Removing Acrylic Paint From Plastic

Modelers and crafters both paint plastic objects with acrylic paints. Sometimes this paint chips or wears down, necessitating the complete removal of the paint and a new paint job. Sometimes the paint just looks bad. For whatever reason, the paint will eventually have to be removed. There are two methods of removing acrylic paint from plastic that are highly effective. Both methods can be used alone or in conjunction with one another. The removal process is quick and effective, and most plastic can be painted again the same day.

Pour ½ cup of rubbing alcohol into a plastic bag. Place the plastic paint-covered items into the bag. Seal the bag. Shake the bag for about 1 minute to coat the plastic in the alcohol. Set the bag on a counter and allow the plastic to sit for about 10 minutes.

Remove the plastic items from the bag and rub them with an old toothbrush. Rub the plastic until most of the paint is removed.

Rinse the plastic objects with soap and warm water. If paint remains, continue on to the second removal method. If all of the paint is gone, allow the plastic to dry.

Place the plastic inside a large plastic bag. Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles when working with oven cleaner. Coat the plastic items with a spray of oven cleaner.

Close the plastic bag. Allow the plastic to sit for about 5 minutes without touching it or opening the bag.

Remove the plastic and rinse it with hot water. Most of the acrylic paint should come right off. Use an old toothbrush to scrape away any remaining paint from the surface of the plastic item.

Rinse the plastic with hot water and dish soap to remove all oven cleaner residue. Allow to dry before painting again.


Larger plastic items can be sprayed outdoors if they are too large to fit inside a plastic bag. Foam oven cleaners work better on plastic than plain spray oven cleaners. If you are sensitive to chemicals, wear a respirator when working with the oven cleaner. Always work in a well-ventilated area to prevent headaches or other health problems from oven cleaner fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Old toothbrush
  • Plastic bags
  • Oven cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Plastic container
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Isopropyl alcohol
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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.