How to Get Dried Paint Off of Leather

Leather is a durable and expensive material that will last for years with the proper care. When paint comes in contact with your leather, panic can set in. Paint can quickly cause a difficult-to-remove stain on your leather item. If possible, blot the fresh paint with absorbent paper towels. Once the paint dries on the leather, removal becomes more time consuming but not impossible. Various methods will remove the dried paint from your leather. If the first method is not successful, try another one.

Pour 2 cups of lukewarm water in a bucket. Add 1/4 cup of dish soap that does not contain bleach and mix together with a whisk. Continue mixing until foam forms.

Scoop up the suds with a clean sponge and gently rub the dried paint in a circular motion. When the sponge becomes soiled, rinse it clean under running lukewarm water. Scoop up more suds with the sponge and continue rubbing the dried paint until you have cleaned the leather.

Dampen a lint-free cloth with cool water and wipe the residue off the leather. Dampen a clean lint-free cloth with leather cleaner and conditioner. Buff the leather with the damp cloth and let the leather air-dry.

Pour 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol in a small dish. Dip the tip of a cotton swab in the rubbing alcohol. Alternatively, dampen a cotton swab with water-displacing spray.

Rub the dried paint in a circular motion with the damp cotton swab. Replace the soiled cotton swab with a fresh one and continue rubbing until you have removed the dried paint.

Wipe the residue off the leather with a lint-free cloth dampened with lukewarm water. Buff the leather as you normally would with leather cleaner and conditioner.


Test the paint removal method on an inconspicuous area of the leather. If damage or discolouration occurs, discontinue use.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • 1/4 cup dish soap that does not contain bleach
  • Whisk
  • Sponge
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Leather cleaner and conditioner
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • Small dish
  • Cotton swabs
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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.