How to Remove Paint From Plastics

Updated March 23, 2017

Whether you want to change the existing paint on a plastic surface or you accidentally spilt paint on a plastic object, removing paint from this material can be a tedious process, but it can be done. Rubbing alcohol acts as a solvent with the paint to allow easy and safe removal.

Take off as much paint as you can using a razor or putty knife tool. Scrape the paint from a 45-degree angle to the plastic surface to avoid damaging the object.

Pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and apply it across the areas where paint residue can still be seen. If the painted surface is larger, you can pour the alcohol directly onto the object with the cotton ball.

Wait five minutes to allow the rubbing alcohol to react with the excess paint.

Remove the rest of the paint off with paper towels. Reapply the rubbing alcohol to areas that are still affected until all the paint is removed.

Clean the surface with warm water and dry it off with a piece of dry cloth. This will remove any paint residue and rubbing alcohol on the plastic surface.


Use of solutions without solvents can result in damaging the plastic surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Razor knife
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Dry cloth (lint-free)
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About the Author

Paul Lin has been writing professionally since 2010. He has written scripts for the National Science Foundation and short films that have won awards at film festivals. Lin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scriptwriting from the University of North Texas.