How to Get Paint Off Skin

How to Get Paint Off Skin

Whether you are renovating the guest room of your house or painting the next Mona Lisa, paint residue is no easy task to get off of your body. With the help of a few household items, you can eliminate any residual paint left on your skin to go back to your day pain-free. This article will teach you the safest and most efficient ways of how to get paint off skin.

Dangers of Paint on Your Skin

Paint can cause irritation when on your skin for a prolonged time. It may also cause rashes or even create an allergic reaction. Learning how to safely remove paint from your skin will help mitigate the risks of having it on you in the future.

Soap and Water

Every household has soap and water on standby. It is the most accessible option on this list and is the quickest remedy as well. Unfortunately, soap and water are not as effective as other options as some paint types are more resilient to water. Oil-based paints are usually unaffected by water so a different option should be used for that paint type. Soap and water work great to clean latex-based paints as the acrylic resin can be scrubbed off.

Although it may not be the effective option on this list it is definitely helpful in loosening up any paint residue or build-up.

If this method is not loosening up the paint you should move on to another method below. There are other stronger methods that can be used to effectively remove paint. 

Dish Soap

Dish soap is one of the most common household items. Dish soap is used to help combat oil and grease, and it works great on hands and arms as well. This is one of the most accessible and easy options on this list, it is one of the more common options for cleaning paint off of hands and arms.

Additionally, dish soap is a gentle detergent that is skin-friendly, perfect for this task!

Baby Oil

Oil-based paint is resistant to being removed by water because the two do not mix. Fortunately, oil mixes well with other oils. Therefore, baby oil is a good option to help remove oil-based paints, and even olive oil may do the job. Before using any oil, make sure it is safe for use on your skin.

When using oil, treat it like soap and rub it thoroughly onto the area affected by paint. Similar to soap, make sure to wash it off afterward and be prepared to repeat this until you are satisfied with the result.

Cooking Spray

Cooking spray is found in almost every house’s kitchen. It is an easy-to-use oil option for paint removal. 

Its oil can work well in removing oil-based paint. Simply spray a good coat of this on any areas affected by paint and then scrub off the spray. You may need to keep spraying coats and scrubbing them off to get rid of heavy layers of paint. This may take several sessions to complete. 


Acetone is the main ingredient in nail polish remover. This means that its purpose is to remove paint off surfaces. Acetone is generally skin safe so it is a good option for getting paint off of the skin, especially if you need to do so right away and other methods have failed. However, you should use acetone sparingly because you do not want to further harm your skin.

It is suggested that you try other methods before turning to acetone. I’d recommend only using acetone if the paint build-up has hardened and will not loosen from soap and water.

Petroleum Jelly

Another oil-based option is petroleum jelly which is mild enough for use on babies and unlikely to damage your skin but may be less effective than other oil options. Petroleum jelly will remove oil-based paints, but be forewarned that it could cause them to spread to surrounding areas. Make sure you check that the paint is removed and in the sink, not on other parts of your skin,

Similar to soap and water, this option can be used to loosen up the paint buildup but may not be entirely effective on its own. You may need to use a different option after this one to ensure the paint is gone.

How To Get Paint off Skin Conclusion

Most paint types are not skin-friendly, it is in your best interest to try and avoid getting any on your skin in the first place. Paint is known to cover up your pores, preventing your skin from breathing and creating acne breakouts. It is not uncommon for people to develop rashes or blemishes on their skin.

Protective equipment can be worn to help prevent paint-related accidents. Gloves, eyewear, long sleeve shirts, or overalls are all good ways to combat paint residue. Although it may be difficult to clean skin with paint on it, it should not be the reason why you do not complete home projects or art. 

With the options above you will be able to stay clean and help prevent paint from sticking onto your hands and arms.

Written by: Ryan Knight

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