How to Clean Paint From a Plastic Bucket

Dried paint on a plastic bucket gives the appearance of an old, dirty pail. Starting a project with clean working tools will give you a good attitude. Use some common and inexpensive items in your home to give your plastic bucket a more presentable look. It's an easy, quick project.

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Plastic buckets are a handy household item as long as they're clean.

Step 1

Pour unused paint into the original paint container. Wipe the inside and outside of the bucket with a paper towel and place the paper towel inside a plastic bag before disposing. Wash the bucket with soap and water.

Step 2

Remove latex paint with rubbing alcohol. Saturate the paint and cover it with plastic to prevent evaporation. Remove the plastic and wipe the paint from the bucket, using a cleaning cloth. Wash the bucket with soap and water.

Step 3

Apply small amounts of kerosene, alcohol, acetone, turpentine, or lighter fluid to remove oil paint. Use a clean cloth to apply the remover to the paint. Test a small area to ensure you won't damage the plastic. Wash the bucket with soap and water after the paint is removed.

Step 4

Remove enamel paint with a paint stripper, lacquer thinner or acetone. Apply the cleaner with a cleaning cloth and wipe away the paint. Finish cleaning the bucket with soap and water.


Emma Lee

Emma Lee owns a photography website and also works as a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, animals and photography. Her work can be found on various websites. Lee attended Charles County Community College located in Maryland.