How to get Paint off Clothes

If you are anything like me, when you get focused on a project you don’t think about stopping to change your clothes first.  I’ll admit I have painted in all kinds of things I shouldn’t: my nice jeans, cute dresses, I could go on and on!  I’m usually really careful and don’t get paint on my clothes but every once in awhile something ends up looking like this…

Yep, that’s my super nice Guess jacket.  I actually wasn’t even painting in this, what happened was I walked past some wet paint in our house.  I wasn’t even being “bad” and I still got paint on it!  So it got me thinking… “what’s a good trick for how to get paint off clothes?”  I had seen this pin for how to get lint off sweaters and thought it was worth a shot to try for removing paint!

All you will need for this trick is a disposable razor.

(Make sure the razor is not dull, otherwise it might cut your clothes). I DO NOT recommend using this technique on cotton clothing, but it works perfectly on sweaters, wool jackets and jeans, to name a few that I’ve had to remove paint from.

Here’s what to do:

1. Lay the painted clothing item flat on a clean surface: the kitchen counter, the dining room table, etc.

2. With short, quick motions “shave” the paint off of the clothing item.


3. Repeat the “shaving” motion, being careful to not press too hard, until all the paint is gone.


4. Once the paint is gone remove the lint/paint debris with your finger or a damp cloth.

The reason this technique works so well is because it shaves off the lint layer of the clothing surface. This technique also works well for removing lint “pills” from old sweaters {which is what the original pin was about}.

Since I’ve discovered this trick I am actually less likely to change out of my good clothes before painting, but luckily I’ve gotten really good at painting carefully so I rarely have to use it! For all of you DIYers out there, I hope that this tip helps to save some of your painted or “pilled” clothes, and give them a second chance!

About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. Thanks for sharing! I do try and put on my “paint clothes” before working on projects, but this will really come in handy with my hubs. He never changes before starting a project :(

  2. Thanks for the tip!! I “try” to put on my stash of painting clothes, but there are those times that I just forget. This will work great!!

  3. Thanks Anna!! I may be able to salvage a pair of Birkenstocks that I love, but can’t wear in public since…well, let’s don’t talk about it…LOL. I hope this will work on them!!!

  4. Rubbing alcohol gets latex paint out of clothes– let it soak, and usually it’s pretty easy…

  5. Brilliant! I always say I’m gonna be careful and not get paint on my clothes but then I do anyways :) I will absolutely be trying this next time!!!

  6. ChristinaL30 says:

    SO glad to see this! A few years ago, DH & I were getting our house ready to rent out, which included painting a few doors. Of course, I didn’t expect to be painting, so I ended up putting WHITE paint on the doors while wearing my nice BLACK shorts! If I still have those shorts (I think they’re buried in the laundry room), I’m going to definitely try this! (Also going to ask DH if that was latex paint; may try rubbing alcohol first.)

  7. kennitra says:

    I got latex paint on my wool blend dress last summer. Yes, summer of 2012. I tried everything including GooBeGone. Most of the paint was removed but there were still visible stains on my dark grey dress. I didn’t want to throw it away……..started wearing it again despite the stains. Knowing they had to go I decided to give paint removal one more try. I ran some warm water in my bathtub and added Woolite for dark colors. Stains still not coming up. Saw rubbing alcohol suggestion and what the hey…….Pulled out 91% rubbing
    alcohol, pulled stained area of dress out of water. Poured alcohol over stained area and the once faded paint areas became vivid…..they were literally being pushed out of the fabric. I took a soft bristled toothbrush and rubbed the paint out. Poured a little more alcohol over the stains for good measure and voila`. Alcohol works!

  8. Paint white off if a grey winter jacket …. ??? What do i do to remove please help

    • Did you try the razor trick that I used in this post? If that didn’t work you can try OxiClean Max Force, I’ve had some luck with that too.