How to Get Spray Paint Off Your Shoes?

Learn how to get it off almost any material shoes can be made of

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on How to Get Spray Paint Off Your Shoes

Spray paint can be used in many different ways for all sorts of painting projects. It sticks perfectly to almost any surface which makes this stuff a true salvation for those who don’t like using brushes or paint rollers!

However, despite being so convenient and multipurpose, spray paint does have one “bad habit”: it tends to end up on our clothes and shoes in particular way too often! And if you are using this type of paint frequently enough, you might already be wondering how to remove spray paint from your footwear so that your shoes remain good-looking like before.

So get ready since today we will share a few very easy yet well-working recommendations with you on how to free your shoes from splashes of spray paint once and for all!

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

Like any other type of paint, spray paint is the easiest thing to get rid of as long as it is still fresh. So you need to be very careful and attentive while painting with it. Like this, you will be able to catch the very moment when it gets onto your footwear and cleanse the shoes at once.

Since spray paint has the same chemical structure as all the other types of paint (for instance, acrylic, oil, etc), you might think that the way you can remove it from your shoes will be pretty much the same as those used for cleansing any other paint.

However, since our shoes are most often made of leather, both natural and faux, suede, or all sorts of fabric, or rubber, removing spray paint from those surfaces might turn into quite a challenging task!

This is why, to remove spray paint from your footwear safely and effectively, you will need to consider the material the footwear is made of. However, there is one method that can be considered universal and can be used for basically any type of material. To clean your shoes like this, you will have to go through a few easy steps:

  • Wipe the paint away carefully using a rolled paper towel
  • Sponge away the paint residue with the use of a mild detergent and water
  • Dry the shoes with paper towel

If you need a more detailed explanation, here you have it. Start with removing the excess spray paint using a dry paper towel rolled in a tube. Act very carefully to not spread the paint even more! It can help if you try not to blot or rub the paint with anything that has a diameter larger than the spray paint spot.

The next step will be to get rid of paint residue since there will be some whether you want it or not. To do it quickly and effectively, try to make an easy DIY cleaning remedy: simply mix some mild detergent (approximately an ounce) and a quart of hot water. All you will have to do is to sponge the paint residue with this homemade cleansing paste.

Finally, when your shoes are free from paint, dry them with another paper towel. This method can also be used if you need to know how to get spray paint off leather shoes, by the way!

How to Get Rid Of Spray Paint If It Already Dried On Your Shoes?

If you managed to cleanse your footwear and remove paint before it got dry, you are lucky! But we often miss the moment when paint ends up on our shoes, this is why it becomes harder to remove it later when it is already dry and stuck to the surface of the shoe.

However, even in this case it is still possible to get rid of the dry paint and keep your shoes safe and sound. In general words, the paint removing procedure will look like this:

  • You remove as much of the dry paint as you can with a sharp object
  • Treat the paint spot with a citrus cleaner
  • Rub that paint residue off
  • Treat your shoes with footwear conditioner

And to provide you with a more detailed guide, we will now explain step by step how spray paint can be removed using these recommendations. So first of all, we need to remove most of the dry paint. To do this, make use of either a tip of a sharp knife or a common pin. Be careful to not scratch the shoe surface!

Now pulverize the mild citrus cleaner over the paint spot residue using a plant spray bottle and let it soak for a minute or so. Be sure you affect the blot only without soaking the rest of the shoe!

Afterward, spray some of the citrus cleaner over the corner of the kitchen scrubbing pad (of course, take a clean one), and rub the paint blot lightly and vigorously. There is no need to press the pad to the shoe too much since like this, you can mark the material it is made of.

Now you can wipe the blotted area and see how things are going on there. If there are still some minor traces of paint left, feel free to repeat the cleaning procedure until the surface of your shoes is clean and looks like new.

By the way, this method is also safe to use on shoes made of either true or faux leather.

How to Get Rid Of Spray Paint If It Already Dried On Your Shoes
Credits: pixelshot, via

More Methods Of Removing Dry Spray Paint Off Your Shoes

Citrus cleaner is, of course, a great thing, but you may not always have it at hand when needed. Does it mean your shoes will have to be abandoned stained with spray paint? No!

There are a few alternative cleaning products that are the same effective and most of them are quite easy to get (or, maybe, you already have them at your disposal). Here is the list for you to keep in mind just in case of a need:

  1. Dish detergent powder
  2. Mineral spirits
  3. Latex paint remover
  4. A mix of nail polish remover and pure acetone
  5. Paint removers
  6. White distilled vinegar
  7. Rubbing alcohol
  8. Olive oil

Some of them are quite smelly (like vinegar or rubbing alcohol), others must be used with care and caution (like acetone which is better not to be inhaled), but all of them will help you to get rid of spray paint on your shoes with little effort.

More Methods Of Removing Dry Spray Paint Off Your Shoes
Credits: Lana Elanor, via

How to Get Spray Paint Off Of Suede Shoes?

Getting paint off suede shoes may seem to be your personal mission impossible, but in fact, things are way less horrible and scary! Yes, suede is a tricky material due to its texture and removing spray paint from it will not be the same easy as removing it from something smoother.

However, it is possible and all you need to do is to follow the instruction precisely step by step to avoid any mistakes:

  • scrape the affected suede surface to remove as much paint as you can
  • mix a solution of mild soap and lukewarm water and swish to create voluminous suds
  • wipe the paint residue using a clean sponge that is dipped in that soapy foam you have just made
  • wipe again with a clean and dry cloth

If you can still see any spray paint traces after you cleaned your suede shoes or boots this way, don’t hesitate to repeat the whole procedure from the very beginning until the surface of your footwear is paint-free.

Removing Paint from ShoesRemoving Paint from Shoes

What Spray Paint Remover to Use?

If you ever had to deal with spray paint on your shoes or other footwear, you definitely asked yourself this question: what removes spray paint? Since our footwear can be made of different materials including canvas, suede, true or faux leather, we obviously can’t apply the same cleaning product or solution each time! Otherwise, we will simply ruin our shoes one day.

This is why we recommend you learn what alternative cleaning products can be used on shoes for getting rid of spray paint effectively and relatively quickly (since paint removal is actually not that fast-to-do thing). So what can we use to free out shoes from those colorful blots?

  1. toothpaste
  2. acetone
  3. baking soda
  4. WD-40
  5. water and mild detergent

And now let’s see how each of these products work on paint for removing it.

What Spray Paint Remover to Use
Credits: Porechenskaya, via

Acetone For Removing Paint

Acetone is a well-known and effective solvent. And what is even more important, it is safe for your shoes! It can be used for removing dry spray paint from shoes or for dealing with really old paint blots and marks.

All you need to use it is a can of acetone and some cotton swabs (or a piece of clean cloth). Just dip the swab or cloth in acetone and rub the paint off lightly. Acetone is strong enough so avoid rubbing like crazy. It will cope with spray paint with no additional effort from your side!

There is, however, one nuance that is good to keep in mind when using acetone as a paint remover for your shoes. Since this liquid is slightly acidic, you will not want to use it on plastic or foam parts of your footwear. If you do, those parts can get badly damaged.

Acetone For Removing Paint
Credits: Lucas Pezeta, via

Toothpaste As a Paint Remover

Unlike acetone which truly does miracles as a shoe cleaner, toothpaste can hardly amuse you with the same result. It is more effective and is better to be used for cleaning dirty shoes or for deleting scuff marks from your footwear.

If you do decide to make use of it as a paint remover, squeeze some of the toothpaste onto the affected area of your shoe and scrub that paint out with a slightly wet rag. See, toothpaste is somewhat more abrasive in comparison to water and detergent solution, so it will be more effective.

Nevertheless, if compared to acetone or nail polish remover, it will definitely lose.

Toothpaste As a Paint Remover
Credits: Annette SHaff, via

Baking Soda. The Cheapest One

All of us have it at home in the kitchen cabinet! Baking soda is mostly used for cooking purposes for lifting the dough as a yeast alternative. ANd sometimes, people can make use of it as a household cleaner since this powder is an excellent and gentle abrasive.

However, quite few of us know that baking soda can serve as a shoe cleaning product as well! Especially if we need to get rid of a paint stain. Again, it will not be as effective as a nail polish remover or as an acetone, but it is worth trying!

One more great benefit of this powder is that it is much safer in use than acetone or any harsh chemicals since it does not damage the shoe surface no matter what it is made of. By the way, your plastic midsoles are also safe with it!

So how do you clean your shoes from spray paint using baking soda? First of all, if the paint is still fresh and wet, remove the excess from the surface of the shoes. If it is already dry, delicately scrape the excess with a plastic knife.

Then prepare a cleaning solution by mixing baking soda and vinegar, and use this paster as a paint thinner. Once the paint gets softer, wash your shoes in warm water and leave it to dry. Repeat the procedure if any paint marks are left.

Baking Soda. The Cheapest One
Credits: David De Lossy, via


You might think that this is way too much to apply such a chemical onto your shoes even if some spray paint got onto them. However, WD-40 is a very effective paint remover, especially on footwear!

By the way, it works best if you make use of it to remove spray paint from patent leather shoes or shoes that have a high gloss finish!

On the other hand, do keep in mind that this product can hardly be called friendly if applied to suede footwear! This is why avoid using it on this material and better find other ways of cleaning paint off suede shoes (we have mentioned one above, by the way).

Now that you know how to get spray paint off shoes and you have learned about plenty of methods of doing it, your shoes will always be safe and stain-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How fast does spray paint dry?

For 15 minutes.

⭐ How to get spray paint off plastic?

Use paint thinner for this.

⭐ Is it possible to remove spray paint from glass?

Yes, it’s possible if you use paint thinner or acetone.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
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