5 Things That Dissolve Latex Paint (& How To Use Them)

Latex paint, once applied on any surface, does not dissolve quickly. So, to remove it you need to use solvents that can penetrate its coating and dissolve the bonding between particles. Here are 5 solvents you can use:

  1. Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Alcohol
  4. Acetone
  5. Nail Polish Remover


Does Vinegar Dissolve Latex Paint?

Vinegar won’t remove latex paint, but it will soften it. It makes scrapping it off easier by softening the coating.

Boil vinegar using a microwave, apply it over the finish, leave it for 15 minutes, and then use a paint scraper to scrape the paint.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to do it:

Step 1: Vinegar can not be applied directly to remove the paint. It needs to be warmed up properly before applying it. Use a microwave to boil the vinegar. 

Step 2: Dip cotton, sponge, or brush into the hot vinegar pot.

Step 3: Use the dipped cotton, sponge, or brush to apply the vinegar over the finish. Wait 10-15 minutes for the coating to get soft. 

Step 4: After 15 minutes, scrape off the paint using a scraper. Apply gentle pressure while scraping it off so you don’t scratch the surface underneath.

If some parts of the coating don’t dissolve, you can re-apply vinegar over them. After removing the finish use warm water and soap to clean the surface.

Baking Soda

Does Baking Soda Dissolve Latex Paint?

Baking soda can remove water-based paints from different surfaces, such as metal and clothes without damaging them. 

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Fill Water in a Pan – First, fill a pan with water and heat it until it starts to boil. 
  2. Add Baking Soda – Add ¼ cup of baking soda to the boiled water. Let the baking soda settle down at the bottom of the pan, no need to stir it in water. After mixing water with baking soda, you have to heat the mixture. 
  3. Dip a Cloth – Dip a cloth into the mixture. Use the cloth to apply the mixture over the paint. Leave the mixture for 15 minutes before scraping the coating. 
  4. Re-scrape – If some parts of the finish don’t come off, use a regular toothbrush to scrape them off.

Rubbing Alcohol

Will Rubbing Alcohol Remove Latex Paint?

Rubbing alcohol is a natural paint remover. It will break the bond between the particles and liquefy the coating. Once the coating is liquefied, you can wipe or scrape it off.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Pour rubbing alcohol directly into the finish.
  2. Wait for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Use a rag to scrub the finish.
  4. Most of the coating will come off. 
  5. Repeat steps #2-3 until the finish is gone. 

For the glass surface; use a cotton swab so you don’t scratch it. Also, avoid putting extra pressure on the glass surface while cleaning because it can crack.

Related Read: Does Rubbing Alcohol Remove Paint?


Does Acetone Remove Latex Paint?

Acetone is a reliable solvent that will easily remove even the toughest stains. It’s a versatile, quick-drying product that doesn’t leave any residue behind.

It is one of the most popular choices for removing paint from your carpets, clothes, and furniture. It costs less than most removal products. However, you should use it only for small surfaces or stains. 

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Damp a rag with acetone.
  2. Use the dampened rag to wipe the finish repeatedly. 
  3. Wait 15 minutes. 
  4. Use a cloth to rub the finish.
  5. After a few rubs, the while finish will come off.
  6. Clean the surface with wet soap to remove the acetone residue. 

Related Read: How To Remove Latex Paint From Clothes?

Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish removers are designed to break down the paint particles’ bond to make them easier to remove. The key ingredient behind the nail polish remover is acetone. You can use it for wet and dried latex paint.

To use it:

  1. Spray the nail polish remover into the painted surface.
  2. Wait 15 minutes.
  3. Spray nail polish remover into a cloth, and use the same cloth to rub the surface.
  4. The paint will come off as you start to rub it. 
  5. Keep spraying nail polish remover into the places paint won’t come off.
  6. Once the whole paint is off, use warm water and soap to remove the nail polish residue and dirt. 

Related Read: Does Nail Polish Remover Remove Paint?


Since latex is a water-based paint, removing it is easier since it doesn’t have a glossy finish that prevents liquids to penetrate its coating. 

Tony Adams
Tony Adams

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,

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