Removing Spray Paint From Plastic – (Quick Guide & Materials)

Published by: | Updated: June 12, 2023
JCS Refresh How To Remove Spray Paint From Plastic

Spray paint can be used artfully to improve aesthetics, but it can also be a menace when applied improperly. 

Removing it can be tough, especially for surfaces like plastic. 

This short guide will help you learn about the household and commercial remedies for removing spray paint from plastic, along with some tips and tricks to help you save time and money.

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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. 

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Quick Answer

You can remove spray paint from plastic using some household remedies, commercial chemicals, or you can hire a professional paint removal service

Here’s a quick list of the chemicals suitable for the job:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Dish soap
  • Acetone
  • WD-40
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Denatured alcohol
JCS Refresh How To Remove Spray Paint From Plastic

Quick questions before starting

Before we dive deeper into the concept, let’s understand a few important aspects of making informed decisions.  

How difficult is this to do?

The effort involved in removing spray paint from a plastic surface depends upon the paint’s freshness and the surface’s coarseness. If you keep a rag at hand and wipe the paint as soon as it is applied, it is as easy as a wet wipe.

However, if the paint has long dried, you will have to take the help of a scraper or cleaning alcohol.  It can be a simple job in some situations, and in others it can be a tough task that needs professional help.

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How long does it take?

Removing spray paint from the plastic can take 15 minutes to a couple of hours. It depends upon the type of plastic and the method you use to remove the paint. For example, isopropyl alcohol needs at least 15 minutes to react with the paint and loosen it. 

How much do materials cost?

Removing spray paint from plastic at home will cost around $10 – $20. If you plan on using commercial chemicals (paint thinners or WD-40), it can shoot up to $100 or more, depending on the treated area.

How to get spray paint off plastic

There are a few homemade solutions to removing spray paint from plastic. 

Still, if the problem is bigger in scale (like removing graffiti from plastic), you can try the professional route with dedicated chemicals. 

Before we get started with the best techniques, here are a few aspects to consider:

  • Wipe the paint off while it is still fresh. As you delay this operation, the paint gets stuck and becomes harder to remove. 
  • Work carefully with tools like scrapers or harsh chemicals. Do not use turpentine, linseed oil, or ethyl alcohol. 
  • Test the chemical/solvent on the surface beforehand. This will give you an idea about the corrosiveness. 
  • Always wear proper safety gear, especially if using commercial chemicals like WD-40 to remove spray paint from graffiti.
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How to remove spray paint from plastic at home

Here’s a list of a few household items and concoctions to remove spray paint from plastic:

  • Vegetable oil 
  • Nail polish remover
  • Dish soap and warm water
  • Rubbing alcohol

The best time to remove spray paint is while it is still fresh and wet.

However, if the paint has been on the plastic for some time, you can apply any of the above solvents to remove it.

The process involves applying the solution and letting it sit for a few minutes (at least 15). Then, take a rag and rub the area unless the paint comes loose. 

If the paint is too dry, you can use a paint scraper to scrub it off the plastic surface gently.

Solutions like oil or dish soap will not work for stubborn stains, so try rubbing alcohol in such a situation.

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How to remove graffiti from plastic

Many businesses, especially in the suburbs, face graffiti on their walls and other areas of the business premises. 

While painted surfaces can be repainted to remove those stains, plastic does not offer that option, and you have to clean it using appropriate chemicals. 

Here’s a list of some commercials chemicals fit for the job:

  • Denatured alcohol
  • Acetone
  • WD-40
  • Lacquer thinners (in low concentrations)

Before starting the process, wear appropriate safety gear and use a respirator mask. Of the three chemicals mentioned above, WD-40 is your best bet to remove spray paint stains from plastic. 

Also, apply WD-40 on a smaller area to check if it damages the plastic. If it does, switch to acetone.

If the area that needs cleaning is too large, consider seeking the help of professional graffiti removal services (like us). We carry the appropriate chemicals and employ the right techniques to safely remove spray paint from plastic and other surfaces

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Frequently asked questions

Check out this FAQ section to find quick answers to some common questions about spray paint removal from plastic. 

How long does spray paint take to dry on plastic?

If the temperatures are high, like in summer, spray paint on plastic can dry anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes. If the temperatures are low, it can take up to an hour for the paint to completely dry. 

Will spray paint stick to plastic?

Yes. Spray paint infuses the surface of the plastic and becomes tough to remove when it dries up.

Can you use paint thinner on plastic?

Yes, you can use paint thinner on plastic, but be aware of the proper concentrations. Harsh chemicals can cause irreparable damage to plastic. 

Does WD-40 remove spray paint plastic?

Yes, WD-40 is an amazing chemical to remove spray-painted graffiti from plastic surfaces. It reacts with the paint to loosen and thin it, which helps with easy removal afterward.


Removing spray paint from the plastic can be time-consuming, especially if the paint dried out long ago. You can use household remedies like nail polish remover or vegetable oil to treat smaller areas. 

However, bigger areas need professional spray paint removal services. Additionally, always test the cleaning solution on a small area before applying it to a large area.

Thanks for reading!