Does Spray Paint Wash Off Glass? (7 Helpful Techniques)

  • By: Artistic Bees
  • Time to read: 6 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Spray paint on glass

Spray painting glass has become a common part of making DIY projects and home crafts. There are countless tutorials online that tell you how to use spray paint to turn an ordinary piece of glass into a decorative piece of art. What these tutorials don’t tell you is what you should do if you mess up. Thus, this can lead you to ask does spray paint wash off glass?

Spray paint does wash off glass. However, cleaning the mess up is never nearly as easy as creating the mess in the first place. Though it will take time, you can get spray paint off of glass by either scrubbing it off with acid or alcohol or by scraping it off with a knife or other sharp object.

Getting spray paint off glass can be a rather daunting task. It requires patience and a lot of arm strength. Sometimes it may be easier to simply get new glass than to clean the painted one. However, if you are adamant about removing spray paint from glass no matter what, then keep reading to find seven different ways you can do so.

Can You Wash Spray Paint From Glass?

Now let’s get to the main point of this article. Can you wash spray paint off of glass? The answer is both yes and no. Technically speaking, you cannot simply run a piece of spray-painted glass underwater and expect it to wash away. However, there are various other methods you can use to effectively get spray paint off of glass.

Spray paint is not water-based paint like acrylic watercolors or gouache. You may find those paints to be easily removable from glass surfaces with some warm water and light scrubbing. Spray paint, sadly, does not reactivate upon touching the water. Because of this, water will do very little to remove it unless it is applied at enormous amounts of pressure.

Water by itself is not strong enough to break down spray paint and remove it from glass. However, this does not mean it is impossible to remove spray paint from glass. To remove spray paint from glass, you need to weaken the bond between the paint and the glass. This is usually done by breaking down the paint or scraping the paint off by force.

7 Tricks For Getting Spray Paint Off glass

If you are looking to clean paint off of glass then here are 7 tricks that you can use to do so. These are fairly simple and have your glass object squeaky clean in no time.

Using Acetone

Acetone on spray paint

The easiest way to remove spray paint from glass is by using acetone. Most types of nail polish remover, varnish, or paint remover will contain acetone. Acetone breaks down the inner compounds of the paint, which makes it easier to remove.

To remove paint from glass with acetone, just apply the acetone to the paint. Leave the acetone on for 3 to 5 minutes. After this, wipe it away with a cotton pad. You may have to repeat this process a few times depending on how thick the layer of paint is.

Mixing White Vinegar With Water

Pouring vinegar on spray paint

If you do not have acetone or any type of paint remover, you can also use white vinegar. This will likely not be as effective as acetone. However, it is still strong enough to break the paint down and get the job done.

You may apply the vinegar directly to the paint. However, for extra safety measures, you may also dilute the vinegar by adding some water. Leave the vinegar on the glass for a few minutes. After this, take a cotton pad or tissue paper and wipe the paint off.

Using Lemon Juice

Squeezing lemon juice on spray paint

Just like how you can replace acetone with white vinegar, you can also replace white vinegar with lemons or limes. Lemons are natural sources of acid. The acidity of lemons helps break down spray paint, which makes it easier to wipe away.

Lemons do not contain harsh chemicals, so they are not too strong. Therefore, there is no need to dilute them. Simply add lemon juice on top of the spray paint and start scrubbing. You can add a little bit of baking powder to the mixture to help the scrubbing process go by easily.

Scrubbing Paint Off With Steel Wool

If you do not have any type of acid to help weaken the paint, you can resort to using plain soap and some steel wool. The rough texture of steel wool makes it ideal for scrubbing off sticky substances from surfaces.

Steel wool has sharp and rough edges, so be careful with how you handle it. Wear gloves and make sure not to scrub with too much force. By applying too much force, the edges of the steel wool can end up leaving unwanted scratches on the glass’s surface.

Scraping Paint Off With a knife

Srubbing spray paint with a knife

Another common way in which spray paint can be removed from glass is by using a knife or a razor. This can be quite dangerous, so if you are clumsy or not skilled with a knife, you should get someone to help you with this trick.

The method is simple. Place the blade of your knife at an angle to where the paint starts. Try to remove part of the layer of paint from the glass. The goal is to remove the paint, similar to how one would remove a sticker. Once you remove one edge of the paint, you can just peel off the rest.

Removing Paint With Alcohol

You can also try removing the spray paint with alcohol. This does not refer to drinking alcohol. It is unlikely that regularly drinking alcohol is strong enough to remove paint. However, rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or denatured alcohol will get the job done.

For this process, pour some of the alcohol onto a rag or a cotton swab. Then apply the rag directly onto the paint and start wiping it away. The alcohol will liquidize the paint, turning it into a fluid you can easily wash away with water.

Removing Paint with More Paint.

If you’ve ever had trouble with a permanent marker, you may know that an easy way of removing permanent marker marks is by adding more marks on top of them. A similar method can be applied to spray paint. However, this process can get quite messy, so proceed with caution.

You do not need spray paint in particular for this method. You can use any other paint as well. However, try using paints that have a strong grip, such as acrylics, rather than dried watercolors or chalk. Apply a layer of paint over the existing paint on the glass. After this, take a rag and quickly wipe away the paint while it is still wet. This, to an extent, should get rid of the spray paint as well.


Please be wary of the fact that removing spray paint from glass is a rather strenuous process. If not done correctly, it may not provide the results you wish for, or in some cases, damage the glass. In cases where the spray paint is extremely pigmented, it can leave minor stains even after the paint has been completely removed. These are the tips to remove spray paint at home conditions, but we recommend to always chech what is the solvent for the exact paint you use. It will help the most.

So to answer one more time, does spray paint wash off glass? Yes, it does. However, the method of removing the paint cannot be done with just water and requires the help of other tools and chemicals as well.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster? Here’s What To Do