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If you’re an artist, home decorator, project manager, or just someone who forgot to cover up every inch of the space before spray painting, you will understand the pain that comes with removing unwanted paint from glass. It’s easy to get messy while trying to paint, but it takes determination and patience to remove that dreaded splotch of spray paint from your newly painted window.
Of course, you could always buy a new window, but why would you do that when there are ways to remove spray paint from the glass without having to buy a new window. Using a cleaning solvent pops up as the first thing in your mind, and rightfully so, but there are many different options available in the market- not all of them really work.
In this article, we have combined several ways, including both chemical and natural, to help you in learning how to remove spray paint from glass. But before that, you must learn how to prepare for the process!
Steps To Follow Before Cleaning Spray Paint Spray Paint From Glass
There are several methods to remove paint spots, as outlined in the comprehensive guide below. But first, here are some protective measures to take. They should be followed methodically to safeguard yourself, the house flooring, and the glass objects you will be working on.
- First and foremost, use a large piece of plastic wrap to cover the entire area that you will be working on. You can purchase a roll from your local neighborhood store – it doesn’t have to be overly large since you’ll cover up all glass objects with plastic before starting any cleaning process.
- Put on some gloves to keep the paint off your hands as well as to protect them from harsh chemicals. Cleaning solutions can sometimes contain harsh chemicals that may irritate your skin.
- Cover the flooring with a tarp. This will hinder exposure of paint from spraying all over the hardwood floors, as well as make cleaning up much easier for you later on.
- Ensure the space you’re in is well-ventilated so you don’t breathe in hazardous fumes during the cleaning process. Consider opening windows or turning on circulation fans while the paint is scraping off.
Once you’ve successfully completed these steps, you can move on to remove spray paint from glass. These are the following methods that we recommend you may use.
1. Removing Spray Paint From Glass Using Vinegar
This is one of the natural methods that you can use if you’re not a fan of chemical solvents. The acid in the vinegar breaks down paint stains, and the pungent vinegar scent fades with time, and what’s best is that it works on fiberglass as well. Here’s how to use it:
Step 1: Pick a microwave-safe bowl and pour the white vinegar solution into it. Please set it to boil for around 4 minutes in the microwave.
Step 2: Use your gloves and carefully place the bowl safely from yourself and the object you want to clean. Dip the cleaning cloth into the boiled vinegar solution and then put it on top of the paint stain.
Step 3: Scrub the surface with force to remove the paint. Do not use too much pressure, however, or you will end up damaging the glass.
Step 4: Let it sit for around 15 minutes before using a microfiber cloth dipped in soap solution to wipe it off. You can then either air dry or pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Removing Spray Paint From Glass Using Alcohol
Alcohol is divided into two types: rubbing alcohol and denatured alcohol. When considering the two, be aware that the latter is considerably more powerful, making it ideal for stubborn spray paint. On the other hand, the former is appropriate for thinner than regular fresh paint.
Step 1: Loosen the hardened paint by scrubbing it using a microfiber cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol solution.
Step 2: If you’re using denatured alcohol as a paint stripper, be extra cautious as it is very potent. To test if it suits the glass, lay a dry rag with a little bit of denatured alcohol on it over an inconspicuous location and make sure you don’t scratch the surface. If it is good to go, scrub paint stains using the same dampened cloth.
Step 3: Wipe the glass with warm soapy water using a clean cloth. If you are dissatisfied with the results, repeat the process again.
3. Removing Spray Paint From Glass Using Acetone
Using acetone (nail polish remover) on any glass as a cleaning solution is ideal when you only have a bit of spray paint to remove. Acetone is a flammable solvent, so it is important to remember that caution and safety should be your number one priority when working with this substance.
Step 1: Pour acetone into a bowl and dip a microfiber cloth in it.
Step 2: For a few minutes, apply the cleaning cloth to the dried paint. Scrub away the stain using the microfiber cloth once the acetone begins to loosen it.
Step 3: Use a fresh cleaning rag dipped in warm water to wipe off the excess acetone. Now for the final step, use either soap water, or glass cleaner to make sure the surface is clean.
Pro Tip: Acetone does not work significantly on fiberglass as it melts the material. For cases such as this, be sure to check if it’s okay on a hidden area before trying it out on the surface.
4. Removing Spray Paint From Glass Using Mineral Spirits
For those of you who don’t know, mineral spirits are an alternative kind of paint thinner that is derived from petroleum. The biggest drawback is that they work on fresh paints only, so if you’re looking to take instant actions after spilling paint, they will come in handy. To use it, you’ll need to follow the steps below;
Step 1: Pour ¼ cup of mineral spirits into a bowl. Dip the cloth in the solution and scrub away at the dried paint until it disappears.
Step 2: Once done, dip another cloth into warm water and dip it in the dish, then use that to wipe off everything.
Step 3: When finished, clean with soap, water, or glass cleaner to get rid of any leftovers. Leave it to dry.
5. Removing Spray Paint From Glass Using Pressure Washer
Cleaning spray paints off windows, both outsides, and insides, can be easier if you have a power washer. It doesn’t matter how old or new your windows are, as this method works on anything. For maximum results, be sure to follow these steps;
Step 1: Prepare water and mix with dish soap (dish soap is preferable because it cuts through the grease). If you don’t have dish soap, you can use another type of detergent.
Step 2: Spray the paint with water in a circular motion. Simply make sure the water is turned on at low pressure so that we don’t break the glass during cleaning. Once you’ve found the ideal pressure for the nozzle, spray it at an angle of 35 to 45 degrees.
Step 3: Scrub off any remaining paint with a sponge, finishing off with dry paper towels.
6. Removing Spray Paint From Glass Using Paint Scraper/Razor Blade
This method is highly effective on car windows as it gets rid of the dried paint at its surface without damaging the glass. It is also worth mentioning that this works best after you’ve failed to remove the paint using the above-mentioned solvents.
Step 1: Keep the blade’s edge at a 90-degree angle against the paint surface. If you want to, you can spray on some lubricant (WD40 or similar) so that it will scrape off easier because of its slipperiness.
Step 2: Keep an eye on the edge of the scraper so as not to scratch other areas. Be sure not to press too hard, or you might wreck the paint.
Step 3: After removing all of the paint spots, wash the glass with warm soapy water or a glass cleaner and dry it with a clean microfiber cleaning cloth or paper towels.
Pro Tip: Using a scraper or razor blade is advised solely when your glass is wet. If you hear any scratching or gritty noises, stop immediately and check that your razor blade or scraper is sharp. Replace the scraper blade if necessary.
7. Removing Spray Paint From Glass Using Turpentine
Most manufacturers suggest using turpentine as a thinner for oil-based paint. It is often used as a less expensive alternative to mineral spirits. It would be best if you took the necessary precautions when you use turpentine because it is a toxic substance.
If you do decide to try this method, make sure that the windows are well-ventilated and there is no open fire nearby. Follow the mentioned steps to scrub off paint easily:
Step 1: Dip a cotton ball or clean rag in the turpentine and apply it to the paint spots for a few minutes to loosen the stain.
Step 2: Remove the paint once it’s softened with a dry cloth.
Step 3: Wash the area after you’re finished with a glass cleaner or warm soapy water and let it air dry.
8. Removing Spray Paint from Glass with Fine Steel Wool
Even though using fine steel wool to remove spray paint from glass can be a bit tedious, it is effective and safe simultaneously. Here’s how you should use it;
Step 1: Start by lubricating the glass surface with warm soapy water or olive oil to reduce the chances of scratching it.
Step 2: Gently scrub off the paint until it’s all gone and you can see a new clean surface.
Step 3: Repeat if necessary before finally removing residue with a glass cleaner or warm soapy water.
Pro Tip: Do not use steel wool that is coarse as it will scratch the glass
How To Remove Graffiti From Glass
Paint spills are an unavoidable aspect of any house renovation or craft project. The good news is that cleaning paint off the glass is simple. Even if you find yourself stuck in a situation of graffiti vandalism, it is possible to overcome that by learning a few steps.
Before learning how to remove graffiti from glass, you must know what type of paint was used. This will help determine what materials and solvents you’ll need to break down the paint’s binder, which allows for easier removal. Once you’ve done this, apply some high-pressure water with a gun nozzle, followed by using one of the paint removal methods.
However, If the spray paint removal methods listed in this article don’t work, you might need to purchase a specific graffiti remover from your local hardware store or online. We suggest you go for a mild cleaning solvent that won’t cause much damage to the glass as well.
We hope that you found this guide useful enough to help you remove the paint in question. There are several options to choose from, so be sure to pick one that won’t cause damage or scratches on your glass surfaces. Remember that it is not difficult to remove spray paint from glass as long as you have the right tools and solvents at hand.