You’ve got your new painting project all planned out, the tools set out in front of you, and your top-quality paints and brushes. 

So you put on your favorite music and start on that new painting. But wait! You’ve spilled paint on your favorite top! 

How do you get that tempera paint out of clothes? 

If you’ve inadvertently gotten tempera paint on your clothing, don’t panic! 

Quick Answer:

  • Tempera paint is water-based, so it is relatively easy to remove. You could get away with soaking your shirt with warm water solutions and mild detergents in most cases. However, if the spillage is more than a handful, soaking won’t be enough, you will need to follow a step-by-step guide to get tempera paint out of clothes.

Here I have all the answers you need to know to make sure your paint projects don’t end in disaster.

How do I get Tempera paint out of clothes?

How to get tempera paint out of clothes

There are a few different ways that you can try to remove tempera paint from clothing. 

  • First, soak the stained garment in cold water for at least 30 minutes. This will help to loosen the paint and make it easier to remove.
  • Next, apply a pre-treatment stain remover to the stain and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to follow the instructions on the stain remover bottle.
  • After the pre-treatment has had a chance to work, launder the garment as you normally would. Be sure to check the care label first to make sure the fabric can be safely washed.
  • If the stain is still visible after washing, you can try applying a bleach pen or gel directly to the stain. Be very careful when using bleach, as it can damage clothing if used incorrectly.

With a little patience and some elbow grease, you should be able to remove the tempera paint from your clothes and get them looking good as new!

What is Tempera paint made from?

Tempera paints are made from organic pigment, water, and glue. Different ingredients are used for different colors. The most common pigment used is ground-colored earth.

The base is usually ground-up animal bones and horns, although it can be made from a variety of other substances. In any case, the main ingredients, along with water and white glue, will all be boiled until a thick paste develops. Pigments can then be added to get the color desired.

While tempera colors are made from plant and animal products. They are also made from calcite, which is ground to a fine powder and mixed with a binder. The most commonly used binders are egg yolks, casein, gum arabic, and glue.

This paint is the best paint to use for any kid’s art project because it is: 

  • Water-based
  • Allergen-free
  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to use
  • Bright in color

Tempera paint is often confused with egg tempera paint, but they are two different types of paint. The former of which is especially good to use for: 

  • Craft projects
  • Theater props
  • Painting windows
  • Poster boards

Tempera Paint vs. Egg Tempera Paint

There are two main types of tempera paint: regular tempera paint and egg tempera paint. Both types of paint are made with a water-based binder, but egg tempera paint also contains eggs.

Regular tempera paint is generally less expensive than egg tempera paint, and it is also easier to find in stores. However, egg tempera paint is more durable and has a richer color.

If you are a beginner, regular tempera paint is a good option. If you are more experienced, you may want to try egg tempera paint.

Tempera Paint vs. Egg Tempera Paint

Are Tempera Paints Toxic?

Tempera paints are made from natural pigments and binders. Because they are not made from petroleum, they are considered to be non-toxic

The pigments have been in use since the 14th century. Each color of tempera paint has a unique formulation. Traditionally the pigments were ground by hand, but they can be ground mechanically.

Although tempera paints are nontoxic to humans; they are made with natural–derivative pigments, clays, and inert materials. Tempera paints are not appropriate for use on toys.

Because they are made with natural ingredients and the clay used in them can be harmful to the respiratory systems of young children.

Thus, tempera paints can be toxic but they are not as toxic as oil paints, which contain materials such as linseed oil, and bitumen. The linseed oil used in oil paints can cause long-term toxicity to the linseed oil. 

The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping kids away from the paint, as they may try to eat the paint.

Does Tempera paint fade?

Yes, tempera paintings can fade. This can occur over time due to fading of paint pigments, especially when the painting is exposed to light. 

The paintings are also prone to discoloration when exposed to high humidity.  All paintings are subject to fading over time, but tempera paintings are much more susceptible to it than oil paintings.  

The reason behind this is tempera paints are made from pigments that are bound with water. They lack the protective oils found in most oil paintings. 

So if you’re planning to hang your tempera painting in a room with a lot of sunlight, then you should also consider a protective UV varnish for your painting. This will help to minimize fading.

Is Tempera paint washable?

Yes, tempera paint is washable. In fact, it is one of the most washable types of paint available. You can easily wash it off of your hands and any other surface with soap and water.

Tempera paint is a water-based paint that can be easily washed with soapy water. It’s used when an artist wants the paint to be more flexible and durable.  

Tempera can be easily washed off with a brush or with a moist cloth. Tempera’s drying time is usually a few hours. 

So be careful not to leave wet paint for long on surfaces that might get stained.  Tempera dries to a matte finish and is a good option when the artist wants a natural look.

The difference between Tempera and Washable Paint?

There are a few key differences between tempera and washable paint. 

For one, tempera is a type of paint that is made from a water-based solution, whereas washable paints are typically oil-based. 

This means that tempera paint is much easier to clean up and is not as likely to stain surfaces as washable paint. 

Additionally, tempera paint dries much faster than washable paint, so it is ideal for projects that need to be completed quickly

Finally, tempera paint is typically less expensive than washable paint, making it a great option for budget-conscious consumers.

Tempera paintWashable paint
Easier to cleanDurable
Dries faster

Is Tempera Paint Permanent on Fabric

No, tempera paint is not permanent on fabric. In fact, it is quite easy to remove tempera paint from fabric. 

All you need is a little soap and water. Simply wet a cloth with soap and water and rub the paint-stained area of the fabric. 

The paint should come right off. If the paint is stubborn, you can use a little vinegar or lemon juice to help loosen it.

Does Tempera paint contain allergens?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the ingredients in tempera paint can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. 

However, some types of tempera paint do contain allergens, so it is always best to check the label before using.

If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in tempera paint, you should avoid using it altogether.

Tempera paints contain animal products that may cause an allergic reaction in some people. The animal products are egg white, horse hair, rabbit skin glue, and fish scales. 

Tempera paints are made from pigments that are ground into a paste. The paste is mixed with water and a type of glue. The mixture is stirred and kept for about two months. This allows the glue to dissolve and the pigments to dissolve into the water. 

The paste is then spread out on a screen and dried. This takes a few days. The dried paste is ground again into a fine powder with a grinder. 

After the paste is ground into a fine powder it is put back into a container. This container is called a paint tin or a paint can. 

The paint is then shipped to the store where it is purchased by the consumer. The tin is opened and poured into a paint tray. The paint is then applied to the surface.

Remove excess paint before removing the tempera paint stain

Before attempting to remove a Tempera paint stain, it is important to remove any excess paint first. 

This can be done by gently blotting the area with a clean, dry cloth. Once the excess paint has been removed, you can then proceed to treat the stain.

There are a few different ways that you can remove a tempera paint stain, depending on the type of fabric that is stained. 

For example, if the stain is on a piece of clothing, you may be able to wash it out in the washing machine. If the stain is on a more delicate fabric, such as silk, you may need to use a gentle cleaning solution and blot the stain until it is removed.

If you are unsure of how to remove a Tempera paint stain, you can follow our tips and learn
7 ways to remove tempera paint stains away from clothes

7 Ways to remove tempera paint stain from clothes

7 Ways to remove tempera paint stain from clothes

Though water-based, tempera paint can be tricky to remove from clothing due to the added pigments which create beautiful, long-lasting colors for art projects, but also make the paint more difficult to remove. 

The dye in tempera paint is also more intense than other paints on the market and intense dyes can easily lead to stained clothing that is more difficult to remove. No matter what method you use to remove the stain, the process will require trial and error.

Using Vinegar

To remove tempera paint with vinegar; one way is to simply soak a rag in vinegar and then rub it over the paint. This should loosen the paint and make it easy to remove. 

Another way is to mix vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio and then use this solution to scrub the paint off. 

If the paint is still proving difficult to remove, you can try using vinegar and baking soda paste. 

Simply mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda together to form a paste, and then use this to scrub the paint off.

Paint remover 

Paint removers are the most effective way to remove paint from all types of surfaces. Try using it directly. If it does not work, soak the paint-stained areas with water for 20 minutes and then rub away with a brush.

The best way to get tempera paint out of clothing is by using a laundry stain remover. 

To remove tempera paint from clothing; 

  • First blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth. 
  • Then, apply a small amount of stain remover to the stain and work it in with your fingers. 
  • Finally, rinse the area with cold water and wash the item as usual.

Laundry detergent

When it comes to dealing with tempera paint stains, you don’t need to break the bank on a specialty laundry detergent – any kind will do the trick

Just make sure to liberally apply it to the stained fabric, give it about an hour to sit, and then rinse in cold or lukewarm water before hang drying. If the stain is still present after the initial treatment, you can always repeat these steps.

Below are the steps to remove tempera paint with laundry detergent

  • To remove tempera paint from clothing; 

  • Pretreating the stain with a laundry detergent. 
  • Then, rinse the detergent off with cool water and blot the stain with a clean towel. 
  • Next, soak the stain in a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water for 30 minutes. 
  • Finally, wash the clothing item in the hottest water setting that is safe for the fabric.


Bleach is a powerful cleaning agent that can remove almost any type of stain. However, there are some things you should keep in mind if you’re going to use bleach on your clothes.

First, try to find color-safe bleach. Color-safe bleach is less likely to fade the fabric’s color.

Secondly, make sure the fabric is colorfast. Colorfast fabrics are less likely to be damaged by bleach. To test this, apply a small amount of bleach to the seam of the clothing to see how the fabric’s color reacts before proceeding.

There are a few things you’ll need in order to remove tempera paint with bleach. 

  • First, you’ll need a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. 
  • Next, you’ll need a clean cloth and a bottle of bleach.
  • To begin, dampen the clean cloth with bleach. 
  • Then, gently rub the cloth over the area of the skin where the tempera paint is. 
  • Be sure to avoid any open cuts or wounds.

After a few minutes, the tempera paint should start to fade. If it’s not coming off easily, you can try using a toothbrush to scrub the paint. 

Once the paint is gone, rinse the area with warm water to remove any residue.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a versatile product that can be used for many things, including removing tempera paint stains from clothing. 

However, it’s important to be aware that rubbing alcohol can damage some fabrics, so it’s always best to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the clothing first. 

Additionally, when using bleach to remove stains, you should make sure the clothing is made of a colorfast fabric to avoid further damage.

So, to get the tempera paint out of clothes, mix the alcohol with mild soap, then paint it on the tempera paint and wait for 20 minutes before cleaning it off

After that, wash the area with water and make sure it’s completely dry. Since Rubbing Alcohol is non-toxic, you can leave it on the paint for a long time!

Nail polish 

Nail polish is something that doesn’t come to mind when you are thinking of getting tempera paint out of your clothes. 

However, it is one of the things that are easy to get hold of, especially if you are a woman or happen to live with one, or perhaps don’t mind getting one.

  • Start by blotting a small amount of nail polish remover onto the stain with a paper towel or rag.
  • Let the remover sit on the stain for 15 minutes to give it time to work.
  • Then use a clean rag to blot away the stain, transferring it to the rag. Remember to use a clean portion of the rag each time you blot.
  • Nail polish remover has a very strong odor, so only use a small amount at a time. You may want to wear a mask while using it.

Baking Soda 

One of the most effective ways to remove tempera paint is with Baking Soda. In fact, this solution is so versatile, it could be used on many things, and surely to clean cloth with this type of paint as well. This is a safe and effective way to remove tempera paint.

Follow the steps: 

  • Put a dash of baking soda in the bowl of lukewarm water and stir well, until it’s about the consistency of a thick milkshake
  • Then dip your fingers in the water and start scrubbing the surface of the paint with a cake or toothbrush. 
  • The baking soda will start to fizz and dissolve the paint, so just keep scrubbing the area for 2-3 minutes and then wipe with a cloth. 

It’s important not to repeat this process more than twice, as baking soda can damage the fabric when used too often.

Aftercare Tips

Once you’ve removed a stain from any type of fabric, it’s always best to let the fabric air dry. Even after washing the clothing normally, I still recommend allowing it to air dry. The heat from a drying machine can cause the stain to set if it is not fully gone.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a stain is gone while the fabric is still wet. If you air-dry the fabric, you can double-check that the stain is gone. 

When you air-dry the fabric, it allows you to ensure the stain is gone. If not, you can try another one of the methods mentioned above to remove the tempera paint stain.


If you have ever gotten tempera paint on your clothes, you know how difficult it can be to remove. There are a few different methods that you can try to remove tempera paint from your clothes, as you can see from the article. 

These are the best and easiest ways; 

  • Pre-treat the stain with a laundry stain remover,
  • Soak the stained clothing in a mixture of vinegar and water,
  • Try rubbing alcohol to remove the paint.

If the paint is fresh and there is not a lot of it, you can try using a damp cloth to blot it up. If the paint is dry and there is a lot of it, you may need to use a paint stripper or solvent. 


Can you use Tempera Paints on Canvas?

Yes, you can use tempera paints on canvas. However, you will need to prepare the canvas first by priming it with gesso or white paint. 

This will help the tempera paint to adhere to the canvas and also give it a nice, even surface to work with. 

Once the canvas is primed, you can start painting with tempera just like you would with any other type of paint. 

Just keep in mind that tempera dries very quickly, so you’ll need to work fast and have all of your supplies ready before you start painting.

How do you get paint out of clothes after it’s dried?

Tempera paint can be notoriously difficult to get out of clothes.  It penetrates cloth easily and tends to stain permanently. 

The best way to get it out of clothes is to soak the garment in cold water for at least 12 hours. 

After soaking the garment, you should still be able to see some traces of the paint.  Then, pour some white vinegar into the soaking water and re-soak the garment for a full 24 hours.  

Finally, wash the garment in the washing machine with warm water, along with a cup of laundry detergent and a cup of baking soda.  If you can’t get the paint out after soaking it in the vinegar, then go ahead and use bleach.

Does tempera paint wash off skin?

Yes! Tempera paint will wash off but it takes a little bit of work. If it gets in the hair, only some shampoo will be needed to wash it out. 

If the paint is only on the skin, use some soap and warm water to wash off the paint. After the paint is washed off, use some hand sanitizer to get it all off the hands.