How To Remove Fabric Paint?

A complete and detailed guide on removing fabric paint from your clothes

The question itself might leave you wondering why someone would want to remove fabric paint…from fabric!

However, if you have ever worked with any paint, you know that your clothes always end up being stained more or less after the painting project is done.

And if you didn’t have an intention of getting a new design on your t-shirt, you will want to wash that paint off of course.

So how to remove fabric paint from clothes at home without causing any damage to the material? We know the answer and this is what we are going to tell you today!

Read on to find out what fabric-cleaning techniques can be used to remove fabric paint stains from your clothes safely and quickly. We will teach you how to cope with dry paint, and wet paint, and also, what to do if you realize that the garment can’t be saved.

How to Remove Fabric Paint From Clothes?

“How to remove fabric paint stains from clothes?” This question comes up first when you finish your painting project and you take a look at your clothes.

In general, this issue is more common for the parents of little children: you may decorate fabric with your kid and then notice that you, too, have colorful splatters on your t-shirt or pants. However, those who do their living by decorating clothes also often face this problem.

You will be surprised to learn that removing fabric paint from clothes is no easy task! This paint is designed for adhering to the fabric very quickly and thoroughly, so washing it off (especially if it has already dried) is quite a challenge!

But it can still be possible, depending on the severity of the stain and the type of fabric you are dealing with.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must start treating the stain as soon as you can! The longer it sits on the fabric the more difficult it will be later to get rid of it for you.

Anyway, even if the worst happens and you realize that you are not able to remove the paint from your clothing, you will still be able to use some tricks to save your garment.

How to Remove Fabric Paint From Clothes
AndrewLozovyi via VistaCreate

 

How to Remove Wet Fabric Paint From Clothes Completely?

If the paint stain is still wet, you are lucky! This is the easiest scenario for you because wet paint can be removed the fastest. This is what you shall do.

Fabric paint VS acrylic paint on clothes/Machine Washing&Drying VS Handwash Hand Painted Clothes2020Fabric paint VS acrylic paint on clothes/Machine Washing&Drying VS Handwash Hand Painted Clothes2020

Deal With the Stain Immediately

The sooner you start washing the stain off, the higher your chances will be of getting rid of it completely. If you have wet paint on your clothes, take them off right away and try to wash the paint out.

If you can’t take your clothes off for some reason (e.g. if you are not at home and you can’t change), try washing the stain out with them still on. This is anyway better than waiting until the stain dries and trying to deal with the dry paint.

Deal With the Stain Immediately
IgorVetushkoi via VistaCreate

No Heat Should Be Applied to the Stain!

Many fabric paints are set by heat. It means they can’t fully harden until they are heated, which is usually done by an iron. This is why do not apply any kind of heat to your clothing until the stain is completely removed!

It will help you avoid setting the paint while you are trying to remove it.

  • Do not use hot water when washing your clothes
  • Do not put your stained clothes in the dryer
  • Don’t use a hair dryer to dry the stained area you washed

It may so happen that your fabric paint does not set with heat. In this case, you can try and use hot water when rinsing the stain out. But read the bottle thoroughly before you do that to make sure the paint is like this!

Remove Any Unabsorbed Paint

If you spilled a large amount of paint on your clothing and not all of it has absorbed into the fabric, remove as much of it as you can before you start washing it. This will help prevent the paint from spreading to clean parts of the fabric.

  • To remove paint, try blotting it up with a paper towel delicately
  • As an option, gently scrape it off with a putty knife
  • Try not to rub the paint into the fabric as you do this!

Flush the Stain

Once the majority of the paint is cleaned off of the surface of the fabric, take your garment to the sink and run the stained area under cold water.

Keep on rinsing until the water runs clear. It is best to do this from the clean side of the fabric. Like this, the paint won’t be accidentally rubbed into your clothing.

Hand Wash With a Detergent

Once the stain has been thoroughly rinsed, apply some detergent to the area that has been affected and scrub it. For the best results, we recommend you use one part of detergent and one part of water.

Dish soap or laundry detergent should both do the trick, but keep in mind that you may have to do it several times until the paint is removed!

However, note that in some cases you may see that rubbing the stain manually is not very effective.

Should this happen, you can try another approach: simply take a sponge or an old toothbrush and start scrubbing the stained area.

Hand Wash With a Detergent
AndrewLozovyi via VistaCreate

Machine Wash Your Clothes

After most of the paint has been removed by your hand, you can put your garment in the washing machine.

To wash it, remember to set it on a cold water regime with plenty of the detergent you typically use. This should get the rest of the stain out.

Now that you know how to remove wet stains of paint from your clothes, let’s compare this method to the approach needed for dry paint marks and splatters.

How to Remove Dry Fabric Paint From a Shirt And Other Clothes?

If your paint stain has already dried, it will be somewhat harder for you to get rid of it and clean your clothes. However, it is still possible. Only the cleaning technique will differ a bit.

Scrape Off As Much Paint As You Can

Before you begin to remove a dried paint stain with chemical cleaning products, you should do your best to remove as much dried paint as you can by hand.

Depending on the amount of paint that has dried on the fabric, you may be able to scrape some off with a blunt scraper like a putty knife.

As an alternative option, it may be possible for you to use a brass wire brush or a stiff nylon brush to remove some of the dried paint. Just use this method carefully to not scratch and damage the fabric!

Scrape Off As Much Paint As You Can
AntonMatyukha via VistaCreate

Apply a Solvent

Once you have removed as much excess paint as you can by scraping and brushing, the remaining paint will need to be softened. For that purpose, you can opt for one of several alcohol-based solvents.

And chances are high that you already have one of these products at home:

Apply a small amount directly to the paint and the product will begin loosening it. If you don’t have any of these solvents on hand, you can try an acetone-based nail polish remover or even hairspray (as long as it contains alcohol) as an alternative solution.

Scrub the Stain

Once the paint begins to break down and soften after the solvent is applied, scrub as much of the paint away as you can. For the best results and the most thorough cleaning, we suggest you use a brush with stiff bristles.

Once you’ve gotten most of the paint out, you can move the garment to the sink and continue scrubbing it with detergent and cold water.

Scrub the Stain
AndrewLozovyi via VistaCreate

Machine Wash Your Clothes

Finally, after you have finished all the hand-washing procedures with the stain, put your clothes in the washing machine and wash them in cold water with plenty of your usual detergent.

However, sometimes it happens that the paint we spill on our clothes can’t be removed. It may happen because the stain is way too big and it can’t be removed unnoticed.

Or if the damage is too massive and there are still paint marks left on the garment. Anyway, you need to know what to do in this case since it doesn’t mean that the item must go to the trash!

What to Do If Paint Can’t Be Removed?

If a paint stain can’t be washed or brushed off the garment, don’t stress. It may still be possible to save your favorite t-shirt or pants! Bellow, we suggest a few handy life hacks.

How To Take Off Fabric PaintsHow To Take Off Fabric Paints

Hem Your Clothing

If you got paint on the bottoms of your pants legs or sleeves, your clothing may be modified slightly to get rid of the stained area.

Simply raise the hem to convert your long pants to capris or your long-sleeved shirt to a ¾-sleeved shirt.

Make It Look Intentional

Fabric paint is meant to be applied to fabric, so the simplest way to save your garment is to apply more paint! Sounds ridiculous? But wait, here is what we mean: you can create a fun design on your clothing that incorporates the stain!

Like this, you will conceal the stained area and make your garment unique. No one will ever know that you didn’t intend to get paint on your clothes.

Cover the Affected Area

If you don’t want to apply more paint to the fabric, or if you don’t feel confident enough in painting fabrics, think about other ways you could hide the painted and stained areas on your garments.

For example, you could attach a decorative patch or even cover the area with sequins! Luckily, today we have plenty of options for this purpose!

Reuse the Fabric

If you can’t think of any way to save your garment, but you really like the fabric and you’d like to keep wearing it, you may be able to make something else out of it.

For example, if you got paint on your favorite blouse, try making a throw pillow out of the unstained portion of the fabric.

You may also be able to cut a large shirt with a paint stain into smaller pieces to make a child’s shirt.

Like this, now you know what can be done to get rid of paint stains on your clothes even if those stains are from the fabric paint.

You are now aware of the cleaning tips that will help you clean off et and dry paint, as well as deal with the stubborn and old stains.

In addition, with the help of a few tricks, you will be able to conceal some very old or bad stained areas on your clothes so that the garment can still be used!

Reuse the Fabric
tomwang via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐How can I remove nail polish from linen?

Try a strong soap like Oxy clean, it will probably do it. As an option, just use nail polish remover.

⭐Can a stain-removing pen remove fabric paint from clothes?

It depends on the severity of the paint stain. If it's thin and small, most likely, but if it's larger, speak to a professional.

⭐How to remove old puffy paint stain from a t-shirt?

By using a strong soap like OxiClean and letting the stain soak with some nail polish remover, it should just peel off.

 

Written by Melinda Sherween
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Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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