How To Remove Spray Paint From Metal (DIY Easy Removal) (2023)

Spray paint for metalis a great way to touch up and redo surfaces until you get it on something you didn't want it on. Fortunately, you can learn how to remove spray paint from metal without too much fuss.

So whether you accidentally spray painted your aluminum door or need to get some graffiti removed, this guide will help you find the right method to remove that dreaded spray paint from unwanted surfaces.

What Can Remove Paint From Metal Surfaces?

Fortunately, metal is porous, which means it is not that difficult to remove unwanted spray paint. The challenge you will face is trying to remove it without damaging the surface underneath the paint.

There are a variety of ways you can remove spray paint from metal surfaces that you can choose from. Let’s take a closer look:

Chemical Removers

Various types of chemicals can be used to remove spray paint from metal surfaces. Here are the most common chemical paint removers used:

  • Paint stripperor liquid paint remover

    Liquid paint remover is ideal for small items like brass knobs or metal hardware. You would soak the items in the liquid paint remover then use a stiff bristle brush to scrub off the loosened paint. Make sure todispose of paint thinner properlyafter using.

  • Spray-on paint removers

    This type of chemical comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle. It is ideal for spraying on surfaces that can't be soaked, such as rounded surfaces on bikes and patio furniture. You can find it at automotive stores.

  • Brush-on gel remover

    If you have thick paint on a metal surface, you would want to use the gel-type paint remover. This is because the gel doesn’t evaporate the way liquid remover does. So,you can leave it on longer.

  • Carnauba wax

    Carnaubawax is ideal for the metal on vehicles. It comes in aerosol or liquid and is specifically designed to dissolve acrylic spray paint on vehicles without damaging the coat underneath it.


There are two ways of blasting spray paint off of metal surfaces. Blasting uses a blasting rig to remove spray paint from large projects such as construction or farm equipment. You can either use sandblasting or soda blasting. Let's take a look at the differences:

  • Sandblasting

    (Video) Remove Spray Paint from metal without Scratching | House keeper

    Sandblasting uses sand particles to scrape the surfaces by blasting them with small particles propelled at high pressure.

  • Dustless sandblasting

    This process uses sand just like sandblasting; however, you also add water and typically a rust inhibitor with it to minimize the dust.

  • Soda blasting

    Soda blasting uses sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, to blast the spray paint particles away.

How To Remove Spray Paint From Metal (DIY Easy Removal) (1)

How To Remove Paint From Metal (Tips & Tricks)

Although there are a variety of methods you can use to remove spray paint from metal, knowing how to do it properly will result in a much better makeover.

When it comes to removing spray paint from metal surfaces, your method will depend on what precisely you are working with. Below, we will show you how to remove old spray paint from metal siding, doors, and furniture.

How To Remove Spray Paint From Metal Siding

If you are using spray paint and accidentally sprayed the wrong section, you can easily wipe it off while it is still wet with water or water and dish soap.

However, if you are trying to remove old spray paint, you will need to use a chemical stripper. We recommend using either liquid paint thinner or the brush-on gel remover to get the best results. Here' what you need:

  • Rubber gloves

  • Plastic paint scraper

  • Paintbrush

  • Chemical stripper

  • Rag or old towel

After you have the above items, follow these steps to remove the spray paint:

  1. 1

    (Video) How to remove spray paint from metal | Completely remove spray paint

    First, put on the rubber gloves. Rubber gloves will protect your hands from the stripper, which can cause skin irritations.
  2. 2

    Next, using the paintbrush apply either the brush-on gel remover or liquid paint thinner. Allow the chemical stripper to sit for several minutes.
  3. 3

    Then, use the plastic paint scraper to gently remove the unwanted paint.
  4. 4

    Use a rag or an old towel to wipe away any residue.

How To Remove Spray Paint From Metal Doors

Let's say you are using spray paint to paint the trim around your door, but you accidentally get it on the door; you can easily use water or water and soap while the paint is still wet.

But, if you missed it and it was allowed to try, you can easily remove the spray paint using a chemical stripper. We recommend using carnauba wax because it is a gentler remover designed to prevent ruining the door's surface. Here's what you need:

After you have gathered all the above supplies, use the following steps to remove unwanted paint from your metal doors.

  1. 1

    First, put on your rubber gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals you will be using.
  2. 2

    Then, apply the carnauba wax using a paintbrush. This type of chemical is ideal for doors and metal window frames because you do not want to mess up the surface of your door since you probably didn't want it painted anyway.
  3. 3

    If the paint is bubbling, it’s ready to be removed. Using the metal scrubbing pad, scrub as much of the paint off the surface as you can.
  4. 4

    Rinse the paint thinner off using water and an old rag or towel.
  5. 5

    If the paint did not come all the way off, repeat the process until all the paint has been removed.

(Video) 2 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal

How To Remove Spray Paint From Metal Furniture

Most metal furniture will have tight angles or rounded surfaces, so you will need to use a spray-on remover when attempting to remove spray paint from metal furniture.

The spray-on remover allows you to apply an even coat to the object.

Here’s what you need:

  • Rubber gloves

  • Metal scrubbing pad or plastic scraper

  • Rag or old towel

  • Spray-on paint remover

How To Remove Spray Paint From Metal (DIY Easy Removal) (2)

Once you have gathered the above items and the item you want to remove old spray paint from, follow the steps below to properly remove it.

  1. 1

    First, you should always put on rubber gloves when working with any chemicals.
  2. 2

    Next, place the object either outside or on an old towel to prevent dripping onto your floor or other surfaces.
  3. 3

    Then, spray every section of the metal surface with the spray-on paint remover. Allow the chemical to work for about 30-minutes or until the paint begins to bubble.
  4. 4

    Use the metal scrubbing pad to remove the paint from all the nooks and crannies of the metal furniture. For larger sections, you can use the plastic scraper.
  5. 5

    After you have scraped the paint, you will want to rinse the object with water to remove any chemical residue.
  6. 6

    If some of the paint has remained after this process, repeat the process in those areas.

Can You Spray Paint Over Old Painted Metal?

Yes, with a little TLC, someone else’s trash can become your treasure, but only if you do it right. Giving an old piece of metal a full makeover requires a little work, and skipping steps can result in a messy-looking finished product. Follow the steps below before spray painting over rusted old metal:

How To Remove Spray Paint From Metal (DIY Easy Removal) (3)

(Video) How To Remove Paint Off Your Rims (Fast,Easy,Effective)

  1. 1

    Inspect the object. First, inspect the object. You want to look for chipping paint, cracks, holes, and rust. If you notice any of the following, you will need to fix those things before repainting the surface.
  2. 2

    Fix paint chipping. If the old paint is chipping, you will want to strip the old paint before repainting the item. Use a spray-on chemical paint remover for furniture to remove the old paint first.
  3. 3

    Fix any holes or cracks. If the object has any holes or cracks, sand the areas to get to bare metal. Then, use an epoxy made for metal surfaces to fill in the holes. Allow it to dry completely.
  4. 4

    Sand the rust spots. Use a stiff wire brush to sand off as much rust as possible. It’s ok if you can’t remove all of it.
  5. 5

    Even if there are no visible blemishes to the object, sanding the entire surface before repainting is essential. Roughing up your surface allows the new paint to stick better. Then, use a fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the entire surface. You can do this by hand or with a power sander.
  6. 6

    Finally, use a primer especially made for metal surfaces and coat the entire object. Allow the primer to dry completely before coating with new spray paint. Be sure to use spray paint specifically designed for metal surfaces.

Removing Spray Paint From Metal FAQs

Will vinegar remove spray paint from metal?

Yes, vinegar is a great solution for removing small spots of paint from metal surfaces. You will want to let the vinegar soften the paint for about 10-15 minutes. Then, scrape it off with a plastic paint scraper.

What household item removes spray paint from metal?

Instead of using harsh chemicals, you can use other household items to remove small spots of spray paint. Household items that work usually contain alcohol which breaks down the paint’s bonds. You can try hairspray, nail polish remover, and rubbing alcohol. Be sure to test a small inconspicuous area first.

Can you burn paint off metal?

This is not recommended since the heat is retained in metal for a long time which runs the risk of getting burnt. However, a propane torch or heat gun can soften the paint so that it can be scraped off easier.

(Video) Removing paint from metal hardware. Easy to do DIY home restoration project


There’s nothing more frustrating than getting spray paint where it isn’t supposed to be. Thankfully, we know how to remove spray paint from metal with minimal effort, and now you can too! Whether you use chemicals or household items, spray paint is easy to remove from metal surfaces.


What removes spray paint instantly? ›

Acetone, amyl or ethyl acetate, ketone and toluene are common ingredients in lacquer thinners. Lacquer thinners are designed to thin lacquers and clean equipment used for lacquer finishing. It can soften and dissolve most paints even after they've hardened. It is highly effective at removing spray paint.

Will vinegar remove paint from metal? ›

Baking Soda / Vinegar and Heat

If you're working with smaller items like hardware or door hinges, mixing baking soda and water or vinegar and water over a heat source is a natural way to remove paint from metal surfaces. This can be done on your stovetop with a disposable pan or pot.

Does WD-40 remove spray paint? ›

WD-40 is effective at removing this additional layer of paint. Give the whole area a good spray down, and then let it soak in. After that, it's just a case of putting in a few minutes of elbow grease with a microfiber cloth. The abrasion should lift away the offending paint.

What is the best homemade paint remover? ›

No paint remover on hand? Just grab some borax, washing soda and ammonia and you can cook up a batch yourself! To make this homebrewed paint remover, simply take a dish or vessel and pour in 1 part ammonia, 1 part borax and 1 part washing soda. Also add a small amount of water.

How do you remove dried spray paint from metal? ›

Removing Spray Paint from Metal
  1. For small metal objects, cover the base of an old pot you no longer use with a ⅛-inch layer of baking soda. ...
  2. Set the stained metal object inside the pot, then let the water simmer on the stove over low heat for 30 minutes.
Oct 20, 2020

What is the fastest paint remover? ›

The best paint stripper
  • Best Overall: Citri-Strip Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel.
  • Most Eco Friendly: Dumond Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover.
  • Fastest Working: Sunnyside 2-Minute Advanced Paint Remover.
  • Most Family Friendly: MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper.
  • Most Heavy Duty: Dumond Peel Away 1 Heavy-Duty Paint Remover.
Aug 17, 2022

What is the fastest way to remove paint from metal? ›

Baking Soda (or Vinegar) & Heat

For every quart of water, add 1/4 cup of baking soda or vinegar and bring the water to a boil. Add the item to the pan and let it boil for about 15 minutes or until the paint falls off. While wearing heat-protective gloves, use tongs to remove the metal pieces.

Does WD 40 Remove paint metal? ›

Most people know WD-40 Multi-Use Product as a lubricant, but it was originally used as an anti-corrosive by the aerospace industry to prevent spacecraft from rusting. WD-40 can help remove rust from metals like iron, chrome, and stainless steel without further damaging the surface of the metal or removing the paint.

What is a natural paint remover? ›

If you have small metal items covered or splattered with paint like door, cabinet or furniture hardware or outlet covers, baking soda and boiling water can make paint removal simple. When the objects are heated, the metal and the paint expand at different rates causing a break in the bond.

Can you remove spray paint with rubbing alcohol? ›

Hairspray contains alcohol, which breaks down the paint's bonds. You can also use other alcohol-based treatments, like nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Test by applying the cleaner to an inconspicuous area, then spray the affected area liberally. Rub the stain with a dry cloth.

Does white vinegar remove spray paint? ›

White vinegar is an acetic acid that rapidly dissolves spray paint splashes. It works even best on a fibreglass surface. The simple method involves using a warm vinegar-soaked rag. For this purpose, take a pyrex or an inert measuring cup, pour some white vinegar, and warm it in a microwave.

Will isopropyl alcohol remove spray paint? ›

If a display has been spray painted, inadvertently or as an act of vandalism, there are two options of removing it: A soft cloth and Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA), if that doesn't work, Ethanol and a soft cloth can be used.

Does hand sanitizer remove spray paint? ›

Like hairspray, hand sanitizer contains some alcohol that helps loosen up latex paint. Cover the stain in hand sanitizer, scrub it with a toothbrush, and wash it out. PRO TIP: Try using hairspray and hand sanitizer for an effective stain removal.


1. Spray Paint Removal From Metal | Can It Detail? | S1:EP4
(Owner's Pride Detailing)
2. How to Remove Spray Paint From Metal.
3. How to Remove Metal Rust with Owatrol Oil? I DIY Rust Treatment & Inhibitor @OwatrolOfficial
4. How to remove Rust-Oleum Spray Paint
5. How to remove spray paint from plastic
(Brad the Painter)
6. How To Strip Paint From Metal Surfaces - QUICK, EASY & EFFECTIVE
(NJS Instructional)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated: 03/31/2023

Views: 5492

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.