9 Ways To Get Paint Off Your Car

It is something common that for some reason our car ends up with paint stains. There are several ways to get paint off a car, but the most effective are acetone polish remover, car detailing clay, and carnauba wax. In this article, we will explain how to perform each of these techniques.

First of all, we must take into account some points:


  • Remove paint stains as soon as possible, as the longer, the paint hardens in the sun, the harder it will be to remove.
  • If the car windows were also stained with paint, the acetone and a razor blade should remove it easily.


  • Don’t use abrasive products like polishing paste, as they will further damage the car’s paint.

How to remove paint stains on the car?

Using nail polish remover or acetone

  1. Get a bottle of acetone

You probably don’t have acetone on hand, but you probably have a jar of nail polish remover. This one is made to remove the layer of nail polish, which is basically what you are trying to do with your car’s finish. Any brand will work for you and the higher the percentage of acetone, the better.

  1. Pour the acetone on a cloth

Choose a microfiber cloth so you don’t scratch the varnish layer or the car paint. You need to keep the cloth damp at all times, so if it starts to dry, add more acetone or nail polish remover.

Wear gloves to protect yourself from acetone and paint transfer.

  1. Rub the cloth gently over the spray paint

Use multiple small, circular motions to remove the spray paint from the car. Rub lightly or you risk removing the layer of varnish or paint, rather than just the paint stain. The paint will transfer from the car to the cloth, so change clothes often.

  1. Wash the car after removing the spray paint

It is recommended to wash and rinse it thoroughly after removing the paint stain. Pay special attention to the area painted with the spray stain to remove all traces of the paint as well as the acetone.

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Using clay for car detailing

car detailing clay
  1. Wash and dry the car

This step is essential to remove surface dirt before applying the clay. You can wash it by hand or take it to an automatic car wash. If the paint is still fresh, even hot water and detergent may remove some of the paint.

  1. Buy car detailing clay

Car detailing clay is an abrasive polymer that will remove anything on top of the paint, without scratching or damaging the surface. There are many varieties available. These detailing clays should be available at your local parts store.

  1. Knead the clay

You only need to put it in the palm of your hand, so if you bought a new bar you should cut it in half. You can then seal it in an airtight bag and place it in a bucket of hot water, which will heat the clay so you can handle it more easily. Take half of the bar out of the bag and knead it in your hands. It is advisable to form a disk with the clay.

  1. Apply a clay lubricant

Some type of lubricant is needed for the clay to glide over, rather than stick to the paint. Shake the lube, then spray it on the clay and also on the car paint. Use a fair amount so the clay doesn’t stain it.

Clay lube can usually be found at your local store.

  1. Rub the clay over the paint stain

Hold the clay in your hand so that it sits slightly lower in your palm. Rub the clay in a back and forth motion with firm pressure, like rubbing a bar of soap on your skin. Go ahead and rub the clay over the paint stain until the paint has come off.

When the clay is covered in dust and contaminants, fold it over and knead it again to form a clean patty.

  1. Remove debris

Use a microfiber cloth to remove clay residue from the car. Apply light pressure and rub the cloth over the area where you applied the clay.

  1. Wax the car

Applying the clay removes the previous wax, so it is important to wax it to protect it from future damage and to restore the shine of the varnish layer. Apply the wax in a circular motion with the tool or sponge that came with the wax, or use a smooth rotary polishing tool.

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Using carnauba wax

carnauba wax
  1. Buy liquid carnauba wax

Products like wax contain some oils like carnauba that will break down spray paint. The wax will not damage or scratch the paint or varnish layer, but will simply remove the spray paint stain from the car’s surface. You can find liquid carnauba wax online.

  1. Apply the wax to a sponge

Place a generous amount of liquid wax on your cloth or a soft sponge. Squirt wax onto the sponge. Apply more as you go and don’t be afraid to use a lot of wax, as it is necessary to break down the stain.

  1. Rub the sponge over the spray paint stain

Start by rubbing the waxed sponge over the affected area of the car in circular motions and firm pressure. Make sure to cover the entire stain. Flip the sponge over or use a new part when the surface is covered with transfer spray paint.

  1. Polish the wax

After removing the paint stain, it is advisable to buff the car wax. Use a clean microfiber cloth to do all the polishing. Rub the waxed area in many small circular motions.

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Soap and water

car soap

The first treatment will only need hot water and car soap or mild detergent. Rub the paint you want to remove with a sponge or cloth. It should be noted that regardless of the type of paint that stains on the car if it is still fresh it can be easily removed with soap and water. However, as time passes, the paint becomes more difficult to remove.

Latex paints can be removed with this same method, only if it is dry you will need a kitchen spatula. This last object must be used with care so as not to scratch the sheet.

Graffiti cleaning spray

graffiti remover

First of all, you should keep in mind that this is an aggressive material, although it is quite effective. You have to practice before attacking the place affected by paint. The test can be done on a surface that is not visible.

Now, once the practice is finished, it is time to use the Spray. Protect the entire area that is not affected by the paint; subsequently, at a distance of 20/25 cm, cover the stain with a thick layer of the product.

Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes and then remove it by scrubbing gently with a brush or cloth. Finish the process by rinsing with plenty of water. If you want to have a perfect finish, use car wax.

Using liquid polish

liquid polish

Liquid polish is a product that, as its name indicates, is used to polish and clean a surface. It can be very useful to remove stains produced by spray paints on the sheet. Use is simple, you just have to use a cloth, preferably microfiber, wet it with the liquid, and rub the stain vigorously.

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The gas


They are simple steps, all you have to do is moisten a cloth with gasoline and rub it on the paint; With a dry cloth, you finish cleaning it. We warn you that this method, although effective for removing spray paint stains, can affect the original varnish.

Brake cleaner spray

Brake cleaner spray

Removing paint stains from the car’s sheet metal is easy if you use a spray brake cleaner. If you see that the paint does not adhere and comes off when you tear it with your fingernail; Then try soaking the liquid from the product in a cloth and rubbing it on the stain. Then use a dry cloth to finish the cleaning.

Acetone-free nail polish remover

Acetone-free nail polish remover

If you don’t have this product in your home, you can easily find it in almost any store where they sell nail polish. The Acetone-free Nail Polish Remover is designed for gel nails, its main function is to remove the paint layer without damaging the nail. This is the effect we need for our car.

Pour the acetone-free nail polish remover onto a cloth and with gentle, circular motions rub the spray stain. The results are seen immediately. When you remove the stain, you only have to finish cleaning the car.

As you have already seen, there is more than one effective method to remove the unfortunate paint stains from our car. If you follow all the steps that we have indicated, regardless of the technique you use, you will leave your car pristine quickly and easily.

Good luck with the work!

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