How to Get Paint Off Leather Boots

Clean any paint off your leather footwear easily and safely

We are sure you don’t start any painting projects when wearing leather boots or shoes. However, anything can happen and setting a blot of paint onto your leather footwear is one of such situations.

We all know that leather is quite a delicate material and requires special care and attention when being cleaned. So how do we remove paint from it so that the leather itself doesn’t get damaged? Fortunately, it is possible to do and we know what steps to take to save your favorite boots from such a sudden change of color!

How to Get Paint Stains Off My Leather Boots

Removing paint from leather shoes may seem to be an impossible task, but only if you don’t know what exactly to do to clean it off safely. In most cases, to remove paint from leather, you can successfully make use of one of the following methods:

  • soap-and-water method
  • olive oil method
  • nail polish remover or alcohol method

In fact, to undergo the cleaning procedure without damaging your boots, you simply need to know what type of paint stained them, and also what products are safe to use on your footwear. Otherwise, there is a high risk of ruining your precious leather beauties.

As for the process of cleaning, it is not that difficult as you might think. In general words, you will simply need to make paint loose first, then wipe it out. Afterward, the damaged area needs to be treated with petroleum jelly (or another similar product) to get the rest of the pain off the shoes. Finally, leather must be reconditioned.

However, to do everything right and get out of this trouble with your boots being safe and sound, you need to know the precise order of actions.

So first of all, we will explain how to remove dry paint from shoes that are made of leather, and we will also pay additional attention to dealing with different types of paint, such as acrylic, oil, latex, etc. And then, you will learn what to do to clean a blot of paint off your leather footwear if it is still fresh.

How to Get Dried Spray Paint Off Of Leather Boots

If you thought that dealing with dry spray paint on leather is somehow different from cleaning off regular liquid paint, you were wrong. Since both types of paint, liquid and spray, have the same chemical structure, they must be cleaned using analogous methods and products.

In simple words, the cleaning process look like this:

  • you take a dull knife and try to carefully take off the dried layer of paint from the surface of your boots
  • when most of it is deleted, treat the stained area with soapy water and a toothbrush to loosen the paint residue
  • wipe the affected area with a towel
  • now treat it with some olive oil (any type of it you have at hand) by rubbing it in

On the last stage, you can use either your own fingers or grab that toothbrush you have applied before even though it still has soapy water on it. That will be even better since soap will work as an extra cleanser!

How to Get Paint Stains Off My Leather Boots
Credits: Imagebob, via Canva.com

Finally, let your boots dry and afterward, recondition them to bring back that shiny look to leather.

This scheme works well if your boots are covered with quite a thick layer of spray paint. But if it is thin enough, things can turn out to be way simpler for you. SImply apply some paint thinner onto a clean cloth and get the spots of paint delicately.

Don’t use too much of this chemical though, otherwise, it can damage the shoe! As a final touch, it’s ok to apply a bit of alcohol or any solvent (for instance, turpentine) to make sure all the paint is deleted.

How to Get Dry Latex Paint Off Leather Boots

What if you ended up with a blot of latex or other water-based paint on your favorite leather boots or shoes? No worries, even if you didn’t manage to wipe it out in time when it was still fresh, it is still possible to take that blot off your footwear without any damage.

To cope with the task, prepare all the equipment you will need. That means:

  • cotton swabs
  • olive oil
  • vaseline
  • alcohol or nail polish remover
  • soap
  • bee wax
  • cloth
  • toothbrush
  • water

Before you begin, we do recommend you test that olive oil on a tiny part of one of your shoes to see how leather will react to the substance. See, leather can be dyed in different ways which hangs upon the type of shoes it was used for. So in some cases, it can react unexpectedly if you apply oil onto the footwear.

But if everything goes well, then feel free to proceed. Add some olive oil onto a cotton swab or a cloth and delicately rub it on the blotted part of a boot. When you notice that the paint started getting loose, wipe it off.

The next step will be to make use of vaseline (but any petroleum jelly will do). Test it just as you did it with olive oil, and if leather is still fine, keep on going. Using cotton swabs, wipe the rests of paint off your boots moving in circular motions.

As an alternative variant, you can make use of soapy water and a scrub pad if you happen to have no vaseline at hand.

If the blot is stubborn and doesn’t want to get off so easily, you will want to grab that acetone or alcohol, and treat the affected area with it (again, remember to test it first!).

Finally, when the fight is over and you won, recondition your leather boots or shoes with some bee wax.

By the way, if you were wondering how to get dry acrylic paint off leather boots, you will be happy to know that the procedure is all the same as the one we have just described for you above!

How to Get Dry Latex Paint Off Leather Boots

How to Remove Fresh Paint Off Your Leather Boots

Ok, so now you know how to deal with that nasty dried paint blots on your leather footwear. Great! But what if you have a freshly set blot instead? Of course, cleaning methods will be somewhat distinct, as you could already guess.

First of all, no rubbing or scrubbing! If you do so, the paint will only get deeper into the material and you will end up with much more work to do than it was at the beginning. Instead, use our easy guide on how to remove paint from leather boots if it is still fresh.
First of all, prepare some alcohol, leather wax, cotton swabs and a clean cloth. Next, repeat the following steps one by one precisely:

  1. Start with wiping the paint off using a cloth.
  2. Now soak a cotton swab in alcohol and dab it on the affected areas with paint to make it loose. Ensure that the swab has no excess liquid!
  3. Then blot out the loosened paint with a clean cloth and wipe the boots until dry.
  4. Finally, get some leather wax and buff the boots until you see the glossy finish.

Waxing is important since, if we apply alcohol or nail polish remover on leather, it will most likely discolor. Wax, in its turn, brings back that recognizable glossy look that clean and polished leather footwear has.

How to Remove Fresh Paint Off Your Leather Boots

What Other Remedies Can I Use to Get Paint Off My Leather Boots?

Of course, it is great if you always have a can of vaseline or petroleum jelly at hand so that you can revive your leather boots after paint gets onto them. But let’s be honest, we are not so thrifty and most of us don’t have these handy liquids in disposal all the time.

So what shall we do if we urgently need to get that paint off our footwear? Luckily, the list of cleaning products does not end on alcohol, olive oil, and nail polish removing liquid! As an alternative and the same effective remedy, you can stick to one of the following things:

  • laundering detergent
  • baby oil
  • vinegar

Each of them must be applied in a bit different way so let’s figure out how we can do it right in order not to damage the boots even more.

Washing Detergent to Deal With Paint On Leather

This approach will require you a handful of the liquid laundry product that must be dissolved in a bucket of water.

The rest is pretty simple: you take a sponge, soak it into the foamy liquid, and treat the stained area or areas until you see the result. Be careful though and don’t rub too vogiriusly! Leather is way less prone to absorbing paint in comparison to canvas, but it doesn’t mean you won’t make the pigment get deeper if you work too hard on it.

What Other Remedies Can I Use to Get Paint Off My Leather Boots
Credits: Cleardesign1, via Canva.com

Baby Oil? Why Not!

This method is a true salvation for mummies since you, ladies, most likely always have this aromatic substance at home! So if you happen to have leather footwear that is stained with paint, don’t panic.

Instead, grab a bottle of baby oil and a cotton swab. Dip the swab in oil and gently treat the damaged area on your boot or shoe. Now wait for a few minutes. See, the oil must get absorbed by the paint to hydrate it and make it loose.

When those minutes have passed, take a dull knife and accurately peel the paint off the surface of your boot. You will surely have stains on your footwear after taking the paint off, so be ready for this and prepare soapy water to wash them before you polish your footwear with leather wax.

Get That Paint Off With Vinegar

Most of you would think we went totally nuts, but in fact, vinegar works exceptionally well when it comes to dealing with paint! So if you were hesitant about using this method or not, the answer is yes!

To clean your paint-damaged leather boots with vinegar, start with removing the paint with a wet and soft cloth. Then mix some warm water and vinegar in a bowl and apply this blend on the affected areas on your boots with a cotton swab.

Since vinegar is a natural cleanser, it will soften the paint and make it much easier to remove.

Well, you have learned how to get rid of blots of paint on your leather boots. You can now deal with both dry and wet paint, and with any kind of it from water-based ones to terrifying oil paints!

And since you already know several different remedies that can do magic on your leather footwear stained with paint, we are sure that this issue will never be a problem for you in the future. However, it doesn’t mean you can be careless and let your leather boots or shoes get stained like this!

Wear them accurately and keep well maintained!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is using acetone on leather boots safe?

Yes, acetone can be used to remove the stains of paint.

⭐ What is the easiest way to remove water-based paint from leather boots?

The easiest way is to wipe it off with a cloth soaked with water.

⭐ What vinegar can be used for cleaning paint off leather boots?

White vinegar is the best option.

Written by Olivia Paxton
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Mrs Paxton used to work for the Four Season Service for 15 years! She is our super experienced advisor on anything that has to do with hotels, apartments, room services, and cleaning all these objects. Any spots will be defeated with her experience.
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