How To Remove Spray Paint From A Mirror (& Other Types)

Spray paints are 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 on something like a mirror or frame? We’re here to tell you how to remove spray paint from a mirror quickly and easily.

Wall Hanged Mirror

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 nail polish remover on a paper towel first, then apply it to the surface. If you need to, buff it for a moment or two.

Then, The nail polish remover should dissolve the paint quickly, so all you'll have to do is clean off the polish.

2. Scraper

If you want to go the chemical-free route, then use a scraper or razor blade during the spray paint removal. 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 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 cloth 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 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 stains. Of course, if you buff too hard, you risk scratching the surface of your lovely, newly painted mirror.

5. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, also known as ethanol, can be a very efficient way to remove spray paint. It evaporates quickly, so you should apply the alcohol with a few drops of water onto a clean cloth. Then buff the area and wipe it clean until there are no more 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 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 paint off with a cotton rag or 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, many of the chemicals found in oven cleaners have been proven to be good for removing paint. The chemicals break down and dissolve the paint, just like 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 stains.

8. Hairspray

Hairspray is good for removing spray paint from the mirror. Simply spray the area with spray paint, let sit for a minute and then wipe the paint off. 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. If you manage to get the spray paint off, 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 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 knife or a toothbrush. Once it's all off, clean your mirror, and you're good to go.


Which Paint Is The Easiest & Most Difficult To Remove From Mirrors?

Spray Paint Cans

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 to the 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 rid 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 paint 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.


Tips On Removing Spray Paint On Car Mirrors (Easy Steps)

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. If you don't go the WD-40 route, we recommend using a magic eraser. It's also an easy way to remove paint 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?

Old and dry paint can be a pain to remove, but the best and most efficient way to remove old paint for a mirror frame is by pouring some acetone nail polish remover or a small cup of paint thinner onto a wet towel and working the product onto the frame.


This will help soften the paint, and then it should be a lot easier for you to wipe the frame clean once you’re complete.


Can you use bleach to remove spray paint from mirrors?

There are many ways to remove spray paint from mirrors, but the use of bleach is definitely not one we would recommend.


We've listed 11 different methods of removing paint from mirrors; some include chemicals and others without. We recommend trying one of our recommended methods listed above.


Will paint remover damage a mirror?

If you purchase a paint remover that’s tough on stains and gentle on surfaces, then your mirror should withstand any chemical damage. You’ve more of a chance of damaging your mirrors’ surface if you use paint-removing techniques like metal scrapers or an electric heat gun.


Can you paint directly over mirrors?

Absolutely! Enamel paints were made to adhere to a glass surface so you can begin to prime and pour out some paint. A good tip when doing this, be sure to apply the paint with the same motion and pressure you used to roll the primer on.


Conclusion

As you can see, removing spray 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 scrap the surface of your treasured mirror.