How to remove paint off sofa fabric when you are at home

Written by faith mcgee
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How to remove paint off sofa fabric when you are at home
Be careful when painting near a sofa. (Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Paint can easily spill on sofa fabric during home improvement and painting projects. There are two different types of paint that are commonly used: latex paint and oil-based paint. Both require varying steps for removal. Latex paints are reduced with water during their production, while oil-based paint contains white spirit as a coalescing agent. Therefore, oil-based paint stains are more difficult to get out than their water-based counterparts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Towel
  • Liquid detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Paint thinner
  • Cotton swab
  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Towels

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    Latex-paint stain

  1. 1

    Dab at the paint stain with a white towel if it is still wet. Refrain from making a rubbing movement, or the paint stain will spread to the surrounding fabric.

  2. 2

    Spray the area with cool water from a spray bottle. Mix 1 tbsp of liquid detergent with 237 ml (1 cup) of cool water and dab at the stain with a moist towel.

  3. 3

    Rinse the soapy detergent off the sofa by spraying the area with water until it runs clear. Press the area with a clean, white towel or paper towels to dry. Place a fan next to the sofa to help dry the wet area.

    Oil-based stain

  1. 1

    Apply a small amount of paint thinner to the stain using a cotton swab. Continue to dab at the stain with the swab until the paint begins to lift.

  2. 2

    Scrape some of the paint off with a knife or spoon as you are dabbing at the stain. Spray the stained area with warm water from a spray bottle.

  3. 3

    Mix 1 tsp of liquid detergent with 237 ml (1 cup) of warm water. Dip a towel in the mixture and dab at the area. Rinse with warm water and press down with a towel to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a clear liquid detergent when cleaning fabrics because some detergents with dye can stain clothing.
  • Check the label on the sofa for the manufacturer's cleaning instructions and follow any recommended instructions. Avoid using a cleaning product that has not been recommended.
  • Test a hard-to-see area of the sofa before using any cleaning product.

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