Whether you accidentally got some paint on your window pane while giving new life to the frame or chose the wrong color when painting your mason jar, it’s pretty easy to remove paint from glass and make it clear again.
To remove paint from glass, you can scrub it with vinegar, mineral spirits, or soap and water. You can also scrape off the paint with a razor blade or use acetone to remove it. Other products you can use include a commercial window cleaner, WD-40, rubbing alcohol, and paint thinner.
Let’s take a look at all these methods in more detail so that you know what to do. We’ll also walk you through the steps, so you don’t accidentally scratch your glass while trying to remove the paint stain.
How Do You Get Paint off Glass Without Scratching it?
There are many ways to remove paint from the glass without scratching it. Remember to be patient as you try these methods since they might take some time, but in the end, you’ll be able to get rid of the stain.
In most cases, you won’t need to go out and buy specific chemical-based products—you probably have all you need right home.
The first thing you can try to do is scrub the glass using plain old white vinegar. The good thing about vinegar is that it doesn’t have harsh chemicals and is an easy and simple DIY solution. Here’s what you have to do:
- Pour 240 ml of white vinegar into a cup big enough to hold the vinegar so that it won’t spill over if you dip a rag in it. Use a glass cup instead of a plastic one since you’ll be heating the vinegar.
- Microwave the vinegar for 30-60 seconds until it starts to boil. You don’t need to cover the container but stop the microwave as soon as the vinegar starts bubbling.
- Wear rubber gloves to prevent your hands from being burnt by the hot vinegar. Then dip a clean rag or a sponge in the vinegar. Avoid using a hand towel since it might be too bulky and get in the way.
- All you now have to do is scrub the paint with the rag. You can use some elbow grease to soften the paint first and then saturate it with vinegar to remove it.
- If you’re working on a window and you manage to remove the paint completely, spray it with a glass cleaner and clean it off.
Using mineral spirits (on Amazon) is a great way to remove tiny flecks of paint. You must dampen a rag with mineral spirits and wipe the whole frame thoroughly.
Mineral spirits are typically used as paint thinners, so they’re an excellent option for removing bits of paint. If you don’t have mineral spirits at home, perhaps from the last DIY project you did, then you can quickly get them from any home improvement store.
Soap and Water
The classic combination of soap and water is also effective at removing paint from glass. This method works best if you first use vinegar. Here’s what you have to do.
Fill a bucket with warm water and mix one tablespoon of dish soap. It’s better to put the dish soap first and then the water in the bucket so that it gets sudsy as the bucket fills up with water.
Soak a rag or sponge in the mixture you just made and wipe down the paint. If you’re worried about water dripping on the floor or ruining your wall (if you’re trying to get paint off your window), you can put a towel underneath the place where you’re working.
Acetone is less aggressive than many commercial solvents and can dissolve dry and wet paint, making it a safe paint remover. It’s also not a VOC, so you don’t have to use a respirator when working with acetone.
To clean the paint, soak a rag in acetone (on Amazon) and press it against the dried paint. Let it soak through the paint to dissolve it. That’s all there is to it—ensure you keep the rag away from flames and heat since the chemical is highly flammable.
A razor blade can help you scrape off excess paint by loosening dried paint. Before you start scraping, ensure you wet the surface and that there are no nicks or dents on the blade.
Then slowly run the blade over the paint at a 45-degree angle using firm pressure. Scrape in one direction only, and keep moistening the paint with a soapy rag to keep lubrication up. Try lodging the razor’s edge underneath the paint stain so that it comes off in one piece.
Make sure you take your time with this process—if you scrape too quickly, you can end up scratching the glass.
Commercial Glass Cleaner
Another way to get rid of lighter paint flakes is to use a glass cleaner (on Amazon), especially if you’re left with some paint flakes and soap after following one of the other methods listed above. Then, spray it on the window and use a rag to wipe it down.
What Product Removes Paint from Glass the Best?
In addition to the methods listed above, other products effectively remove paint from the glass.
An excellent alternative for cleaning mirrors and other glass surfaces is the WD-40 Multi-use product. It gets rid of smears and sticky residue, so you’re left with clean and clear glass. When using WD-40, make sure you use a dry cloth to remove it thoroughly.
If the paint becomes too hard to scrape off with a razor blade, you can soften it using lacquer thinner. Alternatively, using the thinner, you can follow what many pros do and clean the paint with a razor before the final cleanup.
However, paint thinner only works if the paint isn’t completely dry, and it might not be that effective, depending on the kind of paint.
Wetting latex paint on a mirror or window with rubbing alcohol can also help you wipe it off quickly.