How to Safely Remove Paint or Glue From Plastics

Paint and glue are similar in that they both contain powerful adhesives formulated to help them bond to hard, non-porous surfaces. Unfortunately, these qualities make them both very difficult to remove. When it comes to removing paint or glue from plastics, there is a delicate balance between breaking down the adhesive chemicals and not damaging the very surface you are trying to save.

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Often, you can safely remove paint from plastics using simple olive oil as a lubricant.

Removing paint or glue from plastic

Step 1

Dampen a rag with turpentine. Apply the turpentine to the glue or paint that you want to remove, and allow it to soak for two minutes.

Step 2

Wipe away the glue or paint using a clean, dry rag. If any glue or paint remains on the plastic, dampen a new rag with mineral spirits. Apply the spirits to the remaining glue or paint, and allow it to soak for twenty seconds.

Step 3

Scrape away the paint using a plastic putty knife. Wrap a rag around the plastic knife to act as a buffer between the plastic surface and the putty knife. This will help prevent unintentional scratches and abrasions.

Step 4

Wipe away any mineral spirits that have not evaporated with a fresh, clean, dry rag.


Ryan Lawrence

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.