I know I’m not the only one that goes to the shop to add one more coat of paint to a project or do some quick touch ups in my good clothes while telling myself that I won’t get anything on them then totally do.  On a few items, I’ve been lucky enough to get stain and paint out of my clothes (or at least greatly diminish their appearance) while others become my new designated shop wear.  Today’s story revolves around two items that are were not designated shop wear that fell victim to the above described scenario.  I got red acrylic paint on a favorite pair of jeans and some white water-based paint on a shirt.  The red is a little harder to see because I tried (unsuccessfully) to remove it with regular stain remover.

Come along with me as I show you one way to try to remove the paint.

Before you begin, you’ll want to check the paint to see if it has any special removal instructions as well as the care instructions on your clothes.  If the paint is wet, use a cotton ball to remove the excess.  Do not rub it as this may embed the paint in the fibers and make the stain bigger.  If the paint is dry, use a blunt edged instrument to scrape away what you can.  And finally, test any stain removal method on a small, hidden part of the clothing.

Ideally, you’ll catch the paint while it’s still wet.  In my case, the clothing items had ample time to dry before I noticed the paint then sat piled up for longer than I’d like to admit before I addressed them again.  Life.  What are you gonna do?

Here’s something I didn’t know before having to try to remove it – acrylic paint, though water-based, can be harder to remove once it’s dried due to plastic in the paint that gives it a glossy surface.  To start the process with dried acrylic paint, you’ll need to use an alcohol based cleaner (think rubbing alcohol, nail police remover, or hairspray) to break down the plastic surface.  I used rubbing alcohol.

I wet a cotton ball with the alcohol then rubbed it over the dried paint.  I kept going until I could see the paint starting to break down.  When it looked like I wasn’t making anymore progress, I moved on to the next step.

Spray the paint areas with stain remover.  I’ve recently started using Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover and it’s been working great.

Using a toothbrush, work the stain remover into the paint until it has gone away or at least mostly disappeared.  Make sure that the toothbrush you use has never been used with bleach.  This was a lesson learned the hard way on another favorite shirt.

The following picture is after the stain treatments but before washing.  You can see that the red paint is gone and the white paint has been greatly reduced.

Wash your clothes like normal but DO NOT put them in the dryer.  Just lay them out or hang them up to air dry.  If there is any residual paint, the dryer could seal it into the fabric.

Here are my results after one wash after treatment.

There is no more red on my jeans and the white on my shirt is not near as noticeable.  I’ll do another treatment to the shirt to see if I can get the rest of the paint out.

I’m thrilled with how this turned out!  My hope is to not get anymore paint on my clothes but when I inevitably do, I know I have this little trick in my back pocket.  If you find yourself in my same boat, I hope it works for you, too.

Do you have any other tricks for removing stain or paint from your clothes?  I’m sure there are lots of people out there who could greatly benefit from your tips!

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