Recipe for Using Vinegar for Dried Paint Removal

Vinegar is a staple in most kitchen pantries, most often used to make pickles or combined with oil for flavorful vinaigrette salad dressing. However, if you're limiting vinegar to the kitchen, you're missing out on hundreds of household uses. Vinegar is an easy, inexpensive and effective way to remove dried, stuck-on paint from windows and other hard surfaces. Most importantly, vinegar is economical, environmentally friendly and removes stubborn paint with absolutely no dangerous chemicals or toxic fumes. If you don't like the aroma of vinegar, don't worry. The vinegary smell soon dissipates.

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Vinegar dissolves even old, stubborn paint.

Step 1

Heat a small amount of white distilled vinegar in a small saucepan. Alternatively, place the vinegar in a microwaveable bowl, and heat it in the microwave oven.

Step 2

Dip a clean paintbrush or a sponge in the hot vinegar. Dab the vinegar on the dried paint.

Step 3

Allow the vinegar to soften the paint for 10 to 15 minutes. If the paint is still stuck-on, reapply hot vinegar.

Step 4

Remove the loosened paint with a paint scraper. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove the vinegar and traces of paint.

M.H. Dyer

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.