4 Methods to Remove Spray Paint From Wood

Published by: | Updated: February 23, 2023
JCS Refresh How To Remove Spray Paint From Wood

Fresh spray paint is easy to remove, but once it starts to dry, it can be tough to remove without causing damage – especially when working with wood! 

But it isn’t as intimidating as you think.

In this article, we’ll discuss several methods to remove spray paint from wood and other related questions.

Let’s get started!

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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?

Contact our team to learn more about specialty graffiti removal services.

Quick Answer

There are several techniques you can use when removing spray paint from wood, check out the table below and see what’s best for you:




Soap & Water

Dishwashing liquid, water, brush

Best for small, freshly painted surface

Paint Stripper

Paintbrush/roller, scraper

Best for small and large projects

Pressure Washer

Nozzle (depends on surface)

Best for large projects (efficient)


Clean rag

Best for small and large projects but can be harmful

Quick questions before starting

Let’s answer these important questions before starting:

How difficult is this to do?

The difficulty level depends on the extent of the graffiti or spray paint. It can be easy to medium if you’re dealing with a new or mild-painted surface.

However, large and thick layers of paint can be complex. In such situations, we suggest reaching out to graffiti removal experts.  

How long does it take?

This process can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the extent of the surface and size.

How much do materials cost?

The average cost to remove spray paint from wood ranges from $50 to $200. But for severe projects, graffiti removal costs start at $200+.

JCS Refresh How To Remove Spray Paint From Wood

How to get spray paint off wood

In this section, we’ll discuss several methods you can implement:

Soap and water

Tools: Dishwashing liquid, water, and brush

Before you grab chemicals, try basic methods first, especially if you are dealing with a small, freshly painted surface.

Dilute dishwashing soap in water and pour it on the affected area, then brush or scrub the surface vigorously. However, as stated, we recommend this for small, newly painted areas. Also, it won’t be effective on dried-up paint.

Paint Stripper

Tools: paint stripper, paintbrush, scraper

We recommend using a natural gel or paste paint stripper to avoid damaging the surface below the spray paint. Once applied, let it sit for a few minutes or longer, depending on the instructions.

Next, wait for the paint to bubble; that is your signal to remove it carefully using the scraper. This technique is recommended for large projects and is commonly utilized by graffiti removal services.

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Pressure washing

Another technique used by graffiti removal experts is pressure washing. 

This is one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods of removing spray paint, especially when tackling large and thick layers of spray paint.

Depending on the area’s condition, pressurized water is sometimes enough to do the job. Still, professionals sometimes use cleaning detergents or paint strippers and then rinse everything. As a result, the cost of removing graffiti may vary.

However, if you think you can do the job independently, ensure you know how to use a pressure washer.

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Tools: Acetone, clean rag

Acetone is one of the most effective ways to remove spray paint. 

However, this chemical can irritate your nose, throat, lungs, and eyes, so it’s crucial to wear safety clothing and a respirator.

Soak the rag with acetone and spread it generously on the surface. Then let the acetone work its way for several minutes. Next, using another doused rag, scrub the paint away. Keep doing this until everything is removed, and don’t forget to rinse the surface at the end.

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Frequently asked questions

Let’s check out these frequently asked questions:

Does vinegar remove spray paint from wood?

Vinegar doesn’t thoroughly remove spray paint from wood. 

However, it can soften the paint, making it easier to remove. It is considered a natural alternative to chemicals but can be labor-intensive.


Woo! Applying the above-mentioned techniques, you can safely remove spray paint from wood surfaces.

However, if you can’t still remove the graffiti, it’s time to hire graffiti removal services! 

No need to worry about anything; after a few hours, your surface is good as new!

Thanks for reading!