How Do You Get Paint Off a Car?

Accidents happen all the time. One of the most frustrating is getting unwanted paint on your car. If you follow these methods, you can get paint stains off without worry. There is no need to stress, whether it’s the punk neighbor spray-painting your bumper or some house paint that spilled onto your hood while parked in the garage; get the perfect shine back with the steps below. 


Top 4 Ways to Get Paint Off a Car

How to get paint off a car? Below are the top four ways to get a paint stain off your vehicle. Start with the mildest methods and only work towards the harsher chemicals if needed. The less damage you can do to your existing car paint while removing the unwanted paint, the better. If the paint stain is fresh, you will have better luck with milder solutions. The faster you can get the splatter off, the easier it will be. 


Soap & Water

Learning how to get paint off a car is likely a new venture for you due to some accident. Using soap and water to get paint splatters off your vehicle is the most gentle method. Start here before pursuing any other chemicals. Follow the steps below for the best results. 

  1. Mix warm water and soap in a clean bucket. 
  2. Use a soft sponge or microfiber towel soaked in the soapy solution to start scrubbing away the unwanted paint. 
  3. Take your time, and don’t apply too much force. Rub in a circular motion and rinse the rag through the soapy water often. 
  4. Once the paint is completely gone, dry the area with a new and dry microfiber towel. 



The chemicals in WD-40 can be a great tool to help remove undesirable paint from the surface of your car. WD-40 is harsher than soap and water but not quite as ruthless as lacquer thinner. WD-40 may be the next best step if soap and water don’t do the job. Without going to the extreme, the WD-40 will pack a bit more of a punch. Below are the best steps for how to use WD-40 to get paint off a car. 

  1. Spray a touch of WD-40 directly on the affected area. 
  2. With a soft sponge or rag, wipe the WD-40 off in the same direction as the paint. Not in a circular motion!
  3. Apply more and keep repeating those steps as necessary to remove the paint spots. 



Using acetone or nail polish remover when figuring out how to get a paint scratch off a car is a powerful and effective method. Be very careful when using acetone to get paint off a car! It is much harsher than soap & water, and even WD-40. The acetone can mess up the original paint on the vehicle, almost instantly leaving a faded spot. For the best results, carefully follow the steps below. 

  1. First, clean the surface with soap and water to remove any debris. 
  2. Put the slightest touch of acetone on a Q-Tip or the corner of a soft rag. 
  3. Rub that cloth or Q-Tip on the affected area very accurately. 
  4. Clean off the acetone residue with warm water. 


Lacquer Thinner

Lacquer thinner is the most brutal tool to get paint off a car. A perfect last resort – the lacquer thinner is very potent and can remove much more than paint. Just like acetone, the lacquer thinner requires an extra level of care when you are working on your car with it. Follow the steps below and remove any unwanted paint from your vehicle – guaranteed!

  1. Put gloves on to protect your skin from this potent chemical. 
  2. Clean the surface with soap and water to remove any debris. 
  3. Put the smallest amount of lacquer thinner possible on a Q-Tip or the edge of a rag. 
  4. Rub that directly on the paint spot. 
  5. Once the paint is gone, clean off the remaining lacquer thinner with warm water.


Get A Wrap Today! 

No matter what method you choose, removing unwanted paint from your car can be difficult. Instead, come try wrapping your vehicle for an easy, hassle-free experience. Contact Synergy Wraps to avoid the hassle of cosmetic damage forever!

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