How To Remove Paint From Mirror (11 Easy DIY Methods)

Paint is a great way to add some color to your objects, and they can leave a beautiful finishing after painting.

But what happens when we accidentally get spray paint (or any other type of paint stain) on something like a mirror or frame?

We’re here to tell you how to remove paint from a mirror quickly and easily.

1. Nail Polish Remover (Acetone)

Using an acetone nail polish is usually the most effective way to remove spray paint from a mirror. Simply apply a few drops of ordinary nail polish remover on a wet paper towel first, then apply it to the surface.

If you need to, buff it for a moment or two. Then, The fingernail polish remover should dissolve the all the paint quickly, so all you'll have to do is clean off the polish.

2. Scraper

For chemical-free paint stripping, use a scraper or razor blade. Otherwise, use an appropriate paint stripping paste made of appropriate paint stripping chemical. Follow the instructions on the paint stripping paste product label and wear appropriate protective gear such as gloves and a mask.

To help the process go smoother, use some soap and hot water first, and then scrape ever so gently to ensure that you don't scratch your glass surface during the process. 

3. Paint Thinner

Paint thinner is a good choice if the spray paint you're working on is old and dry. For it to work, place a small amount of product on a damp cloth or paper towel or cotton ball and then apply it to the affected area.

As there are a lot of chemicals in paint thinner, we recommend wearing a PPE mask and some rubber or latex gloves when you do this. If at all possible, do this option outdoors.

4. Steel Wool Soap Pad

A fine steel wool pad, also known as a steel soap pad, can be used during your cleaning process.

It's wise to have a bowl of warm soapy water nearby. Then use the steel wool pad and lightly buff out the spray paint stains.

Of course, if you buff too hard, you risk scratching the glass surfaces of your lovely, newly painted mirror.

5. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, also known as ethanol, can be a very efficient way to remove paint.

Rubbing alcohole vaporates quickly, so you should apply the alcohol with a few drops of water onto a clean cloth or paper towel. Then buff the area and wipe it clean until there are no more paint stains.

6. Vinegar

If you have any cleaning vinegar in your home from a previous project, it's also a good choice when cleaning paint from objects. Put on rubber or latex gloves, then add some cleaning vinegar to the unwanted spray-painted areas.

Allow the product a couple of minutes to finish the task. You can then clean the dried paint off a mirror with a cotton rag or paper towel. You can also try this method with distilled white vinegar, which you probably already have in your kitchen!

7. Oven Off Cleaner

Believe it or not, easy off oven cleaner can be used to remove paint from mirrors. The chemicals in the oven cleaners dissolve the paint, similar to nail polish. 

Use rubber gloves and spray oven cleaner where you want the paint removed. After just a few moments, you’ll have a polished mirror that is free of any thick paint stains.

8. Hairspray

Hairspray is good for removing spray paint off mirror. Simply spray the area with spray paint, let sit for a minute and then wipe the dried paint off a mirror. If it doesn't work on the first go, then try two-three more times.

You may need to do it several times to remove all the spray paint off a mirror. If you manage to get spray paint off mirror, use a clean cloth to wipe the mirrors’ surface clean.

9. WD 40

WD-40 can work well when removing spray paint from plenty of objects as it acts as a degreaser, so it can dissolve this type of paint easily.

This product will break down the bonds in the dried on paint and allow it to be wiped off easily. So spray, and wait 3-4 minutes before you clean it away with a dry cotton cloth.

10. Magic Eraser

A dry-erase marker (also known as a magic eraser) is made of a melamine sponge. Add water to the sponge, and then simply smooth the sponge over the mirror surface until all the paint comes off. There's no need to scrub or brush the surface afterward. The sponge should do the trick.

11. Hairdryer

Applying heat onto spray paint (when on a surface like a mirror) is a great way to remove any unwanted staining. Before you turn your hairdryer on full blast, add some soapy water to the mirror first.

Then add heat. If it’s still not budging, you can try gently scraping it with a plastic putty knife or a toothbrush. Once it's all off, clean your mirror, and you're good to go.

Use Grafitti Remover without calling for professional help, you can recover your mirror by using a graffiti remover.

mirror on wall

Paint On Mirrors - Types and Adhesion Explained

Water-based paints, acrylic paints, and chalkboard paints are all easily manageable spray paints when it comes to removing stains from mirrors. They only lightly adhere to the mirror and are easy to buff away with warm water and soap if you get spray paint while it's wet.

Once the enamel has dried, it can make the process a little longer, but it's not impossible to get spray paint of. Standard removal methods like a metal scraper or a heat hairdryer can remove these types of paint with ease.

If you’re hoping to remove oil-based spray paints, then it may require additional effort and time to remove and clean the surface thoroughly.

Use nail polish remover or paint thinner in these scenarios and be sure to be very careful during the cleaning process. You’ll be surprised how easily a mirror's surface can become scraped or damaged by too much force.

Spray Paint Cans

Tips On Removing Spray Paint On Car Mirrors 

The quickest and least painless way to remove spray paint from the mirrors of your car is to use WD-40.

As we mentioned, it acts as a degreaser, and it dissolves water-based paints and oil-based paints easily and without the need for a scraper. Scraping your car mirrors is obviously a lot more dangerous than scraping your bathroom mirror, as it can impair your vision when driving.

Be sure to stay away from anything like steel pads or scrapers as they can damage the surface of the mirrors [1].

If you don't go the WD-40 route, we recommend using a magic eraser. It's also an easy way to remove paint stains without the chance of damaging the mirror’s surface.

Car Side Mirror

Common Questions About Removing Paint from Mirrors

How do you remove old paint from a mirror frame?

To remove old paint from a mirror frame, use acetone nail polish remover or paint thinner on a wet towel. This softens the paint, making it easier to wipe away.

Can you use bleach to remove spray paint from mirrors?

Don't use bleach to remove spray paint from mirrors. Try one of the 11 methods we suggest instead.

Will paint remover damage a mirror?

Using a gentle paint remover should not damage your mirror. However, harsh methods like using a metal scraper or electric heat gun may cause surface damage.

Can you paint directly over mirrors?

Yes, Enamel paints adhere well to glass surfaces, including mirrors. It's recommended to use the same motion and pressure used for rolling the primer when applying the paint.


As you can see, removing dried on paint from mirrors can be done. You simply need the right strategy and equipment to get the task done.

If you're working on an antique mirror or an object that you love dearly, then take your time, use chemical thinners or removers, and remember not to scrape the surface of your treasured mirror.