From time to time, paint finds its way onto a variety of plastics, including uPVC window frames, whether deliberately or accidentally. Sadly, paint is not always the easiest substance to remove, however with a bit of persistence and the right know-how it is possible to remove paint from plastic.
How to remove fresh paint from plastic
Paint is considerably easier to remove when it’s still wet, so make sure to get to it as soon as possible. Using a solution of warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge, you should be able to scrub most fresh paint away from any plastics. If the item is small enough to fit and non-electronic, you could also submerge it in your solution of warm soapy water before scrubbing. Be sure to unplug any electronics and be sparing with the amount of water you use if removing paint from any electronic devices.
Removing dried paint from plastic
Whilst removing dried paint from plastics is likely to require more persistence, there are a number of methods you can employ to remove it.
Attempt to scrape the paint away
This can be done using a paint scraper; these are available at most high street hardware shops. You can also attempt to use a razor blade, although be sure to err on the side of caution when scraping with any device so as not to damage surfaces. You can also attempt to loosen the paint by applying vegetable oil and rubbing with a soft cloth.
Nail polish remover
If attempts to scrape off the paint have proved futile, apply a generous amount of nail polish remover to the paint and rub it with a paper towel. For paint that proves difficult to remove, leave the nail polish remover for 5-10 minutes before rubbing again.
Is it possible to remove stubborn paint from plastic?
If you’re finding the aforementioned methods haven’t worked, there are a number of solutions for removing stubborn paint:
Ammonia solution can be used to remove dried acrylic paint from plastics. However, be wary that ammonia gives off intense fumes when in use, so ensure to only apply it in well-ventilated areas and wear a respirator if possible. Wear eyewear and safety gloves when using it too, as it can damage the eyes and irritate the skin.
As long as the paint is not oil based, denatured alcohol is another more potent solution for paint removal. Be sure to take the same safety precautions for using ammonia, before applying a liberal amount onto the paint. Wait a few minutes for the paint to wrinkle, then scrape it off with your scraping tool. Finally, rub the area thoroughly with a soft cloth until the paint is removed.
Be sure to thoroughly clean any plastic surfaces that you’ve applied chemicals to afterwards using a non-abrasive cloth and warm, soapy water.