Looking to remove spray paint for vinyl siding?
Perfect, you're in the right place! In This Pro Paint Corner guide you'll learn:
- How to remove spray paint from your vinyl siding
- The supplies needed to remove spray paint from vinyl siding
- How to be better prepared to remove spray paint in the future
And much more!
Regardless of how it got there, you're here because there's some spray paint that you'd like removed from your vinyl siding.
How we proceed will depend on how long the spray paint has been there. The material that your spray paint is composed of also plays a role in choosing the best abatement method.
So, if you want to learn how to easily remove spray paint from vinyl siding, keep reading to learn how!
What You Need to Know About Removing Spray Paint from Vinyl Siding
Act quickly! The sooner you act, the better your chances are of full removal. There's no reason to get down on yourself on a simple do it yourself mishap like some errant splatter of spray paint on vinyl siding.
Take the time to read this guide completely before acting, so that you will understand the proper order in which you should tackle this task.
Once you've selected various solvents that you intend to use, read their respective labels for relevant cautionary information.
Supplies You'll Need For Removing Spray Paint from Vinyl Siding.
These are some of the basic supplies that you'll need when you set out to remove spray paint stains from vinyl siding:
- A coarse cloth
- A natural fiber, medium to coarse bristle scrubbing brush.
- A graffiti remover solution, such as Motsenbockers if available.
- Various other solvents, as described.
How to Remove Spray Paint from Vinyl Siding (5 Easy Steps)
Step 1: Oil Wash
Your first, and sometimes greatest, hope is that a fast washing will do the trick. Especially with water-based spray paints, you'll have a good chance of them washing off if the paint hasn't fully dried.
When it comes to interactions between compounds remember that "like-dissolves-like." This means that because most spray paints are oil-based, another oil has a fighting chance of removing it.
The best method for washing is to literally paint on some form of cooking oil, such as olive oil or generic vegetable oil.
Once that's been applied and has a moment to dry, scrub your vinyl siding with a stiff bristle scrub brush made of natural fibers.
We'd caution you against using steel wool as it could leave scuff marks in the finish of your siding. Finally, rinse the vinyl panels with warm water. Hopefully, after that, you see some or all of the paint has come off.
Step 2: The Easy Button
This may not be an option in your arsenal at the moment. However, if you've planned ahead and already have a can of graffiti remover on hand, you'll be in a position to make short work of this.
The brand that we recommend is Mostenbockers and a popular formula of theirs is the Mostenbockers Liftoff Paint Scuff and Grafitti Remover. In many cases, you pump a few sprays of this on your siding, let it sink in a few minutes, and that's it! Scrub off those overspray particles with ease!
According to industry feedback, it's been shown effective on overspray from deck stain as well as to remove dried paint.
Here's a video demonstration of a homeowner easily using Mostenbovkers and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to work on a spray paint stain on his vinyl siding.
In step 4, to follow, you'll find out which more potent chemical solutions may be used to remove spray paint on vinyl siding that's been proving difficult to remove.
Before doing this, test out each of the recommended materials on your siding in relatively hidden areas so that you'll be able to determine if any staining or fading might occur.
This is a general DIY best-practice that we'd recommend across the board. Test out solvents on surfaces before applying them in big areas.
Step 4: Deep Clean
Suppose you don't have any graffiti remover on hand and can't get any fast. You'll want to move to this "deep cleaning" stage of your efforts. In this stage, we consider various solvents and scrubbing methods.
You'll learn which of these will effectively remove spray paint from your vinyl siding material.
This is where good ole' elbow grease comes into play. If you see that the spray paint material is coming off, however slowly, simply scrub away with consistent, repeated motion.
If the oil method doesn't work, try a solvent. Some you might consider are lacquer thinner, paint thinner, and acetone.
These work for thinning, but may also smear the paint. Their fumes are also very flammable and should be kept away from children.
Be sure also to wear a respirator whenever working with toxic solvents. Here's some additional detailed information on each solvent type and related thoughts:
Apply acetone to a clean coarse rag. Wipe the surface until the rag appears dry and reapply additional acetone. Be forewarned that acetone is flammable. If the paint is super fresh, you may try nail polish remover. It generally contains acetone.
Rubbing alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are both not a suitable replacement for acetone as their alcohol base makes them useless for removing almost any type of paint.
This stuff is more powerful than acetone and could actually melt some forms of plastic. It, as well, is extremely flammable.
Apply the lacquer thinner on a coarse rag. Scrub the affected area vigorously with your natural-fiber bristle brush.
Slightly more potent, brake cleaner beats out lacquer thinner. Apply a little with your clean coarse rag. Be sure that your space is properly ventilated as brake cleaner is a high-VOC compound and it's best used outdoors.
Always wear nitrile gloves when handling volatile cleaning compounds. Use eye protection, and wear that respirator!
A note of caution here: Many old paint stripper or paint remover formulas have now been federally banned. Not only are they hazardous to use or keep, but they're also illegal to possess. These guidelines were issued in 2019, so there's a good chance that the old bottle that you have needs to be properly discarded.
Step 5: When All Else Fails, Goof Off
Yes, there is one other miracle solution that you have at your disposal. If all of the above leaves you wanting, try that miracle solution: Goof Off.
If you've never heard of it, the premise is this: You put this stuff on anything stuck to anything else, and it gets it off. Everything from scuff marks to bubblegum, this stuff is known to tackle it with ease.
We recommend the professional-grade 12oz. aerosol spray can. Be mindful that, much like any other chemical that you'd apply, always test it first to ensure that it won't stain or fade your finish.
This is great to have on hand as it proves helpful during cleanup. You'll find yourself using it on many basic home improvement tasks.
Other Valuable Resources on How to Remove Spray Paint From Vinyl Siding
Remember your safety procedure for each task. Properly prepare your work environment. Wear protective gloves, eye protection, and a respirator when needed. Ensure proper ventilation and ensure that young children and small pets are not present during chemical use.
You may also want to read our guide with handy tips on how to best paint an exterior. It should help you avoid any accidental spray paint oversprays on future projects.
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