remove it using something like an ice scraper, or putty knife or even the normal knife will do, but make sure to clean the normal life afterward very good if you plan on using them for cutting food again.
4. Once you remove the paint, rub the area with a tarp, or a towel, and clean of the remaining debris or dirt if some was left.