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How to Remove Dry Paint from Shoes – Step by Step Guide

In some way, you got paint on your shoes and now they have dried up on them to give a stained, ugly patch that renders the shoes unwearable especially to functions and great places where you like to go. It can really get annoying but it is not going to be a problem anymore seeing that you have come to the right place to get expert advice on how to remove dry paint from shoes.

How to get paint out of shoes? While either water-based or oil-based paint can be one of the most difficult things to get out of shoes especially if they are dried, they are not impossible to remove. To effectively get dry paint out of your shoes, follow our step by step guide on removing paint from your shoes, no matter the kind that it is.

Get Paint off Shoes or Boots

More often then not, kids return home with paint on their sneakers, mostly as a result of an exciting day at the art class in school. And sometimes, we as adults accidentally get paint on our own shoes too. The following simple DIY methods will help to remove paint from shoes or boots without damaging the shoes themselves. We will examine them under the three broad categories of paints that your shoes can get stained with:

  1. Water-based paints
  2. Oil-based paints.
  3. Spray Pain Shoes

Get Water Based Paint Out of Your Shoes

These are paints that can easily be removed using some kind of water solvent to treat the stain. To remove water-based paint from your shoes, use any of the following methods outlined in the steps.

Method 1: Soaking and Laundering

This method is simple and cheap. All you require is water and some mild washing soap.

Step 1: Using an object with a slightly sharp edge, such as a spoon’s handle, gently scrape off dry paint from the shoe as much as possible.

Step 2: Dust off the paint and apply some water on it by dabbing with a wet piece of cloth. Allow the water to soak in for a few minutes before initiating the next step.

Step 3: Set your laundry machine to wash and put in a moderate amount of mild washing soap. Make sure that the water is cold.

Step 4: Put your shoes in the machine and allow them to get spinned.

Step 5: Remove after wash, rinse thoroughly, and spread your shoes to dry.

By the end of the washing, the stain would have been washed out of the shoes. If the paint is not completely out, don’t worry, you can use any of the next methods to perfect the work.

Method 2: Moisturizing Method

Moisturizing dry paint is another effective way to get paint off of shoes.

Step 1: Gently scrape off the paint from the shoe without adding water yet. Use the handle of a spoon or any other similar material to scrape gently.

Step 2: Apply a generous amount of moisturizer on a piece of cotton wool and use it to dab the stained area.

Step 3: Allow the moisturizer to soak into the crevices of the stain by covering the area completely with it.

Step 4: Using a piece of wet cloth, wipe off the paint that is already coming off as a result of the moisturizer applied.

Step 5: Apply more moisturizer for further effect and let it soak in the grains of the shoe material.

Step 6: Do the final cleaning and leave your shoes in a cool place to dry.

This method is effective and will remove any paint that is left even if the laundry method does not absolutely get the paint off.

Get Oil Based Paint Out of Your Shoes

Oil-based paints cannot be easily removed with just water, nor can they be treated the way water-based paint stains are treated. They require some additional treatment, especially alcohol.

Method 1: Olive Oil Treatment

This works greatly well for leather shoes or sneakers.

Step 1: As much as possible, peel off the layer of dry paint from the shoe but be careful while you do so to avoid scratching hard on the shoe’s skin.

Step 2: Apply olive oil directly on the surface of the paint stain and let soak in.

Step 3: Intermittently wipe off the olive oil with the paints that have come out and add a fresh amount of oil on the surface. Repeat this over and over.

Step 4: Use a piece of wet sponge soaked in mildly warm soapy water to wipe off the surface. Do this gently.

Step 5: Leave your shoe to dry.

The action of the olive oil makes the removal of the paint easy and by the time the soapy water and sponge come in, the paint will be ready to completely disappear.

Method 2: Use Nail Polish Remover

It’s pretty straight forward as the others but just so you don’t miss out on any step, take it this way:

Step 1: Use an old toothbrush or the blunt edge of a knife to scrape as much of the dry paint as possible.

Step 2: Use masking tape to block off all areas you want to protect from the stain during treatment.

Step 3: Using a wet sponge, soak the stained part in water. Paint stains will get easier to clean when they are moist.

Step 4: Soak a large ball of cotton wool with nail polish remover and gently use it to dab the area. Make sure not to spread the stain further around the material.

Step 5: Pinch into the stained part of the shoe to squeeze out the paint from the inside of the shoe.

Step 6: Gently remove the masking tape from the shoe.

Step 7: Thoroughly wash the shoe afterward.

And voila! You have your shoes all free of stain.

Method 3: Rubbing Alcohol Removal

The use of rubbing alcohol to remove stains is still one of the best methods around. Let’s see how it’s done.

Step 1: Prepare a mixture of rubbing alcohol that you purchased from the store and warm water in a bowl and leave aside. Ensure that the mixture is about 70% more alcohol than warm water to increase effectivity.

Step 2: Remove as much layer of paint from the shoe material as possible by gently scraping off.

Step 3: Soak a piece of cloth or sponge in the alcohol mixture and with it, dab onto the stained area.

Step 4: Repeat the dabbing over and over until the paint stain comes out to the best degree.

Step 5: Wash up your shoe, rinse, and enjoy a stain-free shoe.

You can use turpentine instead of alcohol. You will achieve just about the same great result for the two.

How to Get Spray Paint off Shoes

Now, we discuss that how to get spray paint off leather shoes and the method of removing spray paint from shoes is exactly the same as we have removed other paint from our shoes because the chemical makeup of the spray paint is found in the same manner that we find in other paints.

  • As soon as the paint is applied to your shoes, wipe the area with a dry cloth as soon as possible because if the paint is wet then it will be much easier to remove it than dry paint.
  • If the paint has dried on your shoes, take a dry cloth and apply some paint thinner on it and gently rub the place where your shoe affected with spray paint. As you do this method, the paint will slowly start to soften.
  • Now in the next step, you have to take turpentine oil and clean the paint thoroughly using it. If you want, put a few drops of alcohol on the cloth too and wipe the paint with shoes.

Get Dry Paint out of Your Suede Shoes

Getting paint out of suede takes some extra effort and it is always better prevented than treated. However, if you have a paint stain on your suede shoes, you should reach out to a professional dry cleaner to help you. You can also do it at home by using this method explained below:

Step 1: For dry paint, scrape off the stain as thoroughly as possible. Be careful not to damage the fine leather of the suede shoes.

Step 2: Apply leather cleaning liquid in the area and allow it to soak in. You can get this liquid from the online store or from your local shoe cobbler.

Step 3: When applied, you will have to place a soft piece of foam or absorbent cloth on top of the stain to soak up the paint without letting it spread to other areas of the suede.

Step 4: After you have soaked up the paint, use another fresh piece of foam soaked in mild soapy water to rub the area. Do this gently but thoroughly.

Step 5: Dry up your suede shoes using a vacuum cleaner or allow to air dry in a cool place.

That completes the cleaning out of your stained suede shoes. The area might not be exactly like the rest of the shoe for some time but don’t worry, with good leather polish and subsequent taking care of, your shoe will be just perfect.

Further Tips on How to Get Paint Off Your Shoes

If you are very desperate to get paint off shoes, don’t do anything wrong with them in a hurry. Follow these further tips before using anything.

  • For every other type of shoe including rubber, the above methods will work for cleaning out dry paint. When removing paint from your shoes, be careful not to further rub the paint into the shoes. Instead of rubbing the paint into your shoe, dab or wipe the paint out of it gently.
  • Always use masking tape to cover the edges that surround the parts of the shoe that you don’t want the stain to spread to while treating the shoe.
  • Never use alcohol near the open flame to avoid fire accidents.
  • When taking paint out of your shoes, use gloves to avoid getting stains on your skin. That may be more irritating to remove.

Does Acetone Remove Paint

Despite our so many household suggestions, many people ask the question of whether acetone removes paint from shoes?

Yes, you can also remove paints with the help of acetone, and normally this material is also used in nail polish remover. Acetone is a common material for removing oil-based paints, enamels, and acrylic paints from shoes.

Rock Your Paint-Free Sneakers

Sometimes, getting paint on your shoes and sneakers can really irk one out but never write the shoe off because of that, because removing dry paint just got easier. Follow our methods and you’re sure to get satisfying results.

You don’t have to buy any fancy shoe paint remover or spend so much on different products to remove paint from your shoes, all of these are 100% DIY methods and works very well even if you apply these methods on normal shoes, canvas shoes, or boots.