It’s the weekend, and you are just about to wash your car when you realize the kids or some graffiti enthusiast had just sprayed paint all over your car.

You are perplexed because you do not know how to remove paint from your car.

Do You even wonder if it is impossible to remove house paint from your car?

You do not need to fret any longer, because I am here to the rescue.

I will be showing you the best possible ways to remove paint from your car irrespective of the type of paint or the model of the car.

How to remove house paint from a car

Facts to note before removing paint from your car.

It is much easier to remove paint when it is still fresh: what I mean is if you’re fortunate to see when the spillage occurs, quickly clean it right away.

However, if you didn’t see the paint when it was spilled on your car don’t worry just get a soft towel, soak it in water and then place it on the spot with the paint on, so that the paint can get wet.

The second fact you should know is the type of house paint you’re dealing with so that there will be no side effects after you have gotten rid of the paint.

Types of paint

Generally, there are three types of house paint we have.

  1. Latex paint
  2. Enamel paint
  3. Acrylic paint

Since this is not a thesis on paint, we wouldn’t be discussing at length the components and properties of these paints.

However, we will only be looking at how the different types of house paint affect the car paint and the specific techniques to remove them.

But before I show you that, let me briefly outline the general tools needed to remove house paint from cars.

General items you will need to remove paint from your car.

These are general items that will come in handy when you want to remove paint from your car:

  1. You will need an acid-resistant paintbrush.
  • A container.
  • A paint stripper.
  • A plastic or nylon flat-edged scraping tool.
  •  Sun-protective clothing.
  •  Protective eyewear.
  • A respirator.
  • Thick rubber gloves.
  • Sandpaper.

2. Soap and water.

3. Some elbow grease. (Yeah, you need to do some elbow greasing too).

Disclaimer:  These items are simply general tools you will need to remove paint from your car.
However, they get more specific depending on the type of paint you are removing.

Methods to remove house paint from your car.

Manual paint removal:

The most common manual method which is slightly easier is the use of sandpaper.

Although you have to be careful not to scrape the original car paint along with the house paint.

You can also use a paint scraper but for a house paint that is way too extreme.

Soap and water are also very efficient.

Mechanical paint removal: 

removing paint from a car mechanical way

The second method you can use is the mechanical method.

You can either use the high-power chemical spray or a sander.

However, if you’re using a classical car then it’s safer if you do not follow this method because using a chemical spray can equally damage your car paint.

Chemical paint removal:

Chemical paint removal

chemical paint removers are usually very active and used for removing paint from your car.

If you want to remove house paint from your car without damaging the car then chemical paint removers are your best shot. 

Chemical paint removers are simply the best because unlike mechanical paint removers you can control their effects, and they are not as hectic as manual paint removers.

This video will show you the step-by-step method of removing paint from your car.

So there you have it, the three different methods you can use to remove paint from your car.

Disclaimer: Some of these methods may not be applicable when you are removing specific types of paint.

This is why you need to know how to remove specific types of paint from your car.

How to remove specific types of house paints from your car.

As I said earlier there are generally three types of paint: acrylic paint, latex paint, and enamel paint.

You may be wondering why it is essential to know which paint you are dealing with before you know how to remove it.

Well, the real deal is that the components and makeup of those paints are different from one another.

So, while just soap and water might finish the job with one it will take more than that to even crack the nut of another.

How to remove acrylic paint from a car.

Removing acrylic paint is usually a daunting task for most people and that is because of the components acrylic paints are made of.

Acrylic paints are water-based, and they consist of pigment that is distributed in an acrylic polymer suspension.

They have three main components: pigment, acrylic binder, and water.

Tools needed to remove acrylic paint from your car.

These are the tools you will need when removing acrylic paint:

  1. A scraper.
  2. Sandpaper.
  3. Isopropyl alcohol alias rubbing alcohol.
  4. Painting brush.
  5. Wiping fabric or a rag.

Steps to follow to remove acrylic paint from your car.

Step 1:

Scrape off the acrylic paint: This is where the scraping tool or sandpaper comes in handy.

Carefully scrape off the major part of the paint from your car.

Make sure you are as gentle as possible so you don’t damage your car.

Step 2:

Soak the acrylic paint with alcohol:

To remove acrylic paint you need a solvent and the cheapest and most accessible one available is rubbing alcohol.

It is very efficient especially when removing acrylic paint from your car.

Rubbing alcohol is conventionally 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol and it has a very active effect on the acrylic binder thereby losing the paint film.

Apply the rubbing alcohol onto the surface of the acrylic paint until the solvent becomes completely saturated then leave it for a few hours to dissolve the paint.

Safety precaution: Ensure you are putting on a rubber glove and a mask and even safety goggles in case there are spills or splashes.

Step 3:

Brush with a painting brush:

After waiting for a few hours, brush the paint off the car.

When you do this you will see that the paint will be dissolved and will slowly come off.

Step 4:

Wipe with clean fabric:

After rubbing the surface with a paintbrush, get a clean fabric and immerse it in a soap and water solution, then use it to completely wipe off any iota of the residue of the acrylic paint from your car.

Other solvents that are effective to remove acrylic paint.

These solvents can be used in place of alcohol.

  • Ammonia solution: ammonia solution is a very effective option when you want to remove acrylic paints from your car.

It helps balance the acrylic emulsions by raising their PH.

  • Lacquer thinner: Another equally strong solvent you can use to remove acrylic paint is lacquer thinner.

If you are a beginner, then I don’t advise that you use lacquer thinner because it contains methanol and toluene, and these components are highly toxic.

  • Acetone:

Acetone solvents are also good alternatives for rubbing alcohol.

Acetone is highly inflammable, so be extra careful when you are using acetone solution to remove acrylic paints from your car.

How to remove latex paint from your car

How to remove latex paint from your car

Latex paints are very ‘bondy’, so to speak.

When you apply them on a surface, or in our case when they accidentally get spilled on a car, removing them becomes difficult.

Hence, the use of chemicals to break the bond of the latex paint becomes inevitable.

The items you will need to remove latex paint are.

  1. Vinegar.
  2. Baking soda.
  3. Alcohol.
  4. Acetone.
  5. Nail polish remover.

Each of these tools has its methods and we will be looking at each of them one by one.


Vinegar is a very nice option because It is cheap, very easy to use, and is not hazardous.

Disclaimer: Vinegar, as effective as it is, does not remove the latex paint, you might still need to do a little scraping.

However, it does get 90% of the job done.

When using vinegar to remove latex paint, these are the steps to follow:

Step 1-

Get a wiper:

Dip cotton or sponge or even a paintbrush into the vinegar.

Step 2-

Warm up the vinegar:

Do not apply the vinegar directly.

You have to warm it up properly before brushing it over your paint.

You can either use a microwave oven or a stove.

Step 3-

Use the dipped cotton or sponge to cover the area with the latex paint with the heated vinegar.

Make sure you put the heated vinegar on the paint for about 10 to 15 minutes, this will soften the latex paint.

Step 4-

Lastly, get a scraper and scrape off the paint.

Easy right?

Be gentle while scraping the latex paint off, else, you’ll scrape off the car paint accidentally.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an amazing tool for removing latex paint.

It saves money, it’s easy and you can be confident it won’t harm your car paint.

To use baking soda to remove latex paint, all you have to do is follow these steps;

Step 1-

Boil water:

Get a container, fill it with water, and then place it on a stove or a gas burner, to boil the water for some time.

Step 2-

Add baking soda:

After boiling the water, add ¼ cup of baking soda to it.

Let it settle down at the bottom of the container.

Do not stir the water.

Step 3-

Put the stove or burner on a medium flame:

The baking soda and the water are only effective when it is heated.

Therefore, put your burner on a medium flame pace to keep the mixture on a low boil.

Step 4-

Dip a clothing material in the mixture:

Get a rag, dip it in the mixture, and wipe off the latex paint from your car.

Put on gloves, so your hands can be safe while wiping.

And that’s how you remove latex paint from your car using baking soda.


Alcohol is a very essential element for getting rid of latex paint.

To use alcohol to remove latex paint from your car, simply follow these steps.

Step 1-

Get a bottle of alcohol:

The first step is to get a bottle of alcohol.

Step 2-

Get a piece of clothing or cotton:

The next thing is to get a piece of clothing.

If the latex paint is on the glass of your car, then it’s preferable to get fluffy cotton so you can easily wipe off the glass without scratching the glass surface.

Step 3-

Soak the clothing in the alcohol and wipe:

It is as simple as that, just dip the cloth into the alcohol and wipe off the area with the latex paint on your car.

And there you have it, that pesky bit of dried-up latex paint has been annihilated.

However, if some residue of latex paint remains, just get a scraping tool and scrape it off. It will come off easily because the alcohol has weakened the paint bonding.


Acetone is a very common solvent known for getting rid of things, and latex paint is not an exception.

Removing latex paint with acetone is just as easy as using alcohol, just follow these steps.

Step 1-

Pour a little drop of acetone on a clothing material.

Step 2-

Pour a drop of acetone on the latex paint:

This is to make the job faster and easier.

Step 3-

Start rubbing:

After a few rubs, the latex paint will come off your car.

Step 4-

Soap and water solution:

After removing the latex paint, carefully wash the surface with soap and water acetone residue.

Safety precaution:

Before you use the acetone, please ensure you are in a well-ventilated area to prevent face, skin, eye, or lung irritation.

You can also watch this video to watch how latex paint is removed from a car.

My Recommendation:

Whichever solvent you want to use is your choice.

However, I strongly recommend you use acetone because it is faster and easier to use compared to the other solvents.

How to remove enamel paint from your car.

Removing enamel paint from a car can be a hassle because enamel paints are oil-based paints.

If you want to know more about enamel paints and their composition, you can learn about them here.

Now with the tools and steps, I will be showing you, removing enamel paints will become as easy as removing any other type from your car.

You just need the following tools:

  1. Razorblade or any other scraping tool.
  2. Vinegar.
  3. Nail varnish remover.
  4. Acetone.

Now to the steps:

Step 1-

Scrape off with a razor blade or a knife:

You are most likely going to damage your car paint. That’s why it’s safer to use sandpaper.

Gently use sandpaper to scrape off the paint.

When you do this, a substantial part of the paint will come off.

Step 2-

Wash off the residue with soap and water.

If after following these steps, the paint doesn’t come off, then you need to go with plan B which is to either

  • Use vinegar.
  • Use nail varnish remover or
  • Use acetone.

All three are effective solvents.

Vinegar helps to break the bond of enamel paint so it comes off easily.

Varnish remover (although originally meant for removing paint off fingernails) does the same thing with enamel paint on your car.

Acetone which is the most effective one on the list is a potent solvent.

It removes enamel paint and even other types of paints as stated earlier.

When you use any of the options available, you will be dazed to see how your car looks like no enamel paint was ever on it.


So, that’s how you remove any type of house paint from your car.


I hope you didn’t find too long an article; it was the only way to ensure we went through the nitty-gritty of getting paints from your car.

You know, paints can be naughty, spilling where we don’t want them to be, but what choice do we have?

Without them, the world will be bereft of a whole lot of beauty.

If you want to know more about paints and their amazing components, you can look them up right here.


How do you get dried paint off a car?

Get some of the paint thinners, apply it to the area, use an old toothbrush and scrub the dried paint off, wipe it off until you think it is clean.

What you also do is blot the dried paint off with a cloth instead of rubbing it. This is because if you rub the dried paint, you will likely scratch your car’s paint in the process.

How do you get dried latex paint off a car?

Dried latex paint can be hard to get off a car. For the dried-on paint, consider using paint thinner and a putty knife or plastic scraping tool.

Paint thinner will take off the dried paint, but it is dangerous to use on your car because it may damage the paint. If paint thinner isn’t an option, try rubbing alcohol. Be careful when using rubbing alcohol because it is less toxic than paint thinner, but it is still harmful to the finish of your car.

Rubbing alcohol is best suited for clear coat finishes, but if you are in a pinch and need to use something to remove dried latex paint from your paint job, then this will work. Rubbing alcohol is a great alternative because it evaporates faster than paint thinner, which means that the paint will dry more quicker.

What removes paint transfer from a car?

There are a few things that can be done to remove paint transfer from a car.

However, I would recommend the use of Quick n Brite for this purpose.

Although Quick n Brite is used for removing rust from cars, it can be eq