How to Get Spray Paint Off of Shoes


Last updated: April 6, 2023

Say goodbye to unsightly marks on your shoes with this easy-to-follow guide.

How to get spray paint off shoes

If you’re a serious DIYer or hobbyist who’s worked with spray paints, you are only too familiar with how messy they can be. Accidental splatter or stains are inevitable when working with spray paint. 

These paint stains can be an eyesore, and if not properly removed, they can ruin the most beautiful shoes. Even worth considering is that some paint removal methods are better than others. If you try a wrong idea, you could ruin your good shoes, which is why you need professional tips on how to get spray paint off of shoes.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to get rid of unwanted paint stains on your shoes using different fun techniques. First, let’s look at what you will need to remove spray paint from your shoes. 

How to Get Spray Paint Off Shoes

One easy way to remove spray paint from your shoes is as simple as grabbing a paper towel or rag, dipping it on a nail polish remover or acetone, and softly wiping the paint stain off your shoes. Repeat with another clean rag until the stain is cleared. This method works best for both fresh and dry stains.

What You Need to Remove Spray Paint from Your Shoes

The good thing about spray paint removal ideas we will share here is that you don’t need expensive products. You can work with simple materials.

Some techniques are as straightforward as working with essential household items and affordable over-the-counter products that you can quickly grab from your bathroom, kitchen, or local hardware store. 

For example, you can use the following bathroom items to remove spray paint from your shoes. 

  • Warm water
  • Household vinegar
  • Washing powder
  • Heavy duty household remover
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Household cleaning chemicals
  • A piece of cloth or paper towels
  • Rubber gloves for protection

If you experience difficulty removing stubborn stains, you can try acetone or citrus cleaner since they’re both effective cleaning agents and an excellent alternative to rubbing alcohol. 

Furthermore, you don’t need to use everything included in the list, but it’s a good idea to have them in place. 

How to get spray paint off of shoes

Also, the type of shoes you want to clean determines what products you’ll use. Once you have the necessary products and protective equipment, follow these three methods and steps to get dry spray paint off of shoes. 

How to Get Spray Paint Off Shoes: 3 Methods

There are several different techniques for removing spray paint from shoes. This guide will focus on the three most effortless and practical solutions. The first is using a household heavy-duty stain remover. A good example is Goof Off Household Heavy-duty Remover.

Apply some of it on the stained shoes and allow to soak for at least an hour, then rub off the loose paint from the shoes with an absorbent cloth

Alternatively, you can add warm water to washing powder. Soak the shoes in the water and leave them for 60-90 minutes, then clean them with a scrubbing cloth.  Let’s look at these methods and steps in greater detail.

Method 1: Working with a Household Remover

For this method, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Add a vinegar solution, cleaning detergent, or acetone to a spray bottle

Step 2: Spray the remover onto the affected areas on the shoes or the entire shoe if it’s badly stained. 

Step 3: Wait 15 minutes for the remover to penetrate the stains. 

Step 4: Use a scrubbing cloth to rub the paint off the shoes. For a final touch, use an absorbent scrubbing cloth to remove any residues. 

Method 2: Using Washing Powder

If you’re dealing with a messy problem that needs a more effective solution, consider using powerful washing powder by taking the following steps. 

Step 1:  First, clean the shoes while the paint is still fresh and wet. Leaving it to dry on your shoes might make it difficult to remove the stains, especially if you’re working with oil-based spray paints with a high concentration of durability properties and want to avoid permanent stains on your stylish shoes. 

Step 2: Soak your shoes in cold water for 30 minutes to loosen the paint, scrub the shoes with a scrubbing cloth, and prepare a cleaning solution separately.  

Step 3: Mix lukewarm water and a tablespoon of washing powder. Remove the shoes from the cold water to clean them more thoroughly with washing powder.  

Step 4: Dip a piece of cloth in the solution you’ve made and spread it on the stained areas of your shoes. Be sure to use only a little washing powder to avoid ruining the fabric of your shoes. 

Step 5: Without rinsing or scrubbing the shoes with the lukewarm mixture, allow them to rest for a few minutes. You’ll see the paint coming off the shoes gradually.  Do not scrub or apply any pressure on the shoes. 

Step 6: Once the paint has come off, use a wet rug to remove the residues, then rinse with clean water and tap dab with a clean, dry towel to remove excess water.  The final step is to place your shoes in a room with good ventilation to dry.  

Method 3: Removing Heavy Stains With Paint Thinner 

If the spray paint stains occurred a few days before and dried out on the shoes, you can use a paint thinner. However, this method requires some precautions to avoid damaging your shoes. 

You can test the paint thinner by applying it on a small area of the stained shoes to see if it doesn’t affect the shoes. This step is necessary because paint thinners are made with chemicals that may react negatively on some specific fabrics. 

If, after testing, there are no damages left on your shoes, you can apply the paint thinner on the shoes for instant stain removal. 

Next, wash the shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove the loose paint and paint thinner. Place your shoes in a cool, dry place to allow them to dry. 

These are the three most effective and straightforward solutions for removing spray paint from your shoes. You can apply these methods to any situation, whether it involves water-based or oil-based spray paints. 

How to Get Spray Paint Off Of Shoes When It Is Still Wet?

In case you’re wondering, it’s much easier to clean off paint stains while still wet than when dry. That means you should take care when spray painting to avoid unnecessary splatter or stains. 

That way, you’ll easily clean off any accidental sprays immediately after it lands on your shoes. 

However, despite most spray paints having similar properties, removing the stains from different types of shoes with different fabrics can take time and effort. 

But there is one universal trick you can try on any type of shoe: wiping the fresh stain with a paper towel.  

Next, use a sponge and mild detergent mixed with hot water to dab the paint off the shoes to remove permanent stains. Use a paper towel to tap dry. 

How to Get Dried Spray Paint Off Shoes

If you managed to clean the fresh spray paint off your shoes without any permanent stains, pat yourself on the back. But if you’re wondering how to get dry spray paint off of shoes, we can still help. 

You can still save your favorite shoes from the aftermath of a messy paint project.  Here’s a simple process that should solve the problem without much hassle:

  • Use a sharp object to carefully scrape off as much dried paint as possible, taking care not to scratch your shoe surface. 

  • Apply a citrus cleaner or rubbing alcohol on the stained spot only and not the whole shoe. 

  • Allow to rest for a few minutes, then rub the paint residue off. You can repeat the process if necessary. 

  • Apply footwear conditioner on your shoes as a final treatment.  

How to Get Spray Paint Off Of Suede Shoes?

If you’re like most people, you probably think removing spray paint from suede shoes is an impossible task. True, it’s one delicate procedure given the tricky texture of the suede material but not that scary. 

You just need to follow a few expert steps, and the problem will be solved. Here are the steps: 

  • Gently remove the paint stains on the surface of your suede shoes with a scrapper 

  • Create a soapy solution of lukewarm water and mild soap 

  • Dip a clean sponge in the mixture and wipe off the paint residues from the shoes

  • Repeat until all the paint is removed, then wipe dry with a clean, dry towel

How to Get Paint off Leather Shoes?

This step requires a delicate balancing act to hack due to the sensitive nature of leather shoes. You’ll need to use a premium cleaning kit specifically for leather shoes. 

If it’s a new stain, it will be easier to remove. After you’ve applied the cleaning agent, use the brush provided in the kit to clean it. 

If the paint is old, you’ll need to loosen it by dipping a towel in lukewarm water and covering the stained spot until it softens. 

You should be able to remove the paint easily once it’s soft. 

How to Get Paint Off Shoe Soles

To get paint off the soles of your shoes, use a nail polish remover or heavy-duty household remover like Goof Off Household Remover. 

Dip a piece of cotton in the remover and gently dab it on the stain until the paint is light and soft. 

You can also use household vinegar as a better alternative to nail polish. Next, dab the affected area with a piece of cloth dipped in warm water for a final wipe. 

Other Tips to Remove Spray Paint from Shoes

Besides all the methods and products we’ve listed for paint stain removal, you can still try other options, especially if you don’t have some of the products listed here.  

A citrus cleaner is an alternative cleaning solution that does the job perfectly. Mineral spirits, olive oil, latex paint remover, and acetone are other great products you could try. 

Some of these products, like vinegar and rubbing alcohol, have an unpleasant smell, while others, like acetone which should not be inhaled, are best handled with care. But they are the fastest way to get rid of spray paint on your shoes. 

Seek medical attention immediately and follow the steps of clearing spray paint fumes from the lungs if you accidentally inhaled the fumes.

FAQS: How to Get Spray Paint Off Shoes

Can Spray Paint Come Out of Shoes?

Yes. The right cleaning solutions and procedures allow spray paint stains to come off any shoe quickly. You need to be extra careful with some of these solutions and use them in moderation to avoid ruining your shoes. 

What Removes Spray Paint?

Several cleaning solutions can help remove spray paint stains on any surface, including shoes. Examples include washing powder, rubbing alcohol, acetone, citrus cleaner, nail polish, and vinegar. 

Can You Get Paint Off White Shoes?

This requires extra care to retain the whiteness and avoid damaging the fabric. Use a stainless nail polish remover or white distilled vinegar. Acetone and citrus cleaner are also better options for white shoes. 

Does Rubbing Alcohol Remove Paint From Leather Shoes?

Yes. Take a piece of cloth or cotton ball and dip in some rubbing alcohol and rub it on the stained leather shoes. Since leather is a sensitive material, you want to do it gently to avoid damaging your shoes. 

How Do You Get Paint Off Leather Shoes?

Soften the dry paint by placing a wet rag on the stained shoe surface and leave it for a few minutes. Next, wipe off the soft paint and use a shoe conditioner to give it a final treatment. You can also use a premium cleaning kit for leather shoes. 

Content Summary: How to Get Spray Paint Off Shoes

Removing spray paint stains off of shoes may seem daunting, and you may wonder which is the best way to do it. 

But as we have seen from this guide, you just need some proven safe and professional tips to clean up your paint-stained shoes and make them as clean as new.  

Some of the products mentioned here are readily available in your home, or you can get them from your local convenience or hardware stores. 

And if you follow these tips carefully, you won’t have any problems removing spray paint from your shoes, nor will you ruin your prized footwear. So go ahead and give it a shot. 

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