How to Clean Spray Paint From Metal? All The Possible Tips and Tricks

The last thing we would want when working on the final look of our metallic project is to overdo the paint. But the bad news is that sometimes the sprayer fails to cooperate, and you end up with unsightly paint marks on places you never expect.

Want to know how to clean spray paint from metal and never let this problem bother you anymore? Read on.


How To Clean Spray Paint From Metal 

With Difference Size

All metallic surfaces share the same characteristic, which is the smooth surface. That is why you can remove spray paint from them than a rough surface such as concrete. If you need to clean the paint from some small things like your tools or the doorknob, the instructions below are for you. You can even apply the following technique to correct any mistake paint from bigger-sized items like the patio furniture.

When determining the right way to remove excess paint, you should consider the size of your projects first. 

In general, you will need:

  • A pot
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Gloves
  • Paint scraper and stripper
  • Brush
  • A pieces of Cloth

Small Projects

For metallic objects of modest size, such as tools or decorations, you can put them in a cooking pot before pouring in a mixture of baking soda and cold water at the ratio of 1:8.

Then, leave the pot on the stovetop and heat it on low flame for about half an hour.

In this process, baking soda works as an abrasive cleaner. When it reaches a certain temperature, its texture can peel off the paint on the metal surface.

After that,  take the item from the pot and leave it on cloth pieces. Next, let the metallic items naturally cool down slightly before peeling off the unwanted paint using a scraper.

You should remember not to rub too hard since metal might not be as strong as you think it is, which means unnecessary force will only lead to scratches as a result.

Large Items

For large objects, like your home furniture, you will need to use the chemical stripper to get the paint to come off.

In this process, you need a chip brush to apply the chemical stripper in any places that are needed for cleaning.

Each different stripper requires a different amount of time to come into effect. You can read the recommendation of the manufacturer for the detailed instruction. Next, you use bristled stiff brushes to gently remove the unwanted paint. Repeat the process until the surface is free of the excessive paint. As soon as all the spray paint has loosened, use a cloth soaked in water to wipe the metal surface to remove any flakes, dirt, or chemical stripper left.

How about car spray paint? In this case, you can try carnauba wax; both aerosol or liquid form will have the same effect. This chemical wax will clear the acrylic paint part and cause no damages to the underneath coat. Once removing the spray paint, clean off any wax residue; or else flakes will show up sooner or later.

For even larger equipment like tractors or oversized items, you should rent blasting rigs. It is best to use finely walnut shell media or blasting soda for cleaning.

Using Chemical Removers

One of the easiest solutions for removing the excessive paint is chemical removers. This has been the recommended choice of several painters since the chemical can wipe away all the unwanted matter without ruining the surface of your project. 

These types of paint removers come in two main types, liquid remover and thinner. For both types, you will have them do the best jobs when soaking the small mental items into the liquid. After the paint is softened, you can easily clean it with a bristle brush.

In the case of multi-angled or rounded objects, it is best to use spray-on remover. This option lets you apply the cleaning agents on the surface evenly, making your paint removal process become effective.

If you decide to use this chemicals cleaning method, you can find the spray paint remover at any of your nearby automotive and hardware shops.

You can use an old toothbrush for small corners or hard to approaching areas to apply the gel remover on. Then, by continuing the wiping process, you can take out all the paint left. You can apply acetone into a cloth and eliminate any remaining gel and film. 

Combination of Clay Cleansing Bar and Dish Soap

This natural and popular grease remover might surprise you. For this cleaning solution, you will need a microfiber cloth to make sure there is no scratching. 

Apply a small amount (about three drops) of dish soap into the overspray surface. Afterward, rub the spot gently with a cloth dipped in warm water. Repeat the process frequently until all the excess paint is removed. In case the combination of warm water and dish soap does not work out, you can try with a clay bar.

You can find the clay bar lubricant at any home improvement shop or make one by mixing a little dish soap and warm water. To start the cleaning process, you need to spray the lubricant on the places that need to be cleaned. 

Then you can rub the clay bar on the target destination. While you are at it, you can spray additional lubricant if needed. Finally, when the unwanted paint leaves, you should use a damp clean cloth to wipe the leftover lubricant or paint traces.

DIY Solutions on How to Remove Spray Paint From Metal 

An easy DIY solution for you to eliminate the stain quickly and safely from metal surfaces are using lint-free Cloth damped with alcohol. Make sure to squeeze all the excess liquid off the cloth before starting to clean the paint. Just by rubbing the rag over and over again, you can get rid of any paint stain on your metal products.

Alcohol is a great cleaning solution for water-based paint. If your pain stain is oil-based, acetone might be an alternative cleaner. With whatever the cleaning liquid, you need to remember to wear a glove for your hand protection. 

Another easy DIY method is using sandpaper or steel wool and gently rubbing the paint. After you clean all the old paint cover off the surface, you apply a small amount of the metal polish. Then re-painting the surface so that the new adheres of paint go smoothly.

Some Safety Notes

Before carrying out the process, you need to make sure that you follow all the safety precautions so that you can keep yourself from any harm during the cleaning.

To avoid any burn accident damage to your hand, you should bring gloves during the cleaning process if the methods of your choice include hot water or chemicals. 

Other than gloves, you need to wear the respirator mask, and goggles during the time using the chemicals.

Never use gasoline, nail polish remover, or any other too harsh compounds, damaging the paint existing on the surface paint. 

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In a Nutshell 

And that is all you need to know about how to clean spray paint from metal. Try all the methods out and see if anything works out for you. If these solutions are effective and helpful, you can take some time to share them with your friends or neighbors. I hope you have a great time!


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