Spray paint is easy to remove from glass, and most of the time, you already have what you need to remove it lying around among your household cleaning products.
Removing spray paint has a well-established rule that the longer the paint has had to dry, the stronger the cleaning solution needs to be. It is always recommended to remove the spray paint before it has had time to dry.
You will need a few readily available tools, some of which might be present under your sink already.
Although this method is simple, it does need some technique to achieve your desired results.
Table of Contents
- Use a Glass Cleaner + Blade
- The Simple, Natural Solution
- Use a Ready to Use Spray Paint Remover
- Remove Spray Paint from a Mirror
- Other Solvents You Can Use
- Mineral Spirits
- Methylene Chloride
- Instructions for Use
- Removal Methods for Different Glass Types
- Standard Glass
- Clean Your Materials Carefully
Use a Glass Cleaner + Blade
If you’d rather not fiddle with solutions that may or may not work, you should start with this effective method to remove spray paint from any kind of smooth glass surface. Note that this doesn’t work on rough glass surfaces.
All you need is a bit of any glass cleaner spray, I personally use Windex. You’ll also need a small razor blade (just your usual stainless steel blades that are used for shaving).
First you need to spray the glass cleaner generously over the affected area of glass. Then I recommend you to wait for 10-15 seconds. After that, take the blade and hold it at an angle (around 30 to 45 degrees from the surface) on top of the glass.
Finally, scrape off the spray paint gently, while ensuring that you don’t do this too fast or apply too much force, as that can scratch the surface of the glass.
After this is completely done, finish off by wiping off the glass with a damp microfiber cloth.
The Simple, Natural Solution
Now comes a natural solution. Vinegar is a powerful agent used to remove spray paint from glass. It has proven to be one of the best household cleaners available.
Add one cup of white vinegar into a microwavable measuring cup. Microwave the vinegar until boiling (2-3 minutes depending on your microwave).
Using your thick rubber gloves, remove the hot measuring cup from the microwave using caution.
Dip one of your old rags into the vinegar and let it absorb the hot vinegar. Take the rag and start to rub the spray paint off the glass. If the stains prove to be stubborn, try applying a little pressure.
The vinegar aids in loosening the spray paint, and often this step is the only one you will need. Should some of the spray paint remain, there are other methods you can try.
Use a Ready to Use Spray Paint Remover
Sunnyside Corporation Graffiti Remover is a pretty potent option that I’ve used several times. Remove unwanted spray paint with the following materials:
Spray a generous amount of Sunnyside Corporation Graffiti Remover on the affected area and let it sit anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour, ensuring that you are wearing your rubber gloves and safety goggles.
Scrub the glass with a scrubbing pad and use a dry rag to wipe away the remaining spray paint. The paint should come right off.
Remove Spray Paint from a Mirror
It is easy to get spray paint residue on your mirror when you are painting the frame, even if you have taken the proper precautions. Here is what you will need:
- Rubber gloves
- Microfiber cleaning cloths
This method should be carried out in a well-ventilated area, and you should wear protective rubber gloves. Pour some acetone onto the microfiber cloth until damp. Hold the cloth over the paint and wait until the paint has softened, then wipe it away.
Pour some water onto a dry cloth and use it to wipe the acetone off the mirror. Lastly, clean the mirror with some glass cleaner to prevent streaks.
Other Solvents You Can Use
There are several other solvents you could use to remove spray paint from glass.
Mineral Spirits is an organic, common solvent used for painting. It is low in price and odor, making it an appealing substance to use. It is best to use mineral spirits while the spray paint is still wet. For dry spray paint, you can substitute it with turpentine (it’s not the same aspaint thinner).
The best alcohol type to use for the removal of spray paint is denatured alcohol. Avoid using denatured alcohol on heat-reflective windows as it might damage their surface.
Methylene Chloride is an ingredient found in most paint thinners. When mixed with other chemicals can be made into “graffiti remover.” It has been described as the best solvent to get spray paint off glass surfaces.
You will need to wear protective gloves when using this solvent and ensure it does not make any contact with plastic or other weaker materials.
Instructions for Use
Once you have chosen your appropriate solvent, you can use this method to remove the spray paint from the glass.
You will need:
- Protective rubber gloves
- Protective eyewear
- Scouring pad
- Cleaning rag
- Your chosen solvent
- Glass cleaner
Ensure that you are in a well-ventilated area or open the windows and turn some fans on. Wear your protective gear; it is advised to put a mask over your mouth to avoid inhaling harmful fumes.
Dampen your rag with your chosen solvent and apply it to the spray paint you wish to remove from the glass.
Hold the rag over the spray paint. You will notice the paint begin to soften. Once this happens, you can start to wipe the paint away with your cloth.
Should the spray paint not wipe off, you will need to apply the solvent to the glass and let it soak for 30-90 minutes, depending on the toughness of the stain. Using a scouring pad, gently scrub the paint to loosen it from the glass.
Once the paint has lifted, dampen a clean rag with water and wipe the glass clean, ensuring you have wiped away all the solvent. Spray some glass cleaner on the glass and clean it off with paper towels or newspaper to ensure there is no streaking left behind.
Removal Methods for Different Glass Types
There are different techniques you can use for specific types of glass. Be confident that the solvent you are using to remove spray paint from glass is the right one and doesn’t cause any more damage.
The Razor blade method is the best technique to use for conventional glass. This will help you remove the very stubborn paint that won’t budge when you’re using typical solvents and rags. Watch the video below:
If you are trying to clean spray paint off plexiglass, you need to avoid lacquer thinner solvents. Lacquer thinner on glass can cause permanent cloudiness and smear the spray paint. Acetone-free nail polish remover should be used instead.
To ensure you do not damage the fiberglass, stay away from any acetone-based solvents. You can opt for a non-toxic paint stripper like Confined Space Paint Strip Gel. This works like a charm at removing spray paint from fiberglass.
Ensure that you clean the glass off with glass cleaner after attempting any of these methods to ensure the solvent is wiped away and avoid any streaking.
Clean Your Materials Carefully
Any rags that have been immersed in solvents need to be disposed of with the utmost caution. Please do not launder them or put them directly in the trash. They can become highly flammable and spontaneously set alight. Dispose of your spray paint cans and cleaning supplies responsibly.
Whichever method you intend to use, always test the solvent on a small area of glass to ensure you are not causing damage to the surface.
You will be amazed at how effective these methods are but always use caution when handling harmful chemicals.