How to Get Paint Off Your Car? – 5 Incredible Methods!

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to get paint off your car

Do you ever get frustrated when you see paint on your car that’s not supposed to be there? Well, you’re definitely not alone. Unwanted paint on a car is always an eyesore.

Sometimes, regardless of how much we look out for our cars to make sure they’re spotless, these problems are just unavoidable.

Whether it’s some type of spray paint, house paint, or whatever it may be, say goodbye to the worries because you can get it off your car as long as you do these steps properly and fast.

Read on to know how to get paint off your car.

Ways to Take Paint Off Car

What to prepare

  • Bucket of water
  • Mechanic or nitrile gloves
  • Microfiber towels
  • Cue tip or cotton swab

Choose among the following methods as you select the right cleaner, either Soap, Lacquer Thinner, WD-40, Vaseline and Pressure washer, or Acetone.

1. Using soap and water


One of the most common ways to remove paint is to use regular soap and water. This is the best method to go for if the paint is fresh and hasn’t stayed from car exterior for a long time.

Another plus is that this option is the least damaging method, so you won’t have to worry about harming anything.


  1. Mix water and car soap in a bucket.
  2. Get your microfiber towel or whatever rag you have, and start scrubbing on the unwanted paint.
  3. Rub in a circular motion until the paint finally comes off completely.
  4. Dry out the wet spots using a dry microfiber towel.

2. Using lacquer thinner


Using a lacquer thinner is your go-to method if you need a stronger component in getting paint off a car. Lacquer thinner is used for stubborn paint removal because it has strong properties that are usually used for wood.

This is good to remove wall paint or any type of paint that’s much harder to remove. Just remember to be careful with this method; you’ll have to take extra precautions to remove dried paint from car without damaging it.


  1. Put on your gloves to protect yourself from this concentrated cleaner.
  2. Clean the area with soap first, and let it dry.
  3. Apply a minimal amount of lacquer thinner to a cloth or a cotton swab.
  4. Start rubbing to remove paint stain.
  5. When the paint comes off, rinse the area with water to remove the lacquer thinner.

3. Using WD-40


You can use WD-40 to get rid of paint scuff on your car. This is an easy-to-find product that is effective and is worth the purchase.

The WD-40 works by softening the paint with its chemicals. Its strong properties slowly detach the scuff’s grip on the car exterior.


  1. Spray WD-40 directly on the affected area.
  2. Get your cloth or any type of eraser you have and wipe off the WD-40.
  3. Don’t wipe in a circular motion but in the same direction as the paint
  4. Apply more and repeat steps, if necessary

4. Using vaseline and a pressure washer


If you don’t have a lacquer thinner or WD-40, but you really want to remove paint from car as soon as possible, you can still do so by using vaseline and a pressure washer.

This method works best for paint stains that have long stayed on the car’s exterior.


  1. Apply a generous amount of vaseline to the unwanted paint.
  2. Let the vaseline sit in the paint for 10 – 12 hours.
  3. Take the vehicle to a pressure car wash and let the pressure washer rinse off the vaseline.
  4. Repeat until the paint is removed.

5. Using Acetone


Don’t have thinner lacquer? You can always use Acetone as an alternative. It’s effective, plus it’s easy to find at home.

Before using this ingredient, remember that its strength can quickly fade off the car’s original paint. With that, be cautious in handling acetone.


  1. Clean your car with water and soap first to get rid of any dirt.
  2. Put some acetone on a cloth or a cue tip.
  3. Rub the cloth or cue tip on the affected area.
  4. Apply water to gently wash off the acetone from car body.

How to Remove Paint From Car Seat


All the other methods above work for a car bumper, car window, car fender, and all the other exterior parts of the car.

However, if paint got into the interior of your car from an accident, then some of the ways above won’t help and may even cause damage.

If you want to know how to effectively remove paint from a car seat, follow these simple steps.

  • Act quickly and get your household cleaner or degreaser.
  • Apply it to your scrubbing pad.
  • Scrub the car seat until the paint is no longer visible.
  • Carefully rinse with water to make sure the cleaner is removed from your car surface.

Related articles about paint care:



How do you get paint off a car without damaging the finish?

When it comes to the methods of paint removal from car, it’s all in the remover you use and how you use it.

If you’re working with some strong chemicals, remember to just apply a small amount. From there, you can work your way up if you still need more.

Don’t scrub too hard when you’re scrubbing, the compounds you’re using are already strong enough.

You can still rub and see results without ruining the paint, so be gentle. You’ll notice when it’s the right time to stop or if it’s not doing your car any good.

Does WD-40 remove paint transfer?

Yes, as mentioned earlier, WD-40 is effective in removing paint transfer. It also works if the paint scuff is from another car.

The best part about WD-40 is that it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals that may destroy the original paint of your vehicle. So you’re assured that getting rid of paint transfer using WD-40 is worry-free.

Can I use toothpaste to remove paint?

If it’s minimal paint transfers, then yes. Just make sure you’re using a “whitening” toothpaste to see best results.

You can remove a paint scuff just by taking a damp or moist cloth, adding some toothpaste, and gently rubbing the toothpaste on the affected area.

However, you should know that this only works on minor scratches or paint scuffs. It won’t help much if the paint scuff is huge.


Whether you’ve got unwanted paint on your car from rubbing against another car, or from a pole that’s newly painted, it pretty much puts your car in a bad light.

Even if it’s red paint, yellow paint, or even if it’s the most amicable paint ever, it’s still an atrocious look if it’s not supposed to be there.

Luckily, getting paint off your car doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. When you know how to get paint off your car, getting the job done is easy as pie.

Just be careful, take your time, and see the results!

5/5 - (2 votes)



"As the content writer of Charmcitycirculator, I intend to bring just the best purchase options and straightforward answers to your problems. Other than what we put up on our website, we hope to hear more from you. "

– Bruce Sonnier