Painting is an essential part of decoration and construction, and it sometimes involves a lot of messiness because accidents rent to happen, and correcting them can be a tricky task. This is especially true for spray paint for plastic and spray paint for metal.
One of the reasons spray paints tend to be messy is that they aren’t as precise as brushes, so controlling them can be quite difficult, especially if handled by someone who isn’t an expert.
Removing spray paint from plastic is even more difficult than painting it. If you sprayed a wrong color, have colors that overlap, want to take out old paint, or got the paint into places you didn’t intend to paint, you’ll have to figure out a way to remove it. Most commercially available solvents aren’t suitable for plastic because they might melt or damage it, these solvents are mostly intended for metal and wood.
The good news is that there are various fail-safe ways of removing spray paint from any type of plastic surface. We will present you with multiple methods; it’s left for you to choose the method that works best for you. You can also read our guide on how to get paint off your hands because that is an altogether different process.
DIY Methods of Removing Spray Paint from Plastic
The exciting thing about these DIY ways of removing spray paint from plastic is that they are incredibly easy and only require a few ingredients. Even better, most of these ingredients are everyday household items.
Below are the various ways of removing spray paint from plastic.
It is common knowledge that alcohol is a great general solvent that serves various purposes, but it can be quite risky to use. Alcohol is a very effective paint thinner, it’s usually the best alternative and will often remove paint no matter how long it has dried. Because of the risks involved, alcohol should be saved for last; only use alcohol if every other thing fails. It is also important to remember that alcohol only works on latex-based paints; you’ll need to use a different solvent for oil-based paints.
To reduce the risks, you should wear heavy rubber gloves before beginning the procedure. It is also advisable to use a face mask to protect your nose and mouth. The process should not be performed in a confined space to minimize the risks of choking. Alternatively, you may use a fan to ensure there is airflow and prevent the concentration of alcohol fumes in the area.
After performing the safety procedures, the next step is to test the alcohol on a bit of bare plastic. If there is no reaction, you can proceed by soaking the painted plastic in alcohol and allow a few minutes for the paint to dissolve completely.
When paint begins to crumble, use a blunt knife or scraper to scrape away the wrinkled paint. When you’ve scraped away a reasonable quantity of paint, use a piece of rag soaked in alcohol to scrub off the remaining bits of paint until none is left. The rationale behind using a rag is to prevent damage to the actual plastic.
Butter is a household quick-fix for a spray painting disaster, and it is readily available in all homes. Vegetable oil can be used in place of butter if it isn’t available.
This method does not need you to wear gloves or any type of protection for your skin for obvious reasons.
For this to work, all you need is a piece of cloth and the vegetable oil or butter. First, coat the rag with the oil/butter and then scrub the plastic surface with it and see if the paint comes off. Typically, the oil should break down the bonds of the color and take it off. If you keep scrubbing steadily, the paint should come off.
Have it in mind that this method may take longer than alcohol, but it is a lot more gentle and safer for the plastic. If the paint doesn’t go off for any reason, you’ll need to use a stronger solvent.
NAIL POLISH REMOVER
This is another household item that can conveniently get spray paint off plastic. This is an entirely safe method and should be the first you should try before resorting to taking extreme measures.
Nail polish remover consists of acetone which acts as a paint thinner, although it is entirely harmless to human skin. Begin by pouring a large quantity of the nail polish remover over the painted area. Leave the remover to stay for about five-ten minutes to properly soften and dissolve the paint then begin scrubbing the spray paint for plastic off. If it doesn’t come off easily, leave the remover on for a few more minutes and try again.
After scraping off a large amount of paint, switch to to a dry rag and start rubbing off the little pieces of paint that remain.
This is the least recommended method, and we advise you to do this only if the paint is thick and has become too hard for most solvents to have an effect on. The disadvantage of this method is that there’s a high chance that you could damage the plastic when scrapping.
For this to work, you’ll need a scraper, knife, or razor blade. Scrape off the paint with any of the above-mentioned tools very carefully to avoid scratching the actual plastic and causing too much damage to it.
Although these methods are quite easy and straightforward, you may need to perform them a couple of times to get it right. Consideration should also be given to the items you have in your home to determine which method would work best for you in removing spray paint for plastic.