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Do Acrylic Paints Wash Off | How To Wash Off Paint Stains?

A painting project can seem exciting until you take a look at your clothes and see multiple stains on them. 

Do Acrylic Paints Wash Off

Artists are no strangers to paint staining their house floors, clothes, and mostly their paint brushes. However, when using acrylic paint, getting the stains out of the surfaces might not be easy. You need to take some precautions and, more importantly, know the techniques that you can implement to remove stubborn acrylic stains. 

Getting rid of wet acrylic is pretty simple, but it’s not easy to remove dried acrylic paint. In this guide, we will tell you how acrylic paint works, how to best remove them, and what materials can be used for the job. 

Washing off acrylic paints is a hassle; thus most  high quality body paints don’t use acrylics, although there is a concept of acrylic body paints. Check out our article on types of face and body paints to know more before you apply acrylic as face paint for your upcoming dress up party. 

So, without any further delay, let’s dive right in! 

Does Acrylic Paint Stay Permanently On Clothes?

Clothes with stains and a bottle of detergent. Top view. Do Acrylic Paints Wash Off.

The answer is both a yes and a no. If you are working on wet acrylic paint which has not dried up or been exposed to heat, removing them from clothes would not be much of a problem. However, things are very different when you are handling dried acrylic paint. 

After the cloth is washed and dried, the difficulty of removing the acrylic paint will multiply. If you have used this paint before, you would know that it is water-resistant but not waterproof, unless you apply a special sealant on it. So, if you are planning to wear an untreated t-shirt in the rain, we would refrain you from doing this. 

To make acrylic paint permanent, it is best that you apply a proper material to seal paint and then treat it with heat. 

Acrylic paint is made up of pigments that are put in an acrylic polymer emulsion. This paint is plastic and completely water soluble while still wet. The color does not become plastic-like and resistant to water until it gets dried up completely. 

Do Acrylic Paint Wash Off Clothes?

With proper treatment, you can get acrylic paint washed off clothes. For this, you might need quick solutions like isopropyl alcohol and hairspray. As we have mentioned before, this paint is water-soluble till it dries, so if you catch it before the color dries off, it can be rinsed off completely. 

You will have to do the needful with the wet paint and work timely in case you want to get it removed. To get rid of the color, you’ll need to wash acrylic paint before it dries and hardens up. The acrylic paint stain is not likely going to come off easily with a regular wash. With a simple wash, the color may fade slightly, but in order to remove the paint completely, you would need to apply the special treatment. 

We will talk about some of the ways in the second half of the guide!

Can Acrylic Paint Be Removed From Skin?

Before we get to answering this question, let us first clarify that it is best to try and avoid getting acrylic paint on your skin. Acrylic paint might have an adverse impact on your skin, especially in sensitive areas like the face. 

One major problem that people come across when trying to remove acrylic paint from their faces is that they cannot use any harsh chemicals. So, if you were thinking of using a nail polish remover to remove the color from your skin, throw that idea out of the window. 

If the acrylic paint dries up, peeling it from your skin might be a painful experience. So, try removing it while it is still wet. 

Can Acrylic Paints Be Removed From Wood?

In case you have used acrylic paint on wood, you would know that it tends to stick very well to the surface and deliver a nice finish. However, at times there might be excess paint in the corners that you need to remove. For this, you would not have to do a lot as the process is pretty simple. 

Just like the fabric medium, it is pretty simple to remove acrylic paint from wood, provided the colors are still dry. But even dried acrylic paint can be removed from wood quite conveniently. However, you will need a few other types of equipment for this, namely soap and water. 

If you want to do a complete removal, you will require a few other accessories like rubbing alcohol, sandpaper, and other solutions that remove acrylic paint from wood. 

These supplies will help remove acrylic paint from the wooden surface without causing any damage to it. 

How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Clothes

How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Clothes?

We get a lot of queries from readers about how to remove acrylic paint from most surfaces. However, we have noticed that most people face trouble when removing paint from clothes. 

So, to help you, we are here with a few possible techniques that can help you get rid of paint from fabrics with ease. Let’s take a look!

1. Pretreatment

As we have mentioned before, to remove color from the fabric, it is best that you act on it while the paint is still wet. The other thing to do is to pretreat an acrylic fabric paint stain before applying any of the removal techniques that we are soon going to discuss. 

Before the stain dries up and hardens, use a clean cloth or a paper towel to blot as much color as possible. If you see stubborn bits of paint stuck in the fabric, we recommend you use a toothbrush or a paintbrush to remove the color. Acrylic paint (waterproof) can be a blessing or a problem, so suggest that you start acting on it before the paint dries up completely. 

Having said that, you may be stuck in a situation where you might have to work on dry acrylic paint. In that case, we suggest that you make use of accessories like a blunt knife, spoons, or stiff brushes to scrape off the plastic-like dried paint. The more paint you can scrape off, the easier it will be to get rid of the stains. 

Before you start undoing earlier acrylic paint projects using chemicals to get rid of the color, make sure to not skip the pretreatment step!

2. Acrylic Paint Washable With Dish Soap

When acrylic colors are wet, they are water-soluble and can be easily washed off with dish soap. If you are working in your own art studio, first arrange all the essential accessories before starting with the work. 

To begin with, you need to mix an equal amount of water and dish soap in a container. Proceed by soaking a clean cloth in the mix and wring it out to ensure there’s no extra water in it. 

Once this is done, dab the stained area with the wet cloth. Make sure to not rub it, as that might cause the paint to spread to the other parts of the fabric. 

After that, put the fabric in cool water and wash it properly. Keep repeating the process until the stain is no longer present. 

Pro tip: Try avoiding the washing machine as that might cause the stain to spread further. 

This method is the easiest and the cheapest of all the solutions to remove paint stains. Having said that, it works best when the paint is still wet and has not dried up completely. 

3. Using Hairspray

Most of the over-the-counter hairsprays that you use contain a number of polymers along with hydrocarbons and alcohol. So, they are great for removing stubborn paint from a number of surfaces, especially fabrics. 

However, before you start with the process, we recommend that you try the spray on an inconspicuous area of the cloth. Not all fabrics can handle this chemical, so check it out first before applying it to a larger area. 

Begin by putting the fabric in a sink and spraying properly over the stained area till it is soaked. If done correctly, the hairspray should make the paint soft, and you should be able to peel it off with ease. Once done, immerse the garment in cold water. If you see that there are remaining flakes of paint, try scraping them off with your fingernails. 

Keep repeating the hairspray and rinse cycle until most of the acrylic paint is out of the fabric. Finally, put the cloth in a washing machine and give it a good rub to ensure that there are no remaining bits of color left on the surface. 

4. Nail Polish Removers To The Rescue

If you check the chemical composition of nail polish removers, you will see that they mostly contain acetone, which is one of the main components in paint thinners as well. So, you can understand that this solution would do a great job when it comes to removing paint stains. 

Refrain working with bare hands and wear a pair of work gloves if you have sensitive skin. Also, before you begin working, alway check to see how the chemical is reacting to the fabric. Not every fabric can handle the strong chemicals present in a nail polish remover. 

For example, if you are planning to remove stains from surfaces like spandex, nail polish removers might cause lasting damage to it. 

To begin, take a clean cloth and soak it in a nail polish remover. After that, you need to press the soaked cloth on the stained surface and keep it for five minutes. If you see that parts of the stains have become loose or flaky, that means that the remover has worked well. 

Remember that when fabrics are exposed to acetone for a long time, they might get damaged. So, act quickly and use a blunt knife or a spoon to remove as much paint as possible. Do this efficiently, and do not let the acetone sit on the fabric for too long. 

If you see that there is more paint left on the surface, keep repeating the process until all of it is gone. And for the final step, wash the fabric in warm water using regular detergent. That should get all the stain out from the cloth!

As we have mentioned earlier, nail polish remover might damage the weave of the fabric that you are using it on. So, we recommend that you use a fabric softener once you are done with all the steps. That should help undo some of the damage and help the fabric last for a longer time. 

5. Murphy’s Oil Soap 

If you have lived with grandparents, you would be no stranger to the smell of Murphy’s oil soap, which is used for the wooden floors. This works great as an acrylic paint wash and works perfectly with oil paints too. If you are a frequent user of acrylic paints, it is best that you keep this cleaner handy. 

When the paint is still a bit wet, use this cleaner to get rid of the paint from the wood. 

Just remember that you might have to work a bit hard for removing dry paint from a wooden surface. For example, if you are working on a paint-stained brush, you can soak it in a solution that contains equal parts soap and water. You have to keep the paintbrush in the solution overnight, and next morning you’ll just need to rinse the color off the brush.

To make the most of the cleaner, try and follow the pretreatment step to get rid of the excess colors before you begin with the process. After that, put the stained cloth under a running tap to wash away as much of the excess paint as possible. Once you are done with the first step, soak a clean piece of cloth with Murphy’s oil soap and dab the stained area with it. 

While you are at it, make sure that to not rub it too hard that the paint further settles into the fabric. After you are done rinsing the cloth with the cleaner, rinse the garment with clean water and check if the stain has been removed. 

Once the garment is totally dry, check for paint flakes. You can pick with your nails or use a tweezer to remove them. Flakes are easier to remove when they are dry. However, be careful while you are at it, and handle it with care to ensure that the fabric is not damaged.  

Will A Wash Help Remove Acrylic Paint Off Clothes?

If you pretreat the stained fabric well, there’s a good chance that the wet colors will easily come out of the material. However, if the paint has completely dried, a simple wash won’t be enough to get the stains out. 

For removing stubborn stains, follow the steps that we have mentioned in this guide. And once you are done, do not forget to put your clothes in the washing machine for a final wash. 

A word of advice, if you put paint-stained clothes in the washing machine, do not put any other garments in the mix. If you do that, there is a good chance that the stain will damage the other pieces of the garment as well. 

How To Prevent Acrylic Colors From Staining Objects?

When you are working with acrylic paint, a little splatter here and there is inevitable. But there are a few tips that you can follow to avoid a significant amount of paint stains. Let’s take a look. 

If your children are playing with acrylic colors on the study floors, we recommend that you spread newspapers all over. This will protect the floors from getting damaged. 

On the other hand, if you are starting an art project, wear old clothes and not new ones that might get stained. One or two splatters of paint won’t make too much of a difference if they are old and worn-out.

Do Acrylic Paints Wash Off Final Words

Do Acrylic Paints Wash Off Final Words 

With that, it’s a wrap!

We have tried to cover all about the possibility of removing acrylic paint from clothes and other surfaces. All the methods that we have listed down are helpful and will enable you to easily remove paint stains from different surfaces. Removing dry acrylic paint can seem like a challenging task, but it is not an impossible feat!

After a finished project, there are a lot of stains that artists have to deal with. Hopefully, using these methods, you have been able to deal with stubborn stains. Also, pay close attention to the preventive measures that we have mentioned. 

If you liked reading this guide and want to see more of such reads, we suggest that you keep a watch on this space. Until next time, take care!