how to remove acrylic paint from wood
how to remove acrylic paint from wood

How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Wood? 6 Proven Methods

Macarony David
Latest posts by Macarony David (see all)

My son likes to show his artistic talents by rubbing acrylic paints on our walls, wood surface, and other household items. Though it is a way of child growth, dealing with those paints afterward is a bit of a hassle.

Have you ever wondered how to remove acrylic paint from wood surface? Removing fresh paint will take so little time, but there are sudden procedures and steps to follow once the paint is dried.

You do not have to change your old furniture just because there are paint stains. If you follow our processes carefully, you can get rid of acrylic paint stains in no time.

Read this article to the end and learn how to renovate items with acrylic stains!

What Type of Paint Is Acrylic Paint?

How to remove acrylic paint from wood
Image Credit: Youtube

Acrylic paints are the future of the paint industry. Before it was discovered, artists around the world tend to minimize their art cravings through oil painting.

What is oil painting? In terms of art, these paints are manufactured with a combination of nuts and linseed oil that produces different frequencies of colors in a chemical reaction.

Oil painting arts gave the artists a new level of confidence that their paintings would last for many years on their buyer’s walls. These oil paints or lead-based paints were very easy to produce on a large scale, and the manufacturing process was a bit expensive.

Read Also: Learn The Truth About Rub N Buff Vs Spray Paint In The Next 60 Seconds.

Moreover, oil paints contain many harmful chemicals and can severely affect the human respiratory system. Therefore, the mass production later shifted to acrylic paints.

These paints are made from crude oil and watercolor paints. You can say that the raw materials of acrylic paint are renewable sources and eco-friendly. They are very easy to handle, and the viscosity level is quite satisfying compared to the oil painting.

Additionally, the mass production of acrylic painting is very cheap and efficient, making it suitable for painting many household items. Another advantage of acrylic over oil painting is that acrylic paints are removable over wood surfaces. If you have painted one piece of wood with oil-based paints, the penetration of the color is deep enough not to find any suitable reagents to remove them.

Therefore, choose your color type wisely depending on the surface you are about to paint!

How to remove acrylic paint from wood? How Difficult Is It?

Unlike oil paintings, acrylic paints are comparatively easy to remove, but hold on! Without proper guidance, this easy process can turn out to be the greatest challenge of your life.

Acrylic paints do not absorb the wood surface as hard as oil-based paint, and that is why it is possible to remove them with the proper tools. A mild rub with the handkerchief will do the cleaning task very efficiently as soon as you see fresh acrylic stain spilled from your bucket.

But, if the stain is left out for a very long time, there are 6 easy methods to remove acrylic paint, among which you can make your decision. In the later section, each method is explained briefly. Pay your attention!

Image Credit: Wikihow

Methods To Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood

If you want a shortcut answer, rubbing with soap and then cleansing with water sometimes help to remove acrylics. But wood texture might not be the same all the time, and it is wise to know all the other methods for removing acrylic paints from wood.

Here go the following procedures:

  • Using Soap and Water.
  • Using Vegetable Oil.
  • Using Rubbing Alcohol.
  • Using Denatured Alcohol.
  • Using A Heat Gun.
  • Using A Suitable Solvent.

Using Soap and Water

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Image Credit: Wikihow

As we have already mentioned, the combination of acrylic paint is watercolor paints and crude oil, so it is sensible to use hot water splashes and soap at the basic stage.

The materials are as follows:

  • Hot water.
  • Soap.
  • Washcloth.

The steps are as follows:

  • Take a bucket and mix a sufficient amount of soap and hot water. Stir the mixture continuously to make the bubbles.
  • Pour the washcloth into the mixture and keep it for some time.
  • Then gently rub the washcloth on the wood surface.
  • Use an appropriate amount of soap and water based on your acrylic paint stain area.
  • Get rid of any residue.
  • After the washing, use a dry cloth to absorb some of the moisture from the wood surface.
  • Leave the wood surface in direct sunlight to dry it out completely.

Using Vegetable Oil

How To Remove Acrylic Paint Using Vegetable Oil
Image Credit: Wikihow

Vegetable oil can be another reagent for effectively removing acrylic paints. The triacylglycerol compound in the oil synchronizes finely with the wood texture and spits out any acrylic paints on them.

The materials are as follows:

  • Paper towel.
  • Vegetable oil (Olive).
  • Washcloth.
  • Paint scraper.

The steps are as follows:

  • Drop some olive oil on the wood and make sure that the whole acrylic paint is covered with the oil.
  • Start rubbing the surface with a paper towel.
  • Leave the oil spread acrylic paint wood surface on the environment for 5 – 10 minutes. Do not touch the wood surface at any cost.
  • Start rubbing the surface with the paint scraper, and do it gently so that you do not destroy the texture of the wood.
  • After removing the whole painting, clean the entire surface using a washcloth.
  • Repeat the whole process if you have any paintings unchecked from before.

Using Rubbing Alcohol

How To Remove Acrylic Paint Using Rubbing Alcohol
Image Credit: Wikihow

Using rubbing alcohol to remove acrylic stains is the most efficient and fastest way, and the process works greatly on hardwood floors.

The materials are as follows:

  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Washcloth (should be clean).
  • Paint scraper.
  • Steel wool.

The steps are as follows:

  • Take the paint scraper and gently remove all the layers of paint from the wood. Carry out this process quite efficiently to not damage the wood surface.
  • Take the washcloth and pour some rubbing alcohol on it to saturate the fabric. If the surface of the paint stain is very large, use a combination of steel wool and rubbing alcohol instead of the washcloth.
  • Rub the saturated washcloth on the wood surface following the back-and-forth motion. Use alcohol again and again to cover the whole portion of the stained paint.
  • Take another washcloth with soap mixed on it to remove the paint residue and sterilize the remaining alcohol.

You should take some precautions while removing acrylic paint from wood using alcohol. Some includes:

  • Alcohol is highly flammable, so take caution and do not let it expose to fire.
  • Do not let rubbing alcohol expose to sunlight which might cause a sudden exothermic reaction.
  • Last but not least, keep the alcohol away from the children.

Using Denatured Alcohol

How To Remove Acrylic Paint Using Denatured Alcohol
Image Credit: Pinterest

Another procedure for removing acrylic paint is using denatured alcohol, which is stronger than rubbing alcohol. Therefore, it results in more effective results than the method stated previously.

The materials are as follows:

  • Denatured alcohol.
  • Paint scraper.
  • Washcloth.
  • Paint roller.
  • Gloves.
  • Mask.
  • Liquid soap and water.
  • Cotton ball.

The steps are as follows:

  • Take a washcloth and dip it inside the denatured alcohol.
  • Before the rubbing, pour sufficient denatured alcohol over the acrylic paint wood surface and wait for 4 – 5 minutes. The pH of the alcohol will gently dissolve the acrylic resin, which will make the removing process much faster.
  • Now that the paint has gotten soft, use a paint scraper to remove the paint layer while being careful not to destroy the wood texture.
  • Repeat the whole process until the entire paint is not removed.
  • Take another washcloth that is dipped into liquid soap and water to wash the surface and free any residue.

Using A Heat Gun

How To Remove Acrylic Paint Using A Heat Gun
Image Credit: Owatrol Ireland

Assuming that using alcohol to paint removable has turned out to be painful work for you and searching for a readymade tool to remove acrylic paint. Therefore, here we are introducing you to a heat gun that might solve all your problems.

The materials are as follows:

  • Heat gun.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Heat-resistant gloves.
  • Mask.
  • Paint scraper.
  • Washcloth.
  • Soap water.

The steps are as follows:

  • As you are working with a tool that uses heat to remove paint stains, it is sensible to wear heat-resistant gloves and safety goggles for your protection.
  • Connect the heat gun with the power source. Hold the heat gun about 4 inches away from the wood surface and move the tool in a circular motion around the stain.

Check the rating on the heat gun because you do not want extreme heat to mark black marks on the wood surface.

  • Once you see bubbles forming from the paint stain, hold a paint scraper on the other hand and use it to scrape off the dissolved paint.
  • Allow the wood surface to cool down, and then use a damp washcloth covered in liquid soap to clean the residue of the stains.
  • Allow the wood to dry in the sunlight.

Precautions while using a heat gun are as follows:

  • Wear protective gear like goggles and gloves to prevent any kind of burning.
  • Keep away the heat gun from any living creature.
  • If any disaster does occur, make sure to keep an extinguisher ready to compensate for the damage.

Using A Suitable Solvent

v4 460px Remove Acrylic Paint from Wood Step 16.jpg
Image Credit: Wikihow

Chemical reagents are the quickest way to use for such acrylic paint removal applications. Compounds like methylene chloride, ammonia, or lacquer thinner are the best reagents to consider.

Though handling toxic chemicals also brings out the question about the safety issue, we recommend you take serious precautions. If you are not up for the hassle, seek a professional for help!

The materials are as follows:

  • Suitable paint solvent.
  • Goggles.
  • Chemical anti-resistive goggles.
  • Mask.
  • Paint scraper.
  • Spirit.
  • Paintbrush.

The steps are as follows:

  • First of all, wear safety goggles and gloves. Ensure that your clothes are clean, dry, and do not have a chemical stain that might create a sudden chemical reaction.
  • Take a paintbrush and roll a suitable solvent over the acrylic paint stain. Leave the surface for at least 20 – 30 minutes for the solvent to dissolve the stain.
  • Scrape the paint off using a paint scraper after you see bubbles.
  • Use a washcloth, soak it under the spirit, and keep it for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Use the spirit-soaked washcloth to remove the residue of the stains.
  • Finally, wipe it with a clean washcloth to give an excellent finishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wash dry acrylic paints?

The paint can be durable if given enough time to dry. However, if you want to remove an instant acrylic paint stain, apply a suitable solvent immediately, and you will see immediate results.

Is it possible for vinegar to dry acrylic paints?

This method will be possible if the stained surface is not wood. You will just have to heat some vinegar and pour on the acrylic paint, and vinegar is not suitable for removing acrylic paint from wood.

Is it possible to paint over dry acrylic paint stain?

Yes! It is possible to paint over dry acrylic paint stain. The acrylic paint is insoluble, so it does not bother the paint layer.

Can we wash off acrylic paint stain from the wood surface using rainwater?

As acrylic paint is water-based, it will wash off in rainwater if the paint remains fresh. Once the paint has dried out a long time, it becomes water-resistant.

How will you remove acrylic paint from laminate wood?

Laminate wood has a similar texture to regular wood. Therefore, applying the soap and water technique to remove the acrylic layer will do the trick.

Can we use Lacquer Thinner to remove acrylic paint from wood?

Yes! Acrylic paint gives a plastic vibe after drying out, so Lacquer Thinner will be a suitable reagent to remove acrylic paint stain.

Can we use nail polish remover to remove acrylic paint stain from wood?

Nail polish remover contains acetone, which is one of the many techniques how to remove acrylic paint from wood.

What reagent can we use to melt acrylic paint?

You can use rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol, and a heat gun to melt acrylic paint stains efficiently.


Here go our 6 easy processes to answer your question, “How to remove acrylic paint from wood?” If you use the appropriate approach from our list, no acrylic paint will be difficult to remove.

Additionally, the efficiency of the processes will differ according to the type of paint and type of wood surface. Though all wood surfaces are pretty similar, the above-mentioned procedures will work with complete satisfaction.

Remember! Take necessary precautions while performing the task. Stay safe and mention this article to others if you find it useful.

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