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How to Remove Paint Stains from Clothing

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How to Remove Paint Stains from Clothing

Both of my girls have been doing crafts a lot more at home this year and a few weeks ago I nearly lost it when they both got craft paint all over some of their nicer clothing.  My older daughter got craft paint all over her brand new (and pricey) soccer jersey and shorts and my younger daughter got it on a softball top.  I was pretty furious considering the soccer jersey alone was $75 and we haven’t even played a single game yet.

Luckily, a friend mentioned a tip to remove paint from clothing and it worked so beautifully I had to share it.

You can see above the paint on the hem of this shirt.

And the soccer jersey had paint splotches all over it.  Different colors, different paints… these are all craft paints or glitter paints from the craft stores.

A friend told me to try saturating the stains with hairspray and scrape the paint off.  Wait what??  Hairspray?  I was convinced it would be a disaster and ruin the shirts even more.  We don’t even really use hairspray in our house but I did dig out an old can from our dance recital days and we just generously sprayed the stains.

While the stains are damp from the hairspray, take a butter knife or a soft brush toothbrush and carefully scrape the paint right off.  This worked so beautifully- the shirts and shorts we tried it on are as good as new.  Not a single trace of paint left.  Now this was acrylic craft paints but of course a few weeks later I asked my daughter to simply carry a can of water-based, interior house paint from the kitchen to the garage and low and behold she got paint all over her top and denim shorts.  Of course.  So I tried this process on house paint and it worked really well.  You can see her shorts pictured above.  Basically good as new in a matter of minutes.

I wasn’t able to get the paint off a ribbed, cotton shirt completely but I did get most of it off and it came off perfectly from denim.  So I did have better luck with dry-fit fabrics and denim rather than a ribbed cotton but I’d say this might be worth a shot to salvage clothing you thought was ruined.

So all in all I’d say this trick works beautifully.  I don’t think the brand of hairspray matters- initially I used Sebastian hairspray and once that ran out, a cheap spray from the travel section at Target (Tresemme).

It does need to be aerosol hairspray not a pump spray.