How To Remove Paint With Mineral Spirits? (Different Surfaces)

Mineral spirits is a petroleum-derived solvent that is used to remove paint from different surfaces.

The solvent can remove water-based and oil-based paints from all types of surfaces. However, you must dilute it with water for porous surfaces, such as wood.

Can You Remove Dried Paint With Mineral Spirits?

You can remove dried paint with mineral spirits. Mineral spirits will break and dissolve the paint particles, separate the paint coating from the surface, and liquefy the paint.

Mineral spirits consist of active petroleum distillates that will penetrate, dissolve, and remove paint coatings from the surface. The solvent might bee too strong for water-based paints, so only use it of other solvents can’t remove the paint.

However, you can’t remove dried spray paint with mineral spirits.

Related Read: Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner?

How To Use Mineral Spirits To Remove Paint?

To remove paint with mineral spirits, do the following things.

  1. Clean the Paint Finish.
  2. Scrape the Paint Off.
  3. Apply Mineral Spirits.
  4. Wipe the Paint off.
  5. Clean the Surface.

The tools you need for this project are listed below.

  • Mineral Spirit
  • A Bucket Of Warm Water
  • Clean Rags
  • A Scrubbing Brush
  • Mild Detergent
  • A Paint Scraper (Or A Putty Knife)

1. Clean the Paint Finish

The first thing you want to do is to clean the painted surface before you apply mineral spirit.

Clean the paint finish to remove the dust, dirt, or debris that can prevent mineral spirits from penetrating the paint coating.

To clean the paint finish, use a damp rag and wipe the dust off.

2. Scrape The Paint Off

Once you clean the surface, you have to scrape the paint off by using a putty knife.

Use a paint scrapper to scrape paint from a few surface spots to help mineral spirits penetrate the paint coating better.

You don’t need to remove the entire paint coating with a paint scraper, just remove a few parts that the mineral spirits can penetrate to.

3. Apply Mineral Spirit

Now, apply mineral spirit to the paint and wait a few minutes.

Apply mineral spirits directly over an oil-based paint finish or damp a rag with mineral spirits and wipe the water-based paint finish.

Don’t use too much mineral spirits for porous and sensitive surfaces, such as wood or fabric as it can discolor or damage them.

Related Read: Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol To Remove Paint?

4. Wipe The Paint Off

After applying mineral spirit to the paint, take a rag and wipe down the paint.

Allow the mineral spirits to sit over the paint finish for at least 5 minutes before removing it. The mineral spirits will penetrate the paint coating, and dissolve the paint particles and pigment bond, and liquefy the finish.

Once the paint finish liquefies, use a rag to remove the paint and mineral spirits. If the paint coating doesn’t liquefy, use a paint scraper to remove it.

For leftover paint stains, damp a rag with mineral spirits and use it to wipe the paint stains off.

5. Clean The Surface With Warm Soapy Water

Once you remove the paint by using mineral spirit, you should clean the surface again.

After you remove the paint, clean the surface to remove the mineral spirits residue as the surface will discolor, stain, or get damaged.

To remove mineral spirits residue, use warm soapy water to clean the surface. Wait until the surface completely dries before re-painting it.

Related Read: Does Nail Polish Remover Dissolve Paint?

Can You Remove Paint From Different Surfaces With Mineral Spirits?

The surfaces you can remove paint from with mineral spirits are listed below.


You can remove paint from concrete surfaces with mineral spirits. Mineral spirits will remove tar and tough surfaces from concrete surfaces too, and it won’t etch, stain, or damage the surface.

To remove paint from concrete with mineral spirits, do the following things.

  1. Pour mineral spirits over the painted concrete surface.
  2. Wait until the paint finish changes its form.
  3. Use a scrubbing brush to remove the paint.
  4. Clean the concrete surface with warm soapy water and leave it to dry.

Related Read: Does White Spirit Remove Paint?


Mineral spirit removes paint from different surfaces, including wood. But, will mineral spirits remove paint from metal? Let's see.

You can remove metallic and rust-oleum paint from metal surfaces, but the mineral spirits can corrode it.

Related Read: Can Goo Gone Remove Paint From Clothes?


You can strip off paint from wood with mineral spirits. Dilute the mineral spirits with water and apply it over the painted wood surface. Within minutes the paint will liquefy and you can wipe it off.

Don’t use mineral spirits over pressure-treated wood and don’t leave it for too long over wood surface, as it can discolor or damage it.

Related Read: How To Dissolve Latex Paint?


To remove paint from brick surfaces with mineral spirits, do the following things.

  1. Douse a rag with mineral spirits and use the damped rag to wipe the brick from top to bottom.
  2. Wait for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Scrub the brick with a brush or sponge.
  4. Clean the brick and allow it to dry.

Related Read: Can Magic Eraser Remove Paint?

Painting Equipment

To clean painting equipment with mineral spirits, do the following things.

  1. Pour mineral spirits into a clean paint bucket.
  2. Dip the painting equipment inside the paint bucket.
  3. Wait 5 minutes.
  4. Use a brush to scrub and remove paint from the equipment.
  5. Clean the equipment with water.
Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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