Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Skin, Fabric, Clothes, glass, walls, etc?

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Due to the popularity of painting with acrylics taking off right now, the number of questions that we have noticed being asked each month has grown at an exponential rate with each month that passes. Although we have already covered a huge number of these questions, more and more people have been reaching out to ask if acrylic paint is washable on various surfaces.

As we have noticed so many people reaching out about a number of very similar questions, we have decided to publish this ultimate article going over if acrylic paint is washable on a number of surfaces we commonly see people reaching out about. We will also be sharing various tips and tricks to allow you to quickly and easily wash the acrylic paint off these surfaces as quickly as possible too.

Our goal is to try and help as many of our readers as possible be able to wash their acrylic paints off various surfaces as quickly as possible. Due to covering so many different surfaces, we have our table of contents below that will let you click to be taken directly to specific surfaces and how to wash acrylic paint off them as quickly as possible. This should save you time and allow you to easily skim the article without wasting time to get straight to the relevant sections.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Skin?

Acrylic paint is washable on human skin and although most people tend to try warm soapy water, you are able to drastically reduce the time it takes to wash the acrylic paint off your skin by using rubbing alcohol or baby oil. Although rubbing alcohol does tend to be the more effective method at washing acrylic paint off your skin quickly, the many people opt to take the baby oil route as it is almost as fast but kinder to your skin.

With the majority of artists usually ending up with at least some acrylic paint on their hands after a painting session, you should be able to use either substance to help you wash the paint off quickly. If you do end up with paint on your face, especially near your eyes or mouth additional care should be taken if you do choose to use either substance though but they can still be used.

The process of actually washing the acrylic paint off your skin is very simple and straight forward but there is one common mistake that we do see people make. Many people think that the paint will be easier to wash off your skin when wet but it is actually easier to remove once dry so leave it to dry and then wash it off. Simply pour a small amount of baby oil onto a cloth and then scrub it against the area of your skin where the acrylic paint is and it will quickly start to come off.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Fabric?

Washing acrylic paint out of fabric is possible but it does usually take more time than other surfaces. The best and quickest option is usually to use denatured alcohol mixed with water but this can end up having side effects such as color fade on the fabric so some cleaning detergent mixed with alcohol is usually the best option. Both options usually need to be mixed in a fifty-fifty ratio with water for optimal performance.

If the fabric that you need to wash your acrylic paint out of is something like your carpet or curtains that you care about maintaining then taking the detergent option is probably the best choice even though it will take longer. If the fabric you need to wash is just some old rug in your art studio then the denatured alcohol route is probably better as it is much quicker.

Simple dip a cotton ball in your solution once it has been mixed with water and then slowly start to dab it against the acrylic paint for around a minute to start the initial breakdown. After the first minute, switch from dabbing to a circular rubbing motion and the acrylic paint should start to lift off the fabric quickly. Once the acrylic paint has been washed off the fabric, we would recommend that you go over the fabric with water, especially if you took the denatured alcohol route to neutralize the area and reduce the chances of any side effects on the fabric.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Clothes?

You are able to wash acrylic paint off clothes in a number of different ways with some methods being considerably more effective than others. If you are using an acrylic paint formula that has been specifically designed to be washable, you may be able to wash it off in a regular washing machine but regular acrylic paints will need a little help with a hand wash usually being involved.

Although some people have had good results with leaving their clothing with the acrylic paint on it to steep in vinegar, this can be hit and miss and can result in the actual clothing fading in color too. Leaving your clothes to steep in a fifty-fifty mixture of warm water and cleaning detergent can work for some people too but this will depend on the actual acrylic paint formula that you are trying to wash off and it can sometimes make the situation worse.

The best option is usually to use either denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol mixed with warm water in a fifty-fifty ratio. You simply dip a cotton ball into the formula and then dab it onto the area of the clothing for around a minute to weaken the paint and then rub a new cotton ball that has been dipped in the solution in a circular motion over the area. Once the paint is removed, put the clothing through a regular wash with just this specific item of clothing in the wash to remove the alcohol from it.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Glass?

Washing acrylic paint off glass is one of the easier options out there and you are usually able to do it by softening the acrylic paint with some warm soapy water and then using a glass scraper to remove the acrylic paint off the glass once it is soft. The vast majority of the time, the process usually is as simple as that and you are often able to remove large quantities of acrylic paint in a very short period of time.

If you are working with a large amount of acrylic paint on your glass then soaking a spare rag or old towel into the warm soapy water may be the best option to be able to soften large amounts of paint all at once. Ideally, you will have two people on the job as the acrylic paint can start to harden back up quickly so one person will soak the paint on the glass with the wet towel while the other uses the glass scraper.

There are a very small number of acrylic paint formulas where this will not work but these are rarely used for home decoration or arts and crafts and are for industrial tasks. If you are using one of these paint formulas then adding a little rubbing alcohol to the water mixture instead of soap will usually do the trick but the majority of the time, this will not be required.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Walls?

Acrylic paint is washable on walls with there usually being two situations where you need to actually remove the paint with one being very easy to do where as the other can be a little more complicated. Depending on the situation, you should still be able to easily wash the acrylic paint off your walls without any major problems provided you are able to put the time in to get the job done.

The first situation where you may need to wash acrylic paint off your walls is if you have painted over your whole wall with an acrylic paint as a part of your home decoration. Getting this paint off your walls tends to be very easy and you are usually able to get the job done with a cheap orbital hand sander with some 40 grid paper but depending on your situation, this may not be the ideal option for everyone.

The second situation where you may need to wash paint off your wall is if you have been doing arts and crafts and accidentally spilled some paint onto your wall and this tends to be more difficult, especially if the wall is painted in an acrylic paint rather than wallpapered. Usually, we would recommend that you try a fifty-fifty solution of rubbing alcohol and warm water and then gently dab the area to wash the paint off. This should work but it will also being off any acrylic wall paint that you have on underneath the paint you need to remove too so you will usually need to do a touch-up.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Wood?

Due to the durable nature of wood, there are a wide range of methods that you are able to take advantage of to wash acrylic paint off your wood or remove it completely if you have actually intentionally painted your wood fence. We have a dedicated article going over how you can remove paint from wood without chemicals that may be worth reading if you have a large wood surface that you need to remove paint from.

In our opinion, if you are looking to get paint off a wood fence or some other large object like that then using a cheap, entry-level heat gun is going to be your best option. They are very quick and easy to use with the entry-level options being cheap and often performing just as well as the more expensive ones when it comes to removing paint from wood.

If you have a small amount of acrylic paint on some wood that you accidentally spilled on there then you can usually soften the paint with some warm water with a little soap in there and then scrape it off with a cheap wood scraper. If you are using this method on a large wood surface then a team of two is advisable as you are able to have one person soften the wood with the warm water while the other scrapes it off.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Plastic?

Washing acrylic paint on most types of plastic is very simple and easy, especially if you make your own fifty-fifty solution of denatured alcohol and warm water. Most of the time, dipping an old cloth into the solution while it is warm and then rubbing the cloth over the paint on the plastic will be enough to remove it without any further effort being required.

That said though, there are seven different types of plastic and this method usually only works on six of them. Depending on the type of plastic that you need to remove your acrylic paint from, you may have to use a scraper to help you get the paint off when softened but this should be rare in most cases.

You will usually have an easier time washing acrylic paint off your plastic once you have actually left the acrylic paint to dry too. Although you are still able to use this method to remove wet acrylic paint, it will usually take longer due to the paint smearing on the plastic resulting in a longer clean up so if possible, leave the paint to dry and then wash it off.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Canvas?

Washing acrylic paint off canvas is easier than most people initially think but it can have some side effects if you have other acrylic paints on the canvas that you want to keep as a part of your artwork. The easiest method is to use some denatured alcohol with a little warm water on a cloth and then cover the acrylic paint on the canvas that you want to remove with the cloth for around half an hour.

You then run the cloth on the canvas in a circular motion to life it off the canvas but depending on the exact acrylic paint formula that you are using, this may cause some smearing. If you are looking to use this method on some serious artwork that you made a mistake on, we would highly recommend that you do a trial run on some old canvas using your paints to see how it performs.

Once you have removed the acrylic paint from the canvas, go over it with a new cloth that only has warm water on it to remove the alcohol from it. This should reduce any potential issues from the cleaning process when you apply new layers of acrylic paint to the canvas in the area that you needed to clean without the fresh acrylic paint thinning or not setting correctly.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Metal?

The majority of types of metal make it very simple to wash off acrylic paint and a little rubbing alcohol on a cloth or cotton ball will often be all you need to get the job done. Due to metal being tough and sturdy, there is usually no requirement to dap or soak the acrylic paint to weaken it and you are usually able to go straight to rubbing it in a circular motion to remove it from the metal.

Rubbing alcohol alone should be enough to get the acrylic paint washed off the metal without having any side effects on the finish of the metal but there are some very rare situations where the rubbing alcohol may stain the metal. If you know what type of metal the acrylic paint is on then it is worth a quick Google search to see if rubbing alcohol will cause you any future issues but the majority of the time, there should not be any issues.

Although there are a number of alternatives to rubbing alcohol that you can use, we would recommend that you avoid acetone on metal. The oxo-group at the middle carbon level of acetone increases the chances of you having issues with your metal after removing the acrylic paint and this remains true for acetone-based products too so keep this in mind if you do look for alternatives to rubbing alcohol.


That brings our article going over if acrylic paint is washable to an end. Although acrylic paint is not as easy to wash off as some of the other popular paint types, is is washable on the majority of surfaces although you will need a speciallist cleaning agent in some situations rather than just warm water. The techniques for removing acrylic paint from the majority of surfaces are the same too while also being very beginner friendly making the process very simple.