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Tips for Latex Paint Removal

Tips for Latex Paint Removal

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From household tools to rubbing alcohol and chemical removers, you have a few options when it comes to latex paint removal. Be sure to practice safety when removing latex paint.

The Basics
Rubbing alcohol is an invaluable tool, as it can liquefy even the oldest of paint. If the paint is still wet, soap and water can do the trick. Latex paint also can be removed from clothing by machine washing after soaking in water. If cleaning up a spill, try to remove as much of the paint as possible. If it is dry, try to use pliers to scrape clean the paint, but take care not to damage the original surface, especially carpets. A putty knife also is a good paint removal tool, especially on clothes. Dish washing detergent and lukewarm water also can be used to remove stubborn carpet stains.

Paint Removal Agents
There also are water-based latex paint removal products available on the market. You can mix these with water, then blot the paint that you would like to remove. Use a chemical remover as a last resort, and test it first to make sure that you don’t tarnish the surface. You also need to match up the remover with the type of paint that you are trying to remove. While universal latex paint removers are available, try to find one that is specific to your surface. Chemical paint removers and the fumes they emit during paint removal are dangerous. When removing latex paint from glass and wooden surfaces, use a little bit of turpentine.

Thicker and Older Layers
For multiple paint layers of latex paint removal, consider buying a strong paint stripper. Beware, however, that paint before 1970 contains lead. It is important to prevent exposure of you and your pets to this volatile paint once it is removed. Be sure to avoid inhalation and wear the proper safety gear.


To prevent the need for latex paint removal, be sure to section off areas that don’t need to be painted with masking tape and drop cloths. This includes any furniture, which should be pushed to the center of the room during painting. Never leave a paint spill or chemical paint removal unattended, where people and animals can be exposed.

See also: 

How to Remove Oil Based Paint

Latex vs. Oil Based Paint: Benefits of Each

Paint Disposal: Do It Right

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