How To Get Spray Paint Off Skin & Hands (9 Best Methods)

When getting into DIY, one of the most useful tools at your disposal is a can of spray paint; this easy-to-use tool requires minimal time and effort but unlocks a world of easy, fun designs or colors.

While using these handy cans is simple enough, spray paint is not safe for the skin and can get on your skin or hands if you aren’t careful. Wondering how to get spray paint off your skin? We have everything you need to know in this handy guide. 

1. Soap And Warm Water

The first step when trying to get spray paint off skin is to try to wash it off. Wet paint of any kind should come off quickly with dish soap and hot water. If you are dealing with oil-based paint, dish soap that cuts through grease is ideal. A sponge, toothbrush, or loofa should help remove any stubborn patches.  

Place a few drops of soap and water on the affected area and rub the affected areas. Once done, rinse with warm water and repeat if necessary. 

How To Get Spray Paint Off Skin

2. Nail Polish Remover 

Another household staple, nail polish remover, can clean a lot of stubborn stains but is not the most skin-friendly. Drip a cotton ball or pad into the nail polish remover and dab at the paint. Once the paint has been lifted, rinse it off with soap and water.

Repeat if necessary and apply moisturizer or lotion once done to prevent dry or cracked skin. This should remove most paint types from your hands but do care for your skin after using it by keeping it clean and moisturized. 

3. Mineral Oil 

Mineral oil, often used in makeup remover, is a colorless and odorless substance made from petroleum; baby oil is perfumed mineral oil. To remove paint with it, simply rub some into your skin and let it sit for up to five minutes.

Once done, scrub the affected area with a towel or your finger, rubbing in circles to remove stubborn spots. When you are ready, try rinsing with soap and water and repeat if necessary 

4. Olive Oil 

Olive oil, or any other natural cooking oil, can be very effective at removing oil-based paint. To get spray paint off your skin with oil, try rubbing it lightly into the skin before rinsing the area with warm soapy water. You may need to repeat this with heavily caked-on paint.  

Oil is highly effective when working with oil-based paint due to a golden rule in science – like removes like. Water-based paint can be similarly removed with water, for example. 

5. Mayonnaise 

This may sound a little odd, but mayonnaise contains oil, making it a great substitute if you do not have the above oils. Here is how to remove spray paint off your hands with mayonnaise; rub the mayonnaise into the painted areas and leave it for two minutes.

Once it is ready, rinse the area with soap and water to remove the oil and paint. Next time you find yourself in a paint-related pinch, mayonnaise may be able to help you out. 

6. Coffee Grounds 

Sometimes you need a little boost when it comes to dealing with stubborn paint spots; exfoliating your skin gently could help you. Coffee grounds are a natural abrasive material that, when combined with soap in the first entry, can help lightly scrub the paint off your skin.

Adding dish soap to the area and rubbing into your skin in gentle motions before rinsing is an easy way to cut through spray paint patches on your skin. 

7. Rubbing Alcohol 

Another way to get spray paint off skin is to use rubbing alcohol. In a similar way to the nail polish remover, dip a cotton ball or pad into rubbing alcohol and dab at the paint before rinsing the affected area with soap and water.

You may need to repeat this method, but be wary as rubbing alcohol can dry out the skin. Once you have dried the damp skin with a towel, apply lotion or moisturizer, if necessary. 

8. Coconut Oil and Baking Soda 

If you do not have standard oils or coffee grounds in your home, two more classic pantry staples could aid you – coconut oil and baking soda. Create a one-to-one mix of the two and rub it into the area.

Once you feel the paint has been lifted, rinse the area with soap and water. Coconut oil can be expensive, especially when confronted with a large, sprayed area of skin, but you can use other natural oils such as olive or vegetable oil instead.  

9. Paint Thinner 

Paint thinner is another non-skin-friendly substance that could dry you out; because of this, we recommend only using this as a last resort. In a well-ventilated room, rub the paint thinner over the affected area before rinsing well with plenty of soap and water.

You should not have to repeat those steps but do if necessary. Once done, apply plenty of soothing lotion or moisturizer to the area to ease any potential discomfort. 

person holding spray paint

How To Get Rustoleum Spray Paint Off Your Hands? 

Rust-Oleum is a highly popular US-based paint brand used by DIY fans across the country. Rust-Oleum provides affordable good quality paint of all kinds in all forms, including spray paint.

This spray paint, depending on the formula, can be hard to get off, but our steps above should help. If not, pumice soap in either bar or liquid form could help. Pumice soap can be found in most stores but, if you have trouble, try auto parts shops. 

Here is a quick guide on how to get Rust-Oleum spray paint off your hands: 

  • Rinse the affected area under warm water in either a sink or shower, depending on the amount. 
  • Rub the pumice soap into your skin and allow the mildly abrasive soap to help lift the paint. Stubborn spots can be touched up with oil, as above. 
  • Wash it off with warm water and plenty of soap. 
  • Pat dry with a soft towel. 

If the area with paint is on the face or eyes, we recommend trying the non-chemical methods in the previous section and being very careful.

man painting on wall

Removing Spray Paint From Skin FAQs

How do you get glitter paint off the skin? 

Oil on a cotton pad plus soap and warm water should do the trick. Try using a sweeping grabbing motion with the pad to lift the glitter instead of just pushing it around. 

What types of paint are hard to remove from skin?  

Generally, dry paint is more stubborn than wet paint, but some are more stubborn than others. Other non skin safe paints like acrylic, latex, and oil-based paints are also hard to remove, but our methods above should help. 

Does vinegar remove spray paint from skin? 

Warm vinegar can help remove spray paint in a pinch. Try heating 0.25 cups of vinegar with a cup of water and dabbing it on the skin with a sponge or toothbrush. Leave the vinegar to sit on the area for up to 10 minutes and wash it off with soap and water. 

Does WD 40 remove paint from your hands? 

Like with paint thinner, WD-40 can be used, but it is not skin-friendly. Leave it until last if you must but be careful and apply lotion after following the steps in the paint thinner entry. 


Overall, the best way to get spray paint off skin depends on how much paint there is and the type of spray paint used. Be careful while painting and remember that "like dissolves like" – water will fight water, and oil can lift oil.