How to Remove Fabric Paint From Fabric & Clothes: 3 Ways

Being a craft lover, it’s easy to get paint on your dress and somehow depressing if not get omitted. However, people can get paint on the dress in variable ways, and there’s classification in the color types as well. It can be dry or wet paint. Here we’ll discuss how to deal with such color-stained dresses & how to remove fabric paint from fabric & clothes.

how to remove fabric paint

The first-ever step you need to remember is to act immediately when your dress got stained as it’s hard to clean them in a dry state. However, let prepare for the worst situation.

How to Remove Fabric Paint from Fabric & Clothes: 3 Methods & Step by Step

remove fabric paint from clothes & fabric
remove fabric paint from clothes & fabric

Read Also: How to Remove Slime from Fabric

Method One: Remove Wet Paint from Fabric & Clothing


  • Cold or normal water
  • Putty knife or paper towel
  • Detergent/ dishwashing soap
  • Brush or sponge
  • Toothbrush
  • Washing machine

Step 01: Dealing With The Stained Cloth Immediately

As I suggested before, you need to act immediately and remove the paints before it dries. It’s not that the paint won’t get out later, but the sooner it’s, the easier it will be for you. If you’re wearing clothes, take them out immediately and start washing.

Even if it’s impossible to take the cloth off at the moment, start washing the paint in that state instead of waiting.

Step 02: Avoid Application of Heat to The Paint

Some paints don’t set on the air dry. That means those kinds of paints need heat to dry, usually the heat of iron. Many cloth designers use the technique to dry their fabric paint. As you’re to remove the stain, avoid ironing the fabric till the color is fully omitted.

Besides ironing, many other ways provide heat to cloth, and one of them is hot water. Don’t wash the stained cloth using hot water. Unless you’re sure that the stain got removed, don’t mistake to put the cloth on a dryer or use a hairdryer for drying the cloth. The output may be opposite if there remains any color.

The fabric paint bottle says that the heat doesn’t set the color and is allowed to use hot water while washing. If you’re not sure about the correct data, it’s better to leave the small damage changes.

Step 03: Removal of The Unabsorbed Color

It’s a step that I should have mentioned before. If your color falls on the fabric on a large amount, logically, it would take time to absorb. You need to remove the unabsorbed part immediately without spreading into the surrounding.

Dab the place or blot the paint out using a paper towel. You can also scrap that paint out using a putty knife. Avoid rubbing as it will spread the color.

Step 04: Flushing The Stain

After removing the unabsorbed part, run the stain under cold water. It will reduce your work. Do this on a sink as the tape water will have water pressure. Place your cloth under the tape where the stain will face the downward direction where the fresh side towards the tape.

Don’t use hot water in this step. You’re not even allowed to follow this step if your garments say that it needs dry cleaning. So, always read the provided care instructions first.

Step 05: Hand Washing The Cloth

After flushing, the stain out hand washes the stain by scrubbing with detergent. Using one-part detergent & one-part water will give the best output.

Rub and rinse the detergent on the stain several times till the stain got removed. You can use dish soap as an alternative to laundry detergent. You can also use a sponge or brush for scrubbing the stain if hand washing isn’t enough. I use an old toothbrush for the tiny stains.

Step 06: Machine Wash

It’s time for machine wash after handwashing on cold water setting. Use detergent as you need or more. This way, the residual paint will get out.

Avoid pouring hot water on the machine or putting the cloth on the dryer. In this way, wet paint must get removed. If still, your fabric has paint after coming out of the machine. It’s dried paint.

Air-dry the fabric and go for the next method. Garments giving care instructions for hand washing or dry cleaning shouldn’t go through a machine wash.

Step 07: Professional Cleaning

You have no other way of going to a professional cleaner if the cloth is delicate or can’t be washed at home. Sometimes dry cleaner can remove dry or wet stains from delicate cloths like silk. Even if your cloth is washable at home, but you failed to remove them, take them to a professional.

Next Read: 2 Ways to Waterproof Fabric & Clothes

Method Two: Get Dried Paint Out of Fabric and Clothes


  • Cold or normal water
  • Putty knife (stiff nylon brush or a brass wire brush can be your alternative)
  • Alcohol-based solvent
  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Laundry detergent
  • Washing machine

Step 01: Scraping The Paint Out as Much as it’s Possible

Before you act on treating the stain using chemicals, remove the stain manually by scrubbing. Use a blunt scraper like the putty knife to scrape off your dried paint. A stiff nylon brush or a brass wire brush can be your alternative to remove some of the dried paints.

Please don’t be so harsh on the fabric, or else it will rip the fabric. If there’s nothing to come out, jump to the next step.

Step 02: Application of a Solvent

Here you’ll be softening the remaining part of the paint by treating it with the chemical. Use an alcohol-based solvent. It can be your acetone-based nail-polish remover. Apply the solvent in a small amount directly to the paint.

For acrylic paint, go for alcohol, mineral spirits, or turpentine. You can even go for your nail-polish remover or hair spray that’s acetone-based. If the worst situation happens and nothing works for you, buy cleaning stuff from the local store of home improvement. Buy the one that is specifically for removing your paint type.

Let the solvent sit on the stubborn stain for a while before scrubbing. Be careful of using the solvent on delicate fabrics. Stuff made of acetate or triacetate will get damaged by acetone. Natural fibers like wool & silk are also easily damageable.

Always have a trial of the chemical on a hidden part of the cloth-like the inside seam. Take the fabric to a professional dry cleaner if the garment isn’t suitable for washing under the solvent.

Step 03: Scrubbing

Again scrub the softened paint after the solvent breaks down the hard molecules of the stain. You can use the stiff bristle brush for that. Then move the cloth to the sink & continue scrubbing using cold water and detergent.

Step 04: Machine Wash

Again, like the previous method, after you’re done with hand washing, use the washing machine with cold water and plenty of laundry detergent. Unless all the stains are out, never use heat on the fabric.

Read Also: Tips on Cleaning Fabric Softener Dispenser

Method Three: In The Worst Situation, Salvaging The Cloth


  • Sewing materials
  • More paints
  • Sequins or decorative patch

Step 01: Hemming The Cloth

If the stain is on your bottom sleeve or bottom of the pant, then you can modify the stuff by cutting it from the edge. By raising your hem, you can probably convert long pants into capris & a long-sleeved shirt into a shirt of ¾-sleeved.

Anyone who knows how to sew can hem their cloth properly. Or else, take the cloth to a tailor.

Step 02: Turn Into Intentional Design

You can turn the accidental paint into an intentional design by applying more paint. Make something interesting that incorporates the color stain. Don’t ever come up with the idea of covering the stain with paint similar to the fabric. The output can become worse.

Step 03: Covering The Stained Area

If you’re against pouring more fabric paint, you can come up with other ideas for covering the stain. You can cover the stain with sequins or a decorative patch. You can even thread the place for creating a design. Go for the iron-on patches, if you want to avoid sewing.

Step 04: Reusing The Cloth

You can turn your cloth into something other if all the methods fail. If the stained cloth is your shirt or similar items, turn the unstained part into a throw pillow.

You need sewing skills for this step. There’re many tutorials online to guide you on sewing. If you don’t want to sew, you can go for a tailor who will customize clothing with your stained fabric.

Read Also: How to Remove Slime from Fabric and Clothes


Can Stain-Removing Pen Omit Fabric Paint?

It may work depending on the severity of the stain. The stain-removing pen may work on tiny & thin stains but not on the larger ones.

How to Remove Paint from Shoes?

If the shoe is converse or similar, made of fabric, use a sponge and dab nail-polish remover. Let it sink on the stain for a bit. Then brush the stain out using water & cleaning solution.

In the non-fabric shoe, take a nail-polish remover to a cloth and rub it on the stain. The paint stain will soften and come off.

Next Read: Tips on How to Make Fabric Paint

Final Verdict:

I hope, from now you know how to get paint out of fabric, both dry and wet from clothes & fabric. Be gentle on your fabric; it doesn’t matter how stubborn the stain is. If all methods fail, go for a professional.

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