You are painting your house when some paint from the brush accidentally spills on your hands. Well, if you do not know how to remove paint from hands, this could be quite a frustrating experience for you.

How to Remove Paint from Hands

Yet, removing paint spills and stains on the hands is not as difficult as most people presume. There are a number of ways you can do this at home, regardless of whether the paint stains are from DIY home projects, hair dyes, permanent markers, crafts with children, henna, or other projects.


We Are Here to Help You!

In this article, we discuss effectively different ways on how to remove paint from hands using simple homemade products. Let’s dive in!

paint on hands

Method 1: Oil Rubbing Alcohol

This process is recommended for light and less stubborn paint spills on hands.


  • Soap
  • Clean Water
  • Baby Oil (or mineral oil)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Nail Polish Remover (or alcohol)
  • Skin Moisturizer


1. Rub soap on the paint spill. Scrub the spot lightly with water; this helps to remove the bigger paint stains. Work lightly, washing off as much paint as possible. Most water and latex paints usually come off after this simple hand washing process.

However, even if all the paint does not come off now, don’t worry. This step ensures that you use less oil later on. Also, you are recommended to try to wash off the paint as early as possible. Leaving the paint spills on your hands for too long will cause it to dry off, in turn making it more difficult to remove.

2. Rub a layer of baby oil (or mineral oil) on the painted area. Mineral oil is a good option since it effectively removes oil, latex and water-based paints. Rub this layer of oil lightly on the paint spot, then allow it to soak for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Massage the oil on the paint stains, doing so lightly and in small circles. This should lift the paint from the skin. Also, try to scratch off some paint using your fingers.

4. Dip several cotton balls in oil. If you do not have any cotton balls, you could still use an old washcloth, although it might get stained. Then, scrub the stain lightly, trying to remove even the trickiest bits of paint.

5. If the painted area is still proving to be quite difficult to remove, soak the cotton balls in rubbing alcohol. You can also use a nail polish remover in place of rubbing alcohol. Then, rub the cotton balls on these tough paint stains that failed to respond positively to the mineral oil. This should remove all paint off your hands.

6. Rinse your hands thoroughly with clean water and soap. This not only helps to remove any residual oil on hands, but also removes all trace of alcohol smell on the hands.

  • When left for a little too long, alcohol tends to dry out the skin, causing it to crack or flake. Therefore, you should always use a moisturizer or hand lotion immediately you are done removing the paint stains.
  • If you can’t seem to get the paint off, even after scrubbing with rubbing oil, you are most likely using a strong oil-based paint. Removing this kind of paint might require you to attack the stain directly using stronger cleansers and oils.


Method 2: Cooking Oil

This removal technique works best for tougher paint spills and stains.


  • Liquid Soap
  • Warm Water
  • Cooking Oil
  • A Clean Washcloth
  • Salt


1. Mix warm water with liquid soap. Make a thick soap lather on the painted area on your skin, then rinse it off. This not only helps to remove some paint from the skin, but also makes it much easier for the vegetable oil to get in and remove the paint.

2. Coat the painted area in cooking oil. You can use any type of cooking oil, such as coconut, olive and vegetable oil, or even any essential oil; all these varieties of oils have similar effective cleaning properties. Allow the oil to sit on the area for a few minutes.

3. Mix salt and oil in a 1:1 ratio to make a salt scrub. Rub this mixture onto the stained area. Also, note that, while you can use any type of oil for the salt scrub, it is advisable that you use a type of salt with big grains, such as kosher salt. The big grains in the salt provide better exfoliating and cleansing properties.

4. Rinse your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Also, you can shower with warm water to remove any uncomfortable paint stickiness which might have remained.


Method 3: Turpentine

Turpentine works very effectively when it comes to removing paint spills and stains. It is mostly recommended for removing small amounts of enamel and oil-based paint spills.


  • Glycerin
  • Turpentine (or any other solvent)
  • Soap
  • Warm Water


1. Apply a layer of glycerin on the painted part on your skin. The dab of glycerin should loosen up most of the dried paint.

2. Apply Turpentine solvent (or any other similar solvent) on the skin. Make sure to apply just a small amount of the solvent, then rub it gently on the skin to remove the paint.

3. Wash your hands with soap and warm water to remove any residual paint, as well as the accompanying paint smell.

  • You should avoid using turpentine and paint thinner products regularly on your skin. This is because these products are composed of chemicals which could pose the risk of cancer.
  • Turpentine may cause respiratory irritations to some people. Hence, use a gas mask when applying Turpentine to prevent possible inhaling of paint fumes.



Paints, whether oil-based, water-based or latex can get very messy. However, just because these get messy doesn’t mean that you give up on your painting projects altogether. After all, if you happen to spill any paint on your hands, all you need to do is follow the tips suggested on how to remove paint from hands, and voila, your hands will be as clean as they were before your painting project!



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