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Does white spirit remove paint?

White spirit is your best friend when it comes to decorating. It’s used as an industrial solvent in degreasing, cleaning and substance extraction and is a perfect household product for cleaning paint brushes, thinning paint and removing paint stains.

But can you remove paint stains from everything? No, white spirit can’t remove years of layers of dried paint. On those occasions, a chemical, manual or natural paint stripper is your best bet.

White spirit is best suited for cleaning wet paint off surfaces.

Does white spirit remove paint from tiles?

Painting ceramic tiles can renew a tired or ugly kitchen, but sometimes that paint just has to go. But, if your painted tiles have not been fully cured, white spirit might have a shot at removing the paint.

Water alone might remove wet water-based paints from tiles, whereas wet oil-based paints are much harder to remove. In these instances, try white spirit as a paint remover.

If the paint is thick or completely cured, it will probably be too stubborn. You may need to resort to a more industrial paint-stripping option.

Does white spirit remove paint from metal?

Again, white spirit will not remove layers and layers of age-old paint. You’ll need to use another paint stripping option, like a metal-suitable paint stripper or gentle sanding.

However, white spirit can help you clean up your paint removal job, but only after you’ve finished with your paint stripper. It can also help you clean fresh paint from metal like sinks, light switches and door handles.

Does white spirit remove paint from wood?

Yes, there is the potential to use white spirit to remove paint from wood if the paint hasn’t been cured yet. Soak a rag in white spirit and scrub away.

But, white spirit won’t remove cured paint like varnishes and clear coats because it never contains more than 40% alcohol.

If the paint is water-based and only one or two coats thick, you can use white spirit as a pre-treatment before using a manual or chemical paint stripper.

Does white spirit remove paint from clothes?

It’s unlikely that you’re clothes or furniture will completely escape a paint job. Luckily, white spirit is a great paint removal option for paint stains on clothes.

Remove the paint stain while the stain is wet, or keep the item of clothing damp until you can get to it. Then, use a rag soaked in white spirit and dab on the piece of clothing.

Don’t forget to check the label for washing instructions to ensure the clothing can withstand chemicals like these.

Calling the professionals

Big paint removal jobs or the removal of old paint are often better suited to professionals.

A professional painter and decorator will know exactly what type of paint stripper is needed, along with any health and safety precautions. For example;

  • Old paint can contain lead – always wear a mask
  • White spirit contains alcohol, and paint strippers use solvents – always wear appropriate gloves
  • A heat gun can result in wood damage or even fire – wear appropriate clothing and keep a fire extinguisher near

We’ve compiled a helpful guide to help you find a reliable painter and decorator.

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