How to Remove Spray Paint From Plastic Car Interior

Spray paint is a popular medium for artists looking to create bold, eye-catching artworks. However, some people who are not as skilled or knowledgeable about spray painting may accidentally get the paint on their plastic car interior by spraying it up high and sitting in the driver’s seat. Fortunately, there are several ways to remove this paint from your interior without causing more damage than necessary. This blog post will help you with how to remove spray paint from the plastic car interior so that you can successfully remove spray paint from your car interior. In addition, here are some helpful tips on how to do so.  

How to Remove Spray Paint From Plastic Car Interior

Summary: Removing spray paint from plastic car interiors is not always easy, but with a little patience and a few helpful tips, it can be done. One method is to use a hair dryer on low heat to heat up the paint until it starts to blister, then use a spoon to scrape it off. Another method is to use a household solvent such as acetone or lacquer thinner to dissolve the paint, then scrub with a cloth.

Things You Need to Know Before Removing Spray Paint from Plastic

  • It is possible to remove spray paint from a plastic car interior. However, it would help if you acted fast, so don’t delay the removal process.
  • The longer the spray paint sits on the plastic interior, the harder it will remove. Additionally, some types of plastic are more porous than others and should be handled with extra care.
  • Before removing the paint, test a small area to determine if the spray paint is permanent or removed easily.
  • If the spray paint is permanent, you can have the plastic reupholstered.
  • This process will also help remove some types of marker and pen marks from plastic.
  • A glass cleaner is the easiest way to remove permanent spray paint from a car’s interior. There are also ways to use heat and toothpaste to remove the paint, but these methods may be dangerous.

Supplies Needed for Removing Spray Paint From Plastic Car Interior

  • Rubber gloves and goggles
  • Waterproof spray paint stripper or scraper
  • Paper towels
  • Paint thinner
  • Air compressor with a hose or paint stripper
  • Sandpaper or sanding block, coarse grit(60-80)
  • A putty knife for stripping paint from hard areas (corners and crevices)

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Remove Spray Paint From Plastic Car Interior

1. Put On Your Gloves and Goggles:

Wear rubber gloves and goggles to protect your hands from broken glass or plastic shards. If you have sensitive skin, wear a face mask to prevent any possibility of inhaling paint fumes.

2. Scrape Away Unpainted Plastic:

Use the spray paint remover to remove all unpainted plastic from the car’s interior. Spray until you see paint dissolving away and scrape it off with the scraper. Then, spray again and scrape it off. Do this step slowly and carefully to ensure you don’t damage the durable finish of the car or cut yourself on broken shards of plastic or glass.

3. Sand Down Remaining Paint:

Once the paint has been removed from all unpainted areas, sand down any remaining chunks of paint that are sticky with coarse-grit sandpaper or block. This will ensure you’ll be able to remove all the paint. After you are finished scraping and sanding down the sticky chunks of paint, wash off any residue with warm water from a hose.

4. Vacuum the Interior:

Use an air compressor to blow out any remaining glass shards or dust. Next, vacuum the interior of the car. The problem is that you will have paint specks in your lungs or skin for a day or two until you wash everything off. Wear a face mask to protect yourself from contaminating paint dust while vacuuming.

Vacuum Car Interior

5. Fix Any Surface Damage:

If there are dings, you can fill them with spot putty and let the solution dry. Afterward, sand down the finish to smooth it out. Now that all the paint is removed from the car’s interior, you are ready to clean up any remaining glass or plastic shards and prepare the surface for a new coating.

6. Rinse the Surface with Water:

Rinse the area thoroughly with a hose, cleaning off any glass or plastic shards. A gentle spray should do the trick, but you can use your sanding block to scrub away particularly stubborn pieces of broken glass or plastic.

7. Seal in Your New Interior:

Once all of the paint has been removed, and all damage from removing the paint has been corrected, you can seal the car interior with a clear coat or automotive paint to give it a fresh new, long-lasting finish. This process will ensure that the paint won’t rub off and make the car look new. Since spray paint tends to be rough on plastic, you should take extra care to avoid sanding too hard or getting paint shards in your eyes.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Plastic Car Interior Without Any Damage

Method 1:

A blow dryer is the first method to remove paint from plastic without any damage. You have to raise the temperature of the plastic up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more so that it is completely melted and there will be no hard paint left behind. You should know that 220-degree F hot air can burn your skin badly. You should use a dryer that is not powerful enough to melt the plastic. Once you have heated the plastic up, use a plastic putty knife to scrape off the softened paint.

Method 2:

The second method uses acetone, soapy water, white vinegar, and salt (for painted plastic). Paint is made up of two main ingredients: solvent and pigment. Therefore, the best way to remove paint from a hard surface is by using a chemical that will dissolve the solvent without affecting the color pigments so you can easily scrape off the softened paint.

Easily Scrape Off the Softened Paint

Method 3:

Soak a rag in soapy water and sprinkle it with salt. Wipe the area that was sprayed. If your car has been painted, be sure to wipe away any paint film from adjacent areas. The paint will come off initially as a thick coating of dried paint, but after scrubbing for a minute or two, it should soften up, and you can easily wipe it away.

Method 4:

Spray the painted plastic surface with paint thinner and let it sit for a couple of minutes or until the paint is softened enough to scrape off. If the spray paint is quite old, you may have to use several coats of thinner and let it dry between each coat until you can remove all the paint.

Method 5: 

Paint will often flake off with light sanding when applied to a surface that is too hot for the paint’s curing or drying process. The painted piece of plastic should be cool enough but not frozen or below freezing because you would risk cracking the plastic.

It would be best to start with medium-grade sandpaper to remove the paint, then work your way down to fine or extra-fine sandpaper. Always use a soft cloth and soapy hot water to wipe away any dust while sanding the area.

If you have tried all these methods and nothing worked, you should go to a professional.

Removing Paint From Plastic

Some Tips and Advice To Remove Spray Paint

  • Before attempting to remove spray paint from your car leather or plastic, you should try to locate the piece’s original color. That way, you know what shade of quality spray paint will be best to use to get a similar color after removing it.
  • When choosing which method is best for removing spray paint from your specific item, consider if a professional paint stripper is required. In addition, some detergents and solvents can lead to the appearance of damaged car surfaces, so you should be careful in choosing your product of choice.
  • If the spray painting plastic has begun to chip off already, you will probably have better results removing it if you wait until the entire surface is there for the chipping process to stop. If the paint is chipping, make sure you do not attempt to wipe it while it is still chipping; this can also damage surfaces underneath the paint.
  • When removing spray paint from the plastic car interior, use a solvent that does not contain ammonia or petroleum distillates. These types of solvents are not good for plastics.
  • If you are removing spray paint from car leather, make sure that the seat cover is not fused to the plastic base of the seat. You will have a much easier time removing it if it’s still attached rather than completely removed from the plastic base.

Remove Spray Paint From Metal

You can remove spray paint from metal yourself at home. You can use mild dish soap and oil-free solvent like mineral spirits if it’s a fresh paint application on top of the factory paint.  Spray the oil-based solvent onto the lacquer thinner.

Scrub with a nylon brush or sponge. The object stain from the thinner and the lacquer thinner will “lift” the paint. Allow to sit for a few minutes and wipe off with a rag or paper towel.  Repeat as necessary until the exposed metal is clean.

Scrub With a Sponge

If there is rust, you must sand down using fine grit wet/dry sandpaper if possible for the best results.  Wash off the rust with a water hose and sand the area down using wet/dry sandpaper to remove any remaining surface rust. 

Once the surface is clean, you can apply your metal paint of choice. It is best to use a primer first and then a top coat on plastic, so there are no leaks if sanding is done before painting.

Remove Spray Paint From Fabric

If you’ve ever had a can of spray paint explode on you, then you’ll know how difficult it is to remove the paint from all your clothing. Spray painting is one of those things that looks really cool when done properly but probably isn’t worth the effort in the long run. However, you may have a project requiring lots of sprays, and you want to ensure that each one covers the area well.

With a workable technique, this spray painting job can look -professional, but there’s always some paint left on the surface of your project. When I think about what to do, I remove the excess spray paint off my fabric. After the boom has settled, you’ll notice that a good amount of the paint has also splattered on your clothes. After it dries, you’ll have to use bleach to try and remove the paint from your clothing.

Remove Spray Paint From Fabric

Remove Spray Paint From Concrete

You can use different chemicals for this purpose. But, liquid ammonia is perhaps the best answer to all your problems. The best thing about liquid ammonia is that it comes at a very affordable price. You can purchase gallons of the chemical for just $10.00 to $15.00 per gallon. The second thing about this product is that it does not harm your concrete surfaces and keeps them shiny and clean.

The one major drawback of using liquid ammonia for cleaning is that besides removing the spray paint from concrete, it also removes its protective layer. This means that the concrete will be prone to stains. So, you must apply protective coatings like paint or polish after cleaning the surface.

How To Know If Your Paint Latex or Oil-based? 

Like any question regarding the health of your car, knowing exactly what kind of paint is essential. Unfortunately, you can’t remove oil-based spray paint with products made for latex paint (and vice versa). A spray paint can is the easiest way to identify your touch-up paint. If you have time, compare the can’s label or ingredients to see whether it lists latex or oil as the main ingredient. This will almost always identify which type of paint you’re dealing with.

If you don’t have a spray paint can in front of you, spray a little paint onto something disposable like cardboard or newspaper. Wait 10-15 minutes and run your finger through the wet paint. If it still feels wet, the paint is latex-based. Oil-based paints will be dry after this time, so spray paint color coat is most likely oil-based if the surface is dry. If you’re unsure, guess which one it is and move on.

Latex-based paints are water-soluble and are splotchy or mottled when wet. When it dries up, it will be more of a chalky white color than oil-based, which will be flat and shiny. However, the paint is oil-based if it’s dry to the touch. If you want to be sure which paint type you are dealing with, then a simple test on the car part will help you determine whether your automotive paint job is latex or oil-based.

Which Will Be Flat and Shiny


Now that you know how to remove spray paint from plastic car interiors go out and get the job done! It may not be as hard as you thought. Good luck with your project, and don’t forget to consult a professional if needed. We hope this blog post has been helpful for you today. If it was, please share with friends or family who could use these tips!

You can check out – How to Remove Window Paint From Car Body.

Louis Wein

Louis Wein

Louis has always been fascinated by cars. He loves the way they look, the sound of the engine, and how they make him feel when he's driving. He is always keen to learn more about different mechanics of cars and how the engine contributes to other aspects of the car. As an automotive technician with over 10 years of experience, he knew how they worked and loved taking them apart to see how they went back together. He was especially interested in the mechanics of combustion engines and loved finding ways to make them more efficient. He loves to work on cars and help people keep their vehicles running smoothly. As a senior editor, he enjoys contributing to Diy quickly because it allows him to share his knowledge and expertise with others.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

DIY Quickly