How to Get Oil Paint Out of Clothes

Sharing is caring!

So, you have been invited to a paint and sip party where the lesson will involve painting with oil paints. Obviously, you will want to wear old clothing that you aren’t worried about.

But, what happens if you do get oil paint on your clothing? How do you get out oil paint from clothes?

After all, there are bound to be some messes made, no matter how careful you are. Just tossing your clothes into the washer isn’t going to help.

Knowing how to get dried oil paint out of your clothes can help you to feel more relaxed throughout the painting process. You won’t be worrying as much about your clothes, so you can enjoy painting even more.

Today we are going to take a look at some of the best ways to remove oil paint from clothing. Let’s get started.

#1. Try Using Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Oil paint and nail polish have some similarities. For instance, they both go on wet and once they are dry, they aren’t easy to remove from fabrics.

I have successfully used nail polish remover with acetone to get oil paint off my clothing after a painting session. This is one of the least expensive options, and you can find it anywhere that sells nail polish. You can also use acetone to get latex paint out of clothes.

One thing to keep in mind is that acetone can bleach certain fabrics. Be sure to check the care label on your clothes before using this method.

Be sure to read the label on the acetone carefully, and follow all of the directions. Acetone has a very harsh odor, and there are safety warnings to consider. Only use acetone in a well-ventilated area.

Scrub the stained area with acetone until the paint disappears. Immediately after doing this, put your clothes in the washing machine.

By the way, I wouldn’t suggest using acetone to remove oil based paint from carpet, because it might could cause the carpet color to fade.

#2. White Vinegar May Work

A safer method for removing oil paint from clothing is to use distilled white vinegar. This is very well-known for its cleaning abilities, and it is also used as a deodorizer and sanitizer.

How does white vinegar work for cleaning oil paint stains? It contains acetic acid, which is natural. The acetic acid breaks down the chemicals in paint that have hardened and makes it easy to wash the paint out of clothes.

When I teach oil painting techniques at paint and sip classes, I always bring a mixture of four cups of distilled white vinegar and two cups of water in a couple of spray bottles.

Shake up the mixture, and spray it directly on the paint spot. Allow it to soak for about 20 minutes, and then wash in the machine as normal. If there is still a paint stain, you can repeat this method.

#3. Use Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Instead of tossing your paint-covered clothes into the washing machine with regular detergent, try using a concentrated laundry detergent. This involves applying the detergent directly onto the paint and scrubbing with a brush in a back and forth motion.

Allow the clothes to sit for about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with clear water, and wash in the washing machine to get rid of the last of the paint.

#4. Paint Thinner Often Works

Seeing as how paint thinner is used to clean paintbrushes, it only makes sense that it would also work to remove paint stains from clothing. I like to use turpentine for this purpose because it breaks down the dried paint and dissolves it from many different surfaces.

One drawback to using paint thinner is that it has a particularly strong odor. It is also very dangerous if ingested or if it gets onto your skin. I advise wearing gloves while using turpentine to clean paint from clothing, and keeping it out of reach of children and pets.

Another drawback is that turpentine is quite harsh. It could cause damage to certain types of fabrics. Turpentine is usually used to clean oil paint from brushes. Again, read the care label before using this method of removing paint from clothing.

I recommend testing the turpentine on a small section of the fabric to make sure it is going to work without damaging the fabric. If there is no damage, you can continue cleaning the rest of the paint stain.

#5. Dawn Cuts Grease, and Oil Paint

Since dish liquid is made to cut through grease, it only makes sense that it can break down oil paint and remove dried oil based paint from clothes. It can also be used to remove coconut oil and other oily substances from fabric.

All you need to do is mix a little bit of dish soap (just a few drops will do nicely) with a little bit of water. Use a soft brush or a cloth to rub the mixture into the stain.

Rub the mixture in a back and forth motion. This will help to loosen the paint so it washes away easier.

Rinse the area with cool water, and keep repeating until the paint is virtually gone.

Final Thoughts

While the methods we discussed today are the most common ways to remove oil paint from your clothes, there are also a couple of non-traditional methods that may also work.

You can try using duct tape to get rid of the paint stain. Place the tape over the stain, and press it into the paint. The adhesive will stick to the paint, and when you pull the tape off, a lot of the paint should come right off with the tape. You may have to repeat this method once or twice to get rid of all of the oil paint.

Another option is to use a butter knife. Place the fabric on a flat surface, and use something heavy to hold it in place.

Use the butter knife to gently scrape away the paint particles. If you are unable to loosen the paint with this method, or if it starts to damage the fabric, try another gentler method.

If you are taking part in a sip and paint class where oil painting techniques are being taught, remember to not wear your best outfits. If you do get any oil paint on your clothes, try using the methods we talked about today to make them look great again.

Don’t forget to check my guide on how to store oil paint tubes to avoid spillage.

See more: