Spray painting projects are some of my favorites because the payoff is so quick. BUT most spray paint projects require you to hold something while you’re painting and I always end up getting paint spots all over my hands.
I should wear gloves, but painting with gloves doesn’t give you the precision that you get when you use your bare hands. Leaving paint on your skin can cause skin irritation and embarrassment. It looks like you just didn’t wash your hands, but soapy water doesn’t do the trick.
Spray paint washes off with warm water and dish soap if you have the time to wait a few days. It takes a while because spray paint is typically oil-based paint. You can get water-based spray paint but the most widely available spray paints are all oil-based. If the cleanup instructions mention mineral spirits, it’s one of the easy ways to see that you are NOT dealing with acrylic paint. Latex paint is water-based and can be cleaned up with just water.
I’ve found three different ways to get stubborn spray paint stains off my skin without using a scrub brush. I’ll give you the answer first and you can read on if you want to learn the pros and cons of each method. Tub O’Towels is the best at getting spray paint off the skin. Two of these methods tested used use natural products that are not toxic. The third method uses harsh chemicals.
If you’re looking for spray paint inspiration (so you too can discover the quick way to transform anything), check out this guide for how to spray paint anything.
Effective Methods to Get Spray Paint Off Skin
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1. Cooking Oil – One common household item that can help remove stubborn pain is coconut oil. You could use avocado oil, vegetable oil or olive oil too (I didn’t try baby oil, but it would also probably work). If you rub these natural oils onto your skin, it also removes spray paint. It does take a little elbow grease and some paper towels. I suggest keeping one bottle that you set aside specifically for NON-kitchen use. Use the cheapest one on the market for this kind of thing.
2. Tub O Towels (Wipes) – My husband found these because he is always getting cycling grease all over his hands. These towels will even remove permanent markers like Sharpie. These towels come in a large tub. The ingredients are purified water, di-limonene, nonionic and anionic surfactants, dimethicone landing, propylene glycol, aloe extra, and vitamin E.
This was the best way to remove paint! It worked the fastest and was the easiest way to remove paint.
3. Nail Polish Remover – This works well when used with a cotton ball. You just rub the painted area in small circles. I think face masks should be a requirement when using nail polish remover. The smell is so strong because there are so many toxic chemicals. It’s good in a pinch, but try to avoid this method. Here’s an example of typical active ingredients in nail polish remover:
“acetone, perilla ocymoides seed oil, Linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, denatonium benzoate, parfum (fragrance), benzyl salicylate, linalool, hexyl cinnamal”
Do you really want to rub that all over your skin? I don’t want to get on a soapbox so I won’t but if you want to read more, click on the links for some of the common ingredients. There’s a reason it smells so bad. The polish remover can also irritate sensitive skin.
The next time you are getting ready to spray paint your lamp or frame, be sure to grab a package of Tub O Towels at Home Depot. Tub O Towels are a great way to get oil-based spray paint off of your skin and hands. You get better results in less time.