How to Remove Paint Pen Markings

By Contributing Writer

Paint pens are a convenient way to apply controlled amounts of paint to several different kinds of surfaces. They can be used for small projects or simple touch-ups. However, when misapplied, paint pens have the same effect as industrial or house paint and can be dissolved in a similar fashion. Removing paint pen markings requires appropriate solvents and cleaning materials. The proper method for cleaning an affected surface depends on the type of paint the pen contains.

Cotton balls and swabs
credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Cotton balls and swabs

Step 1

Read the paint pen product label to determine whether the paint has an oil or latex base. The latter is water-soluble and can be removed with much less effort than oil-based paint.

Step 2

Soak a dry rag in water and gently wipe the paint pen marking until it begins to thin. Latex paint will come off with water alone as long as it hasn't fully cured; it is considered fresh for two to three weeks.

Step 3

Apply a small amount of acetone to a cotton ball or pad. Lightly dab the affected surface to dissolve the paint marking; isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, is equally as effective in removing small amounts of dry oil and latex paint.

Step 4

Apply a general purpose stain remover as an alternative to home remedies. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper application. Most commercial products can be applied safely to virtually any surface to quickly remove dried latex paint stains.

Step 5

Rinse the excess paint and chemical solvent with a wet sponge or cloth. Eliminate the moisture on metal and other surfaces that may require special care.