How to Get Paint off Car

Published by Jeff Torres

Published on

How to Get Paint off Car

How to Get Paint off Car

Because cars are commonly used on a daily basis, you may come across some paint mishaps. You may find yourself in a situation of scraping a side of a pole or even someone else’s car and basically swapping the paint.

Maybe some spray paint, or house paint got on your car, and now you don’t know how to get it off of your car. Well, no worries, with this guide we are going to touch upon that subject, as well as provide some brief information on how to get paint off car.

Most Commonly Used Ways of Getting Paint off Car

First of all, you want to determine the damage to your car, look carefully around the area that’s got paint on it, see if that paint is spray paint, house paint, or maybe swapped paint from a pole or another vehicle like we previously mentioned.

Once you see in what state your car is, then you can choose to form the five most common ways to get the paint off, which are the following:

  • Soap and water remedy
  • Nail polish remover
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Gasoline 
  • A rubbing compound

These methods have proven to be the most effective, as well as most commonly used in matters like these. However, if these simple methods and products can’t help you in getting off the paint from your car, or the car is seriously damaged, you may want to consider getting help from a professional.

There may be a need for sanding down the painted area on the car, then touching it up, or even installing a ceramic coating, buffing, and waxing the car. If you feel like you are not up to the challenge of removing the paint yourself, or you find it too complex, better consult with professionals in this field and don’t risk it.

Soap and water remedy

This is one of the simplest ways to try to get paint off a car. However, the efficiency of this DIY combination depends on how fresh the paint is. So let’s say the paint has dried on the car, then you should seek the solution in other methods of taking it off.

The soap and water mixture only works on freshly sprayed paint, and the best way to determine how fresh the paint is is just by a sweep of your fingers across the painted area.

Next, in a bucket with warm water, pour a rich amount of soap of your choice; after all, this method is a great DIY. Then with a cotton-soft rag, start to scrub the paint around the edges gently. Work your way into the paint slowly and gently; that is the key.

Once you have completely removed the paint, go over the area with a clean damp rag to make sure it is 100% clean, and then let it dry. Once you complete the process, look for any scratches or lines that may need repairing. 

Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover 

Next on how to get paint off the car, we came across the method using a non-acetone-based nail polish remover. It is of major importance for the nail polish to not conclude acetone because that particular ingredient can make the car body rough or even scratch it.

To successfully get paint off with this method, the things you will need are a soft rag and nail polish remover (non-acetone based); it is that easy. First, you want to dab a small part of the rag with the nail polish remover and gently go over the painted area of the car.

Secondly, you don’t want to rush the process; slowly and gently work with this product, and make sure to cover and scuff the painted area completely. Then, wash off the clean part with water and make sure the nail polish doesn’t drip or affect the car body.

You should be extremely careful not to damage the original car paint while scrubbing the painted areas on the car with nail polish remover. If you find yourself in that situation, reaching the original car paint, stop immediately and wash it with water.

Lacquer thinner 

Working with a lacquer thinner may be a stronger and more effective solution if the nail polish remover doesn’t work. This product is quite potent and is used to clean raisins from wood and even in removing paint from cars. The first step you want to take is to apply the product to a clean rag in small portions. Once you start working your way into the paint, you will determine if you need to apply a stronger amount of the thinner.

You should be extremely careful of any drips and residues of the thinner, which will erode your car paint. So, the best way to get the paint off is to work slowly and carefully. Once you are done getting the paint off, wash the areas with warm water thoroughly.


How to get paint off car using gasoline? Well, it is pretty simple, as well as affordable. Using a small amount of gasoline dabbed on a soft and clean rag, start gently scrubbing the paint off the car. Always work with small portions to minimize the risk of damaging the original car paint.

You may find it helpful to have a basket with warm water near you while you are doing the process. So once you notice the paint coming off, wash the parts of the car to prevent getting gasoline into your original car paint.

A rubbing compound 

Last but not least of methods on how to get paint off car we have using a rubbing compound. Like the previous methods, you have to be patient and use the product in small amounts, dampened on a clean piece of cloth.

You want to start carefully scrubbing the painted part of the car in circular motions, gently and slowly, which is of key importance. If the car has paint in multiple areas, we suggest taking it over one by one to prevent any drips of the rubbing compound and damaging the car body.

Wash the parts you went over with the rubbing compound, and you may need to wax them to protect them from further damages, as well as restore the shine.


Cars are the most common and probably most daily used possession of every household around the world. Cars are a part of daily human life; they are simply a necessity. Many people claim that they can’t live without a car. 

So, in this guide, we provide information hoping to be of help when it comes to any paint mishaps you may have with your car. We have done research, and with this report, we present the most common and efficient ways to get paint off a car, which are also affordable and pretty simple.

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