In many cases, we might want to wash or remove acrylic paint from the wall. You might want to do it in a mural or just clean the unwanted acrylic paint from the wall. So I asked a group of acrylic artists what they do to wash off acrylic paint from walls. Here is what I have found.
Acrylic paint can be washed off walls using a wet cotton ball, magic eraser, bleach or disinfectant liquids, alcohol, thinner, or baby wipes. Wet acrylic paint is easier to remove rather than dried acrylic paint. You can also paint over with opaque acrylic paint to cover the mistakes.
When you are washing or removing acrylic paint off the walls, be careful not to remove the bottom paint layer or the wall paint. The best methods and when to do these methods will be further discussed in this article.
Can acrylic paint be washed off walls?
Acrylic paint can be washed off the walls. The best thing is to remove it the moment it got on the wall. You can use water with a cotton ball or a piece of cloth to rub off the paint. You can also rub gently with a Magic Eraser on the stain. When the paint is still wet you do not need to use other chemicals on the stain.
If the acrylic paint stain has been there for a while and it is dry you might need some extra help. In this case, you can use a Magic Eraser from Mr. Clean. But make sure it does not take off the paint underneath. Rub gently with a Magic Eraser.
You can use several other chemicals to remove acrylic paint after drying. You can use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, WD-40, ACV(Apple cider vinegar), bleach, and TSP (trisodium phosphate). Baby wipes and Lysol wipes can also be used after the paint is dry.
I have also written a comprehensive list of chemicals and materials that can be used to strip and remove acrylic paint. You will be able to easily choose the right method to strip and remove acrylic paint according to your needs and your budget with the handy chart included in that article.
After curing acrylic paint…
It will be much harder to remove acrylic paint from any surface when it is fully cured. It takes about a month for acrylic paint to fully cure. Therefore if you want to remove acrylic paint act as quickly as possible. If the paint is already cured and well bonded to the surface consider painting over the paint stain.
If you are interested to know more about acrylic paint curing, you can read the following article: How long for acrylic paint cure? (Comprehensive answer). You will get to know the ideal conditions for curing acrylic paint there.
How to wash or remove acrylic paint off walls?
Acrylic paint is easier to remove wet than after drying. However, there are many ways to go about this. Let’s discuss each of them below.
1. Use a Magic Eraser on wet or dry acrylic paint
The Magic Eraser from Mr. Clean is one of the favorite choices of artists to remove acrylic paint on walls. Magic eraser is made from melamine foams. You can buy a magic eraser from Amazon. Magic Eraser works by being abrasive. It is like extra fine-grit sandpaper. It exfoliates the stains rather than dissolves them.
Make sure to wet the Magic Eraser before using it.
As the Magic Eraser is a melamine foam, It is a lot cheaper if you buy melamine foam and use it with some cleaning solution. It does the same job as a Magic Eraser.
How to make a DIY Magic Eraser: Take a melamine foam (Link to view on Amazon). Then take 1/2 cup of water and add 1 teaspoon of Borax and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Mix them all. Then soak the melamine foam in the solution and squeeze out the excess.
Now you can use the DIY magic eraser to scrub off acrylic paint on the wall. It works well for wet acrylic paint. Scrub gently on the wet acrylic paint to remove it. If the acrylic paint is dry you can still scrub it with the magic eraser.
But make sure not to do it vigorously or hard as it can remove the paint underneath, especially if it is latex or acrylic paint. It can also remove the sheen of the wall paint as well.
I have written a whole article about washing off acrylic paint from several different surfaces. You will learn exactly how to remove acrylic paint from each surface, especially with alcohol and water in detail there.
2. Rub acrylic paint with a piece of cloth with water
Rubbing acrylic paint with a piece of cloth that has water in it is a good idea. You can do this on a wall painted with washable acrylic paint very easily. On a washable paint wall, keep the acrylic paint stain wet for a while and then gently scrape it off.
Even if the wall is painted with regular latex paint it can be washed off with water and a rag, especially when the paint is wet. However, it can take some wall paint off. Just be careful not to rub the paint too much.
I have tried to rub off acrylic paint from the wall before and after drying. Following are my results. You will see that some latex paint on the wall is also taken off from the rubbing but the paint is completely removed from the wall.
Removing acrylic paint while still wet cause less changes to the wall and removes all the acrylic paint easily. If possible paint your studio with washable acrylic paint. It makes it even easier to rub the paint off from walls. You can also use some soap with water to remove the paint.
3. Use rubbing alcohol, peroxide, WD-40, ACV, or bleach
Many chemicals can be used to clean the wall. Rub the acrylic paint on the wall very gently with these chemicals. You can use rubbing alcohol, peroxide, WD-40, ACV (apple cider vinegar), or bleach on a piece of cloth and rub the paint off.
You can use rubbing alcohol, WD-40 (a multipurpose liquid used to clean, and prevent rusting, and lubricating), and peroxide as it is to clean acrylic paint. However when using ACV or bleach-like Clorox mix a few drops of the chemical with more water and use with a rag. You can also use Clorox wipes as it is more convenient.
Also when using a bleach-like Clorox use it only on walls with white paints. Colored walls can be stripped off of color with bleach. When using any of the chemicals mentioned here, use them on a white wall. otherwise, there is a good chance to remove the colored wall paint as well.
After using any bleach remember to clean the wall again with a clean rag with clean water in it. It helps to remove the residue produced by bleach reacting with wall paint and prevents the yellowing of paint. Do this with cleaning solutions containing ammonia as well.
4. Use thinner or TSP (trisodium phosphate)
Paint thinner is mostly used with oil paints. However, you can use it to remove acrylic paint as well. You can use thinner even if the paint is wet or dry. However, be careful when using it on colored walls. Also, it may remove the paint layer underneath if you are doing a mural.
Dampen a rag with paint thinner and lightly press on the acrylic paint stain in small circles to remove the paint.
TSP is a white granular solid which is a heavy-duty cleaner used by many professional painters. TSP is used in cleaning solutions such as dish soap, detergents, and counter cleaners. Mix a little trisodium phosphate(TSP) with some hot water. Hot water helps to dissolve TSP well.
It is a great solution to remove any paint stains from the walls. TSP is specially used to clean surfaces in preparation for painting. One important thing to note is not to contact TSP on your hands or anywhere on the skin as it may cause itching. Use gloves when using TSP. Also, clean the hands well after using TSP for cleaning.
You can get TSP from a hardware store or at Home Depot
5. Use wet wipes like Lysol or baby wipes
Lysol is a disinfectant cleaning liquid. It is generally used to clean hard nonporous surfaces. However, Lysol wipes come in handy when cleaning acrylic paint stains on walls. It is especially good for dried acrylic paint stains.
You can use baby wipes for this purpose as well. Rub the wipe on the acrylic paint stain on the wall until it removes. You can use any other wet wipes for this purpose.
6. Paint over with opaque acrylic paint color
Last but not least the best option would be painting over the acrylic paint stain with an opaque acrylic paint color. It is especially important if you are doing a mural. If you have started building layers, removing top paint layers according to the above-mentioned methods has the risk of taking the paint layer underneath it as well.
You can easily use titanium white or any color mixed with titanium white to cover the acrylic paint stain easily. If you want darker acrylic colors use cadmium red, burnt umber, or black to cover the acrylic paint stain. After covering the paint stain you can build up paint layers on top of that.
Acrylic paint is a versatile painting medium that can stick to almost any surface. Acrylic paint can get on your walls or maybe you are painting a mural and there is an unwanted part you want to remove. In that case, you can go through the list of best methods to remove acrylic paint in this article and adopt the best one for you.