How to Use Turpentine to Get Paint Off of Your Hands

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Turpentine

  • Clean cloth

  • Soap

  • Water


Wear gloves and other protective clothing while painting to reduce skin's exposure to paint.


Safely store turpentine out-of-reach from children. If turpentine gets into the eyes, flush the affected eyes with water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention.

Safely use turpentine to get paint off of your hands.

Not all types of paint can be removed from skin with just soap and water. Turpentine is an effective paint solvent and can remove most paints and varnishes from skin. Because turpentine is flammable and an irritant to skin and eyes, it should only be used to remove paint from skin when other methods have failed. When using turpentine to remove paint from your skin, do so in a well-ventilated area away from children.


Step 1

Moisten a clean cloth with one tablespoon of turpentine. The cloth does not need to be saturated to effectively remove paint from your skin.

Step 2

Rub the paint stained skin with the moistened cloth. The turpentine should be applied gently to prevent irritation.

Step 3

Wash the skin with soap and cool water. The process can be repeated until the skin is entirely paint-free.



Stella Bennett

Stella Bennett began writing in 2007 when she went to work at a non-profit substance abuse treatment facility, where she wrote grant proposals and copy for radio advertisements. Bennett holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary social sciences from the University of West Florida; her areas of study were education, political science and cultural anthropology.