How to get gloss paint out of clothes? – Full Guide

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In this article, we will tell you how to get gloss paint out of clothes.

Paint stains are usually an integral part of any DIY activity. Besides this, each time we decided to refresh walls in our household, it usually ends with a couple of unwanted paint stains. While you may think, that those are permanent, usually you can do something about them.

The fact is, that you will have to act fast. Each hour will make the whole process harder, as the paint dries and reaches deep down into the fabric. Waiting longer will also force you to use more professional cleaning agents with harsh chemicals. As a result, it can damage the clothes when used inappropriately.

The steps you have to take will also be different depending on the type of paint. Today, we will focus on the gloss paint, and how to effectively tackle all the clothes stains. That being said, the process will be very similar on other surfaces.

Without further ado, let’s get into the proper part of the article.

How to get gloss paint out of clothes?


Getting gloss paint out of clothes will differ slightly depending on the type of paint. We will discuss water-based and oil-based paints below. Although, if you are looking for a quick answer – To remove the gloss paint out of clothes, you have to scrape off the excess, and put a towel under the stained spot. Then use a paint thinner, and some kind of cleaning solution.

That being said, we highly recommend reading the well-detailed answer below. It’s best to use the most optimal method for a particular type of paint. What’s more, if a particular paint has cleaning instructions, go ahead and use those for the most optimal cleaning.

If you want to do the cleaning properly, the first thing to do is find out the type of fabric and the type of paint. Based on those decided if you want to treat the stain yourself, or take the item to the specialist. Delicate, and high-quality fabrics such as silk, wool, or synthetics will be much harder to clean. You have to be careful when dealing with those.

Removing water-based paint

If you decided, that you want to take care of the stain yourself, you should find out the type of paint. Removing water-based paint will differ slightly from oil-based paint. Thankfully, most of the gloss paints, that are used in households are water-based, meaning, they are easier to remove.

  1. Scrape the excess – The first thing to do is scrape any excess paint, that is left on the stained spot. Any dull item will work, such as a spoon, or the back of the fork. Doing this will make the rest of the cleaning quicker, and more convenient.
  2. Wash with warm water – The next step is to run the item through warm water, however, you need to turn it inside out. Sometimes, this will work much better than expected, and you won’t have too much to do after that. That is only if the paint wasn’t too harsh, and you got to this point soon enough.
  3. Use some kind of solution – We always recommend using homemade solutions, as they tend to be much less damaging. A standard mix would be a cup of cool water with a tablespoon of laundry detergent. Dip some old tower in the solution, and gently blot the stained fabric. Repeat this process until the stain is gone, taking 5-10 minute breaks.
  4. Rinse the fabric in water – After the stain is gone, you can go ahead and rinse it with cool water. This will get rid of any leftover solution, leaving you with a fully clean fabric. After that, we recommend air-drying it.

Those are all the most important steps when cleaning water-based paint stains. As we mentioned earlier, most of the household gloss stains will be water-based, however, always double-check to be sure.

If the stain is more stubborn, and the steps above didn’t work, you can try using rubbing alcohol or non-acetone nail varnish remover. Be sure to gently tap the stain, and wash it thoroughly after cleaning with cold water.

Removing oil-based paint

Removing oil-based paint starts from reading any stain removal instructions, given by the manufacturer. This is because, often you may need some kind of paint removal or thinner, that’s listed by the manufacturer. These cleaners often have harsh chemicals, therefore, be sure to use them in well-ventilated areas or outside.

  1. Scrape the excess – Once again, we will start by removing any leftover paint. This can be a little harder compared to water-based paint, and the time is even more important.
  2. Put an old towel under the stained area – This is crucial, as you don’t want the paint to transfer onto another area of the garment. Turn it inside out, and put an old towel under the stained area. Keep in mind, that the towel can get pretty dirty.
  3. Use a paint thinner – Before using any professional cleaner, we strongly suggest doing a quick test. Put it first on an inconspicuous place, so you know, that the fabric won’t get damaged. If the pain thinner is safe, dip another towel in the formula, and carefully blot the stained area on both sides.
  4. Finish with nail polish remover – If the paint thinner wasn’t safe for the fabric, try to use a nail polish remover. You can also try one if the paint thinner didn’t do enough. Once again, we suggest checking it first on an inconspicuous place.
  5. Wash the garment – After the stain is gone, you can go ahead and wash this piece of cloth like usual.

Those are pretty much all important steps when dealing with oil-based gloss paint. This should be enough, otherwise, we would recommend bringing the garment to the specialist.

Frequently asked questions

Does nail polish remover remove paint?

Yes, nail polish remover does a pretty good job at removing all types of paint. It’s due to the fact, that it was designed for dealing with hard-to-remove materials.

Will vinegar and baking soda remove paint?

This will depend on the type of surface – Vinegar and baking soda should do completely fine when removing paint from metal. However, when dealing with clothes, we would recommend going with the formulas listed above.

How do you get gloss paint off a couch?

The process of removing gloss paint off a couch is very similar to removing it from the garment. That being said, you will have to use cleaning solutions, that are safe for the couch’s material. Many people suggest using alcohol or acetone.


In conclusion, removing gloss paint out of clothes isn’t too complicated. Even though at the first sight, it may look like your clothes are completely ruined, there’s still a way to save them. The fact is, that the sooner you start the cleaning process, the better. Each hour will make the process harder.

Depending on the type of gloss paint used, the process will differ slightly. However, a quick answer would be to scrape the excess paint, put a towel under the garment, use the proper cleaning solution, and wash like usual.

Removing oil-based gloss paint is a little harder, compared to the water-based one. Thankfully, most household gloss paints are water-based.

We hope, that after reading this article, you will be satisfied with your final choice.