How to Get Spray Paint Off Your Skin

How to Get Spray Paint Off Your Skin

Spray painting your furniture is a nice and very rewarding DIY project. But with painting comes the inevitable. At some point, you’ll have spray paint on your skin. And even if you have been very careful, you can still have spray paint on your hands.

And the paint is quite stubborn. It’s not easy to remove spray paint off your skin. And the easiest way is to use chemicals. It does the job, but it can be very harmful to your skin.

So reserve the turpentine for your furniture. This nasty chemical doesn’t belong on your skin! And here’s how you can get spray paint off your skin, the natural way.

Why is turpentine bad for the skin?

You can’t remove paint from your skin with only water and soap. And most people tend to reach out for the turpentine in the garage. While this has been a common solution, it isn’t advisable at all.

It doesn’t belong to your skin. And your skin should never get in contact with turpentine. Here’s why.

  1. It is a flammable material.
  2. Some people can develop an extreme allergy to turpentine.
  3. Once the skin absorbs it, it can find its way to your internal organs.
  4. Turpentine is a carcinogenic compound.
  5. There is such a thing as turpentine poisoning.

Turpentine can also make you feel nauseous when you’ve inhaled a chunk of it. That’s why it’s recommended to paint your furniture outdoors. 

Good ventilation will lower the risk. So what more if you apply turpentine to your skin? It can remove the paint easily but it has a lot of tradeoffs, as you can see above.

How to Get Spray Paint Off Your Hands

So now that you know that you should not use turpentine and other chemicals on the skin, here are home remedies. These natural ingredients, as mild as they may seem, can help remove paint off your skin.

1. Olive oil or any vegetable oil

  • This home remedy calls for olive oil. But if you have allergies, you can use standard cooking oil.
  • So rub a generous amount of oil on your skin. Oil has particles and compounds that can help break down the paint. 
  • Massage the oil into your skin.
  • Wipe or rinse them off.
  • If you have a thick layer of paint on your hands, you can do this method again until everything comes off. 
  • Once the paint has loosened, slather on dish soap on your skin.
  • Give it a good lather and  massage your skin.
  • Rinse it off. And you may also repeat the process if there is still some pain in your hands.
  • If you ever let the paint sit on your skin longer, you might need to repeat the process several times.

2. Homemade paint remover

While a commercial paint remover can be toxic, you can always make your own concoction. 

  • You need the following ingredients: ½ cup coconut oil, ½ cup baking soda, and a few drops of lemon oil
  • Mix these ingredients. It should have a paste-like consistency.
  • Take a dollop of the mixture. Rub the homemade paint remover on your hands under running water.
  • If you have happened to catch paint in your nails, you may use a toothbrush to dislodge it. 
  • Rinse the mixture off.
  • Then lather with body soap or bath soap.
  • Rinse with hot water.

3. Here’s another easy way on how to get spray paint off your skin. You  need hot water and dish soap.

  • Boil water on medium heat. Then transfer it to a bowl.
  • Apply a generous amount of dishwashing soap on your hands. Using enough pressure, rub the soap in for 1-2 minutes.
  • Use an unused toothbrush and dunk it into the hot water. 
  • Scrub the affected area with the toothbrush for 1-2 minutes. Make sure to use a bit of force. The friction will help remove the paint.
  • You may even use a scouring pad.
  • Rinse well. And repeat the process if there are any more traces of paint.

4. Cooking spray 

  • Spray cooking oil on your hands. 
  • Rub the oil into your skin for at least a minute.
  • Wash thoroughly and repeat the process if necessary.

5. Mayonnaise

You can even use this creamy concoction to remove paint from your hands.

  • Get a generous dollop of mayo and apply it on the affected area.
  • Leave on for 2-4 minutes. Allow the mayonnaise to settle on your skin. The oil in the mayonnaise can break down the particles in oil-based paint.
  • Remove the mayo and the paint with a football.
  • Rinse well.
  • And of course, repeat the process if there are any more traces of paint.

6. Butter

It might look like we’re making a sandwich, but not! Like mayonnaise, butter also helps break down the particles of oil-based paint.

  • Get a cotton ball and use it to coat your skin with butter.
  • Rub the buttered cotton ball on the stained area until the paint peels off. You may repeat if necessary.
  • Wash with bath soap and water.

You may also like: Best Hand Cleaners For Mechanics

How to Remove Spray Paint Off Your Skin with Alcohol and Acetone

While we are all for natural remedies, if the paint proves to be too stubborn, we’re ready for plan B. 

You may use alcohol or acetone to remove the paint from your skin. Use a cotton ball to apply these compounds to your hands. Then rub it off until the paint wears off.

While acetone is a chemical intended for the nails, it’s far better and far safer than turpentine.


Why do painters still use turpentine to remove paint from the skin?

Because this has been a common practice. And turpentine is an easy and quick solution but it is harmful to your skin.

What makes a paint harder to remove from your skin?

If you let the paint sit to your skin for too long, it will be more challenging to remove. That’s why it’s important to remove the paint as soon as possible.

Why is spray paint hard to remove from the skin?

Because spray paints are oil-based paints. Compared to water-based paint, these can be very hard to peel off for your skin. 


It can be very frustrating to remove spray paint from your hands. These oil-based paints are quite notorious. And though it might compel you to grab turpentine from your garage, don’t. These can have serious side effects.

Our tips on how to get spray paint off your skin the natural way will help you with your post DIY dilemma! It might surprise you how they work. Make sure to remove the paint as soon as possible. This will make it easier to peel off that paint.

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