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

Latex paint is water-based and is known to get removed more easily from surfaces than other types of paint.

However, you must use the right solvents (or products) to remove it as it won’t come off with just water. The solvent must penetrate the paint coating and dissolve the bonding between the particles.

5 solvents or products you can use to remove latex paint are listed below.

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

1. Vinegar

Does Vinegar Dissolve Latex Paint?

Vinegar doesn’t fully remove latex paint, but it will soften it and make scraping it off easier.

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.

To use vinegar to remove latex paint, do the following things.

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

2. Baking Soda

Does Baking Soda Dissolve Latex Paint?

Baking soda is an alkaline substance and will remove latex paint from different surfaces, such as metal or wood, without damaging them.

To remove latex paint with baking soda, do the following things.

  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.

3. Rubbing Alcohol

Will Rubbing Alcohol Remove Latex Paint?

You can use Rubbing alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol) to remove latex paint. Rubbing alcohol will break the bond between the particles and liquefy the coating, making it easier to wipe or scrape it off.

To remove latex paint using rubbing alcohol, do the following things.

  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?

4. Acetone

Does Acetone Remove Latex Paint?

Acetone is a solvent that will remove water-based paints, such as latex paint. Avoid using acetone to remove paint from wooden surfaces as it can damage them. Only use it for small surfaces.

To use acetone to remove latex paint, do the following.

  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 whole 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?

5. Nail Polish Remover (Acetone)

Nail polish remover is specially designed to remove paint from fingernails, but you can use it to remove latex paint, too. They break the bond between paint particles, making it easier to remove.

Use non-acetone nail polish remover for small paint stains, and acetone nail polish remover for larger paint finishes.

To remove latex paint with nail polish remover, do the following things.

  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 where the 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?

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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