3 Methods to Get Rid of Spray Paint on Metal – (clear and concise guide)

Published by: | Updated: February 23, 2023
JCS Refresh How To Get Spray Paint Off Metal

The struggle is real when removing spray paint from metal. 

No matter how durable metal is, it’s still prone to damage, which is why applying the correct technique is crucial.

In this article, we’ll tackle how to remove paint overspray from metal and walk you through a few different options to set you up for success.

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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. 

Looking for graffiti removal services in Seattle?

Contact our team about expert graffiti removal services, and let’s refresh your property.

Quick Answer

You can choose from several methods below when removing spray paint from metal:





Lint-free rag, scraper, bucket

For small and large project (can be harmful)

Paint Stripper

Brush/roller, scraper

For small and large projects

Pressure Washer

Paint stripper, brush/roller

For large projects (efficient)

Quick questions before starting

Before we jump to our main topic, let’s answer some quick questions:

How difficult is this to do?

Minor graffiti stains range from easy to medium. However, large areas might want to be handled by professionals.

How long does it take?

The extent of the graffiti or spray paint and the method used will significantly affect the cleaning time; for a mild, recently painted exterior, it may take 30 minutes to 1 hour. While a thick, dried layer of spray paint may take 1 to 2 hours.

How much do materials cost?

For small projects, you can expect to spend around $50 to $200, but for a tough layer of spray paint, graffiti removal cost starts from $200, depending on various factors.

JCS Refresh How To Get Spray Paint Off Metal

How to remove spray paint from metal

Dealing with metal can be potentially dangerous because some chemicals can cause corrosion; so, to answer the question of what removes spray paint from metal, we’ll discuss several methods below:


Tools: Acetone, lint-free rag, scraper, bucket

The alcohol content of acetone will help pierce and dissolve the paint, making it easier to scrape.

In this method, you need to soak a clean rag in a bucketful of acetone and then make sure to squeeze out the excess liquid on the bucket. Next, scrub the surface thoroughly using the wet rag until the paint dissolves.

When working with acetone, wear protective gear, such as gloves and a respirator, to avoid skin irritation and inhaling harmful fumes.

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Paint Stripper

Tools: Paint stripper, brush, scraper

Using a gel paint stripper avoids messy projects compared to a liquid paint stripper.

Apply a thick layer of paint stripper to the surface utilizing the brush and let it sit for 30 minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the paint starts to bubble, you can remove it using the plastic scraper.

If the first round isn’t successful, repeat this process until you are satisfied with the result.

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Pressure Washing

Tools: Paint stripper, brush/paint roller, pressure washer

When dealing with large sections of spray paint, you might need to step up your game.

So as stated, generously brush the surface with an eco-friendly paint stripper gel, then rinse it with the pressure washer. This method is recommended for severe spray paint and large projects.

The cost to remove graffiti may vary depending on the cleaning agents used and the extent of the graffiti.

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Overall, there are several techniques to choose from next time you need to get spray paint off metal. 

Remember, it’s pretty quick and easy, but if the paint is tough to remove, seek the help of local experts immediately! 

We hope this article has served you well and you can clean with ease next time you accidentally get some overspray on metal. 

Thanks for reading!