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How To Remove Spray Paint From Your Skin (6 Quick Steps)

paint on hand
Image credit: SuperMrRudolf, Pixabay

Paint sprayers make life a lot easier. And, a lot messier. After the end of a long day at work with the sprayer, you will inevitably be covered in paint. The worst part is that getting uncovered can often be tricky.

Today we will examine some methods that should make it easier for you to get rid of spray paint on your skin and nails.

Here are 6 quick steps to get rid of spray paint on your skin

  1. Start With Soap and Water

Unfortunately, soap and water is, in this case, not the cure all that one might hope for. While this method may be good for working with latex paints, it isn’t going to be so excellent at working with oil paints. After all, as we all know, oil and water don’t mix so well.

However, if you are going to give this process a try, you might as well start with the basics, right?

Right. When trying to remove spray paint from your skin and nails, soap and water is always an easy, chemically mild place to start.

soap and water
Image credit: Fairfax County, Flickr
  1. Give Oil a Try

As we just mentioned, water is going to be any good at all in dealing with oil paints.

Oil and oil, on the other hand, will work just fine. Scrub yourself down with some baby oil, and you should find that the paint has a much easier time coming off.

cosmetic oil
Image credit: Marina Pershina, Public Domain Pictures
  1. Think About Using Some Cook Spray

You probably don’t want cook spray on your hands, but if baby oil is not doing the trick, it may be the next best thing. Spray the solution on the areas affected by the paint, scrub vigorously, and (hopefully) watch the paint lift right off.

cook spray
Image credit: Mike Mozart, Flickr
  1. Acetone

Nail polish remover is pretty harsh on the skin, and even on the nails. You probably will not want to overexpose yourself to this substance. However, in a bind where lesser solutions are not effective, acetone might be.

Keep in mind that the entire purpose of this solution is to lift paint from nails. It should be able to handle this task as well, but try and use it sparingly.

Image credit: Skorpion87, Wikimedia
  1. Petroleum Jelly

For a much milder solution, think about giving petroleum jelly a try. Because of its make up, it should be able to loosen up the paint on your skin, but there are some built in issues. The jelly will lift the paint to an extent, but it may also spread it.

If you decide to go this route, make sure that the paint is removed into the sink rather than onto more parts of your skin.

petroleum jelly
Image credit: Kiyok, Wikimedia
  1. Finally, Dish Soap

Now the paint is coming off, but your hands are oily and gross. Also not good. To get the oil and remaining paint residue off your nails and skins, you may think about enlisting something a little bit stronger than typical hand soap.

Dish soap is designed to lift oil off surfaces, and should do well to get your skin squeaky clean.

dish soap
Image credit: Eladkrauz, Wikimedia


Removing paint from your skin really does not have to be a challenge. While the chore is not one that most people enjoy, with a little bit of information it can be easy.

Remember to start with the more mild options. While chemicals will do a good job of removing paint, soaps and detergents are always preferable.

After all, you don’t want to needlessly irritate your skin.

But regardless of what option you choose, at the end of the day, following the steps we have listed here will ensure that your skin and nails are cleaned in no time.

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