How to Get Oil Paint off Leather

Written by kent page mcgroarty
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How to Get Oil Paint off Leather
Always cover furniture to avoid spills when painting. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Removing paint from any surface can be a challenge, whether it be fabric, upholstery or leather. While different methods are used for removing oil paint as opposed to acrylic or latex paint, both types require immediate removal if possible and scraping with a knife when dry. Remember to always read the label of the paint you are using to find out if it is oil- or water-based, and use household items to remove oil paint stains from leather items such as clothing, car seats, sofas and purses.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paper towels or clean cloths
  • Knife
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Mild soap
  • Container
  • Leather cleaner

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  1. 1

    Blot the wet paint stains with a paper towel or clean cloth to try to remove as much of the paint as possible. Do not rub the stain, which can cause it to spread.

  2. 2

    Use a knife to lift and scrape dry paint stains off the leather. Be careful not to puncture or chop the leather.

  3. 3

    Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the stain to help remove it. Gently blot the stain to absorb the olive oil and the paint.

  4. 4

    Make a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water. Swish the mixture around to create a lot of soap suds. Apply the foam only to the leather with a sponge and remove the suds with a clean dry cloth.

  5. 5

    Apply a leather cleaner for persistent paint stains. Use a clean, soft cloth to gently rub the cleaner into the stain.

Tips and warnings

  • Dry-cleaning solvents may also be used to lift paint stains from leather. However, solvents should be tested on old leather pieces before being applied to the stained leather. Apply solvents carefully to the stained leather and allow to dry, then follow with an application of leather cleaner or saddle soap, a type of soap specifically designed for cleaning leather.

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