How to Remove Paint Stains From Clothes and Fabrics

Dripping paint on your clothes or other fabrics doesn't mean they're ruined. You can remove paint, from both oil- and water-based paint, from clothes and other fabrics such as drapes, blankets and upholstery. Just get to it while it's still wet and chances are excellent you'll be able to get it out completely.

You wear old clothes to paint, but not everyone thinks of it!

Step 1

Read the care label attached to the garment or item. In some cases, the best way to remove the paint from a particular item may not be the best general way to remove it. Use your discretion and err on the side of caution when using general methods to remove paint.

Step 2

To remove oil-based paint stain, first scrape off as much of the paint as you can with an old butter knife or similar tool. Then sponge on a bit of paint thinner and blot with paper towels. Repeat this several times until most or all the paint is gone. Rub liquid laundry detergent on the paint stain while the fabric is still wet with paint thinner. Hand wash the item in the hottest water possible and allow it to hang to dry.

Step 3

To remove water-based paint, rinse the fabric well with warm water. Apply an enzyme presoak stain remover along with warm water. Rinse again with warm water. Hand wash with a mild detergent and hang to dry.