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How to Remove Paint Stain From Leather

Updated November 21, 2016

Leather is a very porous fabric made from the skin of cow, goat, sheep or pig. It is primarily used in handbags, gloves, shoes, cars and upholstery and is usually considered a high-end product. Because leather absorbs moisture readily, it stains easily and can be difficult to clean. Some stains, such as paint, can be particularly hard to remove from leather. There are a few methods to removing paint stains from a leather item.

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  1. Wipe up as much of the paint as possible while it is still wet. Once paint dries, it is significantly more difficult to remove from leather.

  2. Dampen the area with a little water if the paint has dried and then gently scrape the paint off with a small blade, such as a razor blade. Move the blade in a careful sideways motion to prevent cutting the leather.

  3. Apply some rubbing alcohol to a clean, soft cloth and rub on the paint stain. Do not saturate the leather, as this will only stain the fabric further. Allow to air dry.

  4. Try some saddle soap on a damp, clean cloth and rub in circular motions on the paint stain. Again, do not saturate the leather, as this will only create a bigger stain. Allow to air dry.

  5. Apply some leather cleaner, which is available at many drugstores and hardware stores, to a damp, clean cloth. Rub in circular motions on the paint stain. Allow to dry thoroughly and follow with a small amount of leather conditioner applied to a clean, dry cloth.

  6. Warning

    If you have concerns or difficulties removing stains from leather, take the item to a professional dry cleaner for assistance.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloth(s)
  • Razor blade
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Saddle soap
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner

About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.

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