How to Remove Dry Acrylic Paint Off of Fabric

Written by elton dunn
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How to Remove Dry Acrylic Paint Off of Fabric
(Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

It only takes a second to splatter acrylic paint on fabric, but getting dried acrylic paint out of fabric is another story altogether. Acrylic paint contains chemicals that make it quite difficult to remove, especially if the fabric is not colour safe. There are several home remedies to remove dried acrylic paint. None require costly or unusual supplies, but all need a bit of elbow grease to remove the dry paint.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ammonia
  • White vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Bowl
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic scraper
  • Washing powder
  • Hairspray
  • Pine cleaner
  • Liquid dish washing detergent

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  1. 1

    Combine 1 tsp each of ammonia and white vinegar. Add enough kosher salt to make a paste. Scrub the paste over the fabric stain. Rinse the paste off, and check the stain. Add more paste as needed, alternating scrubbing the acrylic stain with paste and rinsing the paste with water until you've removed all paint. This method may not be colour safe, since ammonia and vinegar can bleach the colour out of fabric, but it will remove the dry paint.

  2. 2

    Pour rubbing alcohol over the dried paint stain to saturate it. Then scrape at the stain with your fingernail or a plastic scraper. Work back and forth against the grain of the fabric in an attempt to lift the paint. Add more rubbing alcohol as needed, and work in this manner to remove as much of the dried acrylic paint as possible. Then wash the fabric in the washer with washing powder. Artist Claudine Hellmuth notes that this works for her 99 per cent of the time.

  3. 3

    Spray the dried acrylic paint until saturated with hairspray, a pine-based cleaner, or rubbing alcohol, advises website Mrs. Clean. Then rub the fabric with a rag to dislodge the paint. Repeat if necessary. Afterward, wash the fabric in the washing machine to remove remaining paint.

  4. 4

    Combine equal parts liquid dish washing detergent and warm water to make a soap solution. Then pour the soap solution onto the acrylic stain to saturate it. Rinse off the soap solution. Repeat these steps, saturating the stain with soap and rinsing the soap away, until you've removed all traces of paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Test all methods on a small portion of the fabric for colour resistance.
  • If machine washing is not possible (for a sofa cushion, for example), consider taking the fabric to a professional cleaner.

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