How to Clean Overspray Off

Written by dale yalanovsky
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How to Clean Overspray Off
Overspray can be cleaned off without much difficulty. (paint image by jeancliclac from

Overspray is the commonly used term when spray paint is inadvertently sprayed on other items not meant to be painted. Virtually any paint that is used in a spray can or spray gun can be accidentally sprayed onto another surface. When that happens, cleaning overspray is best done when the paint is still moist; when the paint dries, it becomes much more difficult to remove.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Damp rag
  • Latex paint remover
  • Rag
  • Paint or lacquer thinner
  • Hobby brush
  • Utility razor blade
  • Liquid automotive wax

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  1. 1

    Dampen a rag and wipe latex paint overspray off immediately when it is still wet. Dampen a rag with latex paint remover and wipe off dried latex paint.

  2. 2

    Dip a rag into paint or lacquer thinner, then wipe oil-based overspray. Apply paint thinner to overspray on rougher surfaces like brickwork, stucco and cement, then brush it with a hobby brush to loosen and remove the oil-based paint.

  3. 3

    Scrape any painted overspray from windows using a utility razor blade. Push the blade end over the window glass to scrape off the paint blotches.

  4. 4

    Dip a rag into liquid automotive wax to remove automotive paint overspray. Rub it on like you would normally wax your vehicle.

Tips and warnings

  • It is far easier to remove an oil-based paint when it is still wet then to remove it when dry; a simple damp wipe of thinner will do the job.
  • Wear rubber gloves when handling paint or lacquer thinner.

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