How to remove paint from hands

Painting is an entrancing experience that keeps you engrossed completely for hours.

Whether you’re painting walls at your home or painting images for any artwork, your focused creative exploits invariably leave you with painted hands and skin.

While some paints are easily removed by washing with soap and water, others are hard to remove paints and require more specialized treatment.

Let’s explore the various safe and effective ways of removing different types of paints from your hands.

Types of Paint

Identifying the type of paints you need to remove, determines the procedure required for removing them efficiently.

Water-Based Paint

The wet water-based paints are easily removable simply by washing using soap and water. 

Once the paints become dry, they get hardened and require more intense treatment. 

Some examples of water-based paints are tempera paint, finger paints, latex paint, acrylic paint, and watercolors.

Oil-Based Paint

The oil-based paints are more complicated as they strongly adhere to your skin. They are not removable by using soap and water as they are not water-soluble.

These paints require treatment with various types of mineral oils, alcohol-based solutions, natural cleaners, or other home remedies.

Methods for removing both water and oil-based paints

Soap and water

As soon as you detect the paints on your hand or skin, wash it using soap and water. Scrub the painted area gently to remove the big portions of the paint.

The paints get harder to remove once they get dry. So catch them at the earliest when they are still wet. 

With simple hand washing, you can remove most of the water or latex paints completely.

Mineral Oil

Apply mineral oil over the painted skin area. It acts as a potent cleaner for removing both oil and water-based paints. 

You may use coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, or any other vegetable oils for the purpose.

Ensure to cover the entire painted area using the mineral or baby oil. Gently rub it against the painted surface and allow it to soak in for 5 minutes. 

Scrub the painted skin using fingertips in small circles for lifting the paint off.

You may also use cotton balls or a small piece of spare cloth soaked in oil for a more thorough scrubbing of the painted skin.

Alcohol or Nail polish remover

In case of tougher paint stains, you may rub alcohol or nail polish remover over the painted skin for removing the paints.

Take some cotton balls and soak them in alcohol or nail paint remover.

Gently massage these soaked balls over the paint stains that were not removed by using the mineral oil earlier.

The alcohol evaporates soon from your skin. Therefore rub it quickly over the painted area to make the paints disappear.

Treatment with alcohol may leave your skin dry. Use a moisturizing solution for preventing skin dryness.

Once you are done with the above treatments, rinse your hands thoroughly using soap and water to remove the leftover oils and avoid the foul odor of alcohol.

Methods for removing stronger oil-based paints

If you did not meet success in removing the paints from your hands or skin using the above methods, it indicates that you have stronger oil-based paints to remove.

Cooking or essential oils

Some of the common cooking or essential oils you can use for removing tough stains include vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil, lavender oil, or rosemary oil.

Begin with cleaning your painted hands or skin using warm water and liquid soap

Produce a rich lather and rinse it by rubbing your hands to remove as much paint as possible.

Apply cooking or essential oil to dissolve the paints from the skin. After spreading the oil uniformly, leave it to soak in for a few minutes. 

Scratch and scrub the skin coated with oil using your hands or fingertips. You may also use cotton balls or washcloth for rubbing the skin with oil.

Rinse the skin thoroughly using soap and water to remove any remaining oil and wash away the fragments of leftover paints. 

Salt and Oil

For more stubborn and tough paint stains, you may prepare a robust and exfoliating paint cleaner using salt and oil.

Prepare a solution of salt and oil in equal quantity. Rub the mixture over the painted skin for removing it. 

The bigger salt grains are preferable as they exert strong abrasive or exfoliating action on scrubbing against the painted skin.

Now rinse the skin with warm water and liquid soap to remove any unpleasant stickiness of the applied mixture.

Using natural Cleaners and other remedies

You may also apply various natural cleaners and other remedies for removing the tough paint stains effortlessly. 

Coconut oil and baking soda

Begin by rinsing your painted skin or hands using liquid hand soap. Create a rich lather and wash it thoroughly. 

If your lather becomes colored, repeat the rinsing couple of times to remove as much paint as possible.

Prepare a natural cleansing solution by mixing a 1/2 cup of coconut oil and a 1/2 cup of baking soda. 

Mix the solution well. Apply it on the painted skin. Scrub or massage over the treated skin using an old cloth or an old toothbrush. 

This will dissolve the paints and remove them along with the mixture. 


The tricky and hard to remove oil-based paints can be removed by using mayonnaise. It is very effective in removing oil-based paints.

Apply a small quantity of mayonnaise over the painted skin and gently rub it to spread it out in a thin layer over the paint.

Allow it to soak in for a few minutes. Now scrub your skin or hands using soap, water, and a washcloth to leave your hands paints-free.

Vick’s Vapor Rub

It may seem strange; however, using Vicks Vapor Rub is an effective paint remover that can remove tricky paint stains.  

Apply a small quantity of Vicks Vapor Rub over the painted area. Evenly spread it out. Allow it to soak in for a few minutes.

Scrub your skin or hands using a washcloth, soap, and water for completely removing the hardened paint stains.

Sugar Scrub

Another effective remedy against the tough paint stains is using the sugar scrubs. It serves as a good exfoliating and moisturizing agent.

All you need to do is to wet your painted hands or skin. Then, place a tablespoon of plain white sugar over the target area. 

Gently rub the sugar into the skin till you see the paints leaving your hands and skin. 

It is a natural remedy for cleaning paints from your skin than using other chemical cleaners.

Paint cleaners

If nothing seems to work out, you may buy professional paint wipes. 

These professional paint cleaners are specially designed to remove any type of water or oil-based paints without harming your skin.

Some of these paint cleaners are natural and biodegradable. 

Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying these paint cleaners.


Removing paint stains from your hand or skin is no more a challenging task.

By applying the above mentioned natural cleansers and home remedies, you can remove even the toughest oil-based paints within a few minutes.

Backed by this knowledge, you can stay relaxed and carefree while portraying your master-pieces. It allows you to engage in uninhibited and creative experiments with your paints. 


Dolly Savla

Dolly is a part of the content creation team at Her strength lies in creating content about sports, fitness and lifestyle. Creating art, drinking coffee and reading books, makes her happy when not working with reviews.

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