Did someone leave graffiti on your property? Or perhaps someone had had a little too much fun with spray paint.
Either way, spray paint on glass isn’t an impossible problem to solve.
Having a decade of experience in the cleaning and pressure washing industry, I’ve removed plenty of graffiti, and I’m often asked, “What’s the best way to remove spray paint from glass?”
Well, there are a couple of ways to go about it.
We’ll cover as much as we can in this article, step by step, so you can deal with removing graffiti from a glass surface at home or at your place of business.
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About The Author
Meet the expert behind this article.
Co-owner & Service Director
Hey there, I’m Cody.
A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you.
Reading from Washington State?
Learn about our graffiti removal services and how we can help refresh your property.
If you want to jump right into the methods, here are nine ways to remove spray paint from glass:
- Using white vinegar and dish soap
- Using spray paint/graffiti remover
- Using a pressure washer
- Using a paint scraper or razor blade
- Using a scouring pad or fine steel wool
- Using alcohol
- Using nail polish remover with acetone
- Using turpentine
- Using mineral spirits
Quick questions before starting
Let’s talk about three things you should know before starting: the level of difficulty, the time frame, and the tools needed to remove the stain.
How difficult is this to do?
- Depending on how long the spray paint has been sitting on the surface, this task may fall into the medium-to-difficult category.
How long does it take?
- It can take about 30 to 90 minutes to remove spray paint from a glass surface.
How much do materials cost?
- White vinegar – $7 to $15
- Dish soap – $4 to $5
- Spray paint and graffiti remover – $12 to $30
- Paint scraper or razor blade – $8 to $12
- Scouring pad or fine steel wool – $12 to $17 per set
- Pressure washers – $150 to $250 for electric gas models, $300 to $500 for gas models
- Alcohol – $9 to $13
- Nail polish remover with acetone – around $10
- Turpentine – $10 to $15
- Mineral spirits – $12 to $14
- Clean cloth – around $7 for a 12-pack cleaning cloth
How to get spray paint off glass
Whether you’re looking for information on removing graffiti from a glass surface at home or for your business, you should be able to find a solution or two.
Read on to learn more about how each method works.
Using white vinegar and dish soap
If you’re removing spray paint from a glass surface at home, these two items are almost certainly already in your kitchen.
- To begin, place a cup of white vinegar in a microwave-safe cup and heat it to a boil.
- Second, soak a clean cloth in hot vinegar. Make sure to protect your hands from the heat by wearing rubber gloves.
- After that, press the cloth against the paint spots for a few minutes before vigorously rubbing to remove the paint.
- Then, in a separate bucket of warm water, add about two tablespoons of dish soap.
- Soak a new cloth in the dish soap solution to remove any remaining paint spots and vinegar from the glass.
Using graffiti remover
Commercial graffiti removers may be your best bet when dealing with large amounts of spray paint on glass surfaces.
Ensure that you pick one that works and is safe for glass.
These removers vary in brands and types, so it’s important to read the directions on the packaging when applying the product.
Using a pressure washer
A pressure washer is an effective and quick way to remove graffiti.
To avoid breaking the glass while cleaning, use low pressure and a wide-angle fan spray attachment. Spray at a 35 to 45-degree angle, moving back and forth gently to scrub the glass. Most graffiti can be removed using this method in combination with spray paint and graffiti remover.
Pressure washers are powerful machines that can cause more harm than good if not used properly. The cost of graffiti removal when you hire a professional might even be cheaper, as they can ensure that the graffiti is removed without damaging the property.
Using a paint scraper or razor blade
When there’s still stubborn paint residue after applying a graffiti remover and using a pressure washer, another method we add is manually scrubbing the surface with a paint scraper or razor blade. This process is tedious, but effective when you’re working on your building’s interior or your storefront.
Use a sharp blade; otherwise, a dull scraper will leave scratches. Stroke the stains away with your blade at a 30 to 45 degree angle, lifting the blade at the end of each stroke.
Using a scouring pad or fine steel wool
Cleaning off tiny spots on glass jars, vases, bowls, and other household objects that have been splattered with spray paint can be done gently with scouring pads and fine steel wools as an alternative to paint scrapers or razor blades.
The proper way to dispose of the paint chips is in a plastic container filled with warm, soapy water. Wait until all of the water has evaporated in the container before throwing it away.
There are two types of alcohol you can use, and you might already have access to them at home: rubbing alcohol and denatured alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol works wonderfully on fresh paint.
To use it, make a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. While rubbing alcohol comes in a variety of concentrations, an 80:20 or 90:10 ratio is what we recommend. Dip a clean cloth in the solution, hold it onto the marks for several minutes, and scrub it off.
Denatured alcohol is stronger and must be used with caution. There is no need to dilute this with water before use, but we recommend you do a spot test first to ensure that the surface will not be damaged.
Be careful with denatured alcohol, as it can be harmful if ingested or applied to open wounds/cuts.
Using nail polish remover with acetone
A few paint spots here and there on glass surfaces can be easily removed with an acetone-based nail polish remover.
Wet the remover with a microfiber cloth, press it against the surface to soften the paint, and scrub the marks away. Using a microfiber cloth will prevent scratching the surface, while still providing enough abrasive force to remove residues.
Using turpentine and mineral spirits
Spray paint can also be dissolved with turpentine and mineral spirits. To remove the stain, soak a cotton ball or a clean cloth in the product, apply it to the affected area, and scrub.
We suggest a microfiber or soft cloth, as these chemicals have abrasive properties themselves. Make sure to follow proper disposal procedures for products after use.
Clean the surface with warm soapy water and a cloth
Whichever cleaning agent you choose, use a new cloth dipped in warm, soapy water to remove any product residue or continue cleaning it with your preferred glass cleaner. Finally, wipe the glass dry with another clean cloth.
If you’re cleaning windows, you might also want to read our article on cleaning windows with a pressure washer in five simple steps.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by our readers.
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please contact us and someone from our team will get back to you.
Does spray paint stick to glass?
Yes, most spray paints adhere to glass.
Is spray paint permanent on glass?
No, depending on the type of spray paint used, it can last for a few years on glass. As it gets exposed to the sun, the paint will fade and peel over time.
Spray paint or graffiti on glass surfaces can be difficult to remove, especially when tackling complex graffiti removal projects.
Don’t fret though, there’s more than one approach to removing this stain.
Whichever you use, make sure to wear safety goggles and rubber gloves for safety. If you’re ever unsure, it’s always best to hire a professional for graffiti removal services rather than risk damaging the surface in the process.
Thanks for reading!