Best Acrylic Paint Remover?

Best Acrylic Paint RemoverNeed to clean up acrylic in a jiffy? You’ve got a few options on how you can do it, but if you’re looking for the best acrylic paint remover I’d have to go with Isopropyl. Isopropyl alcohol has the least amount of scent of your available options and it cleans quite well. Vinegar also works, if you are dealing with a small smudge, but for most removal options (including canvas) isopropyl is quick, convenient, and quite handy.

Today we’ll talk about isopropyl and some of the other options that you have, including some of the caveats of using other solvents. We’ll talk about using vinegar too and the best way to remove acrylic paint from your canvas.

Let’s look at some serious solvent solutions for breaking down acrylics!

What is the best acrylic paint thinner?What is the best acrylic paint thinner

Isopropyl alcohol is one of your best options as far as the best acrylic paint thinner around the house. There are other household items that are commonly used, but isopropyl is best for non-porous surfaces as well as for clothing in that it does the job without any unpleasant surprises.

Here are some examples of what occurs with other common household items that are sometimes used to thin acrylic:

  • Acetone – Unsafe for synthetic fabrics and plastics, acetone will strip acrylic but it’s very strong and fumes will be produced, so this should only be used in a well-ventilated area.
  • Denatured alcohol – This works, but it contains toxic methanol
  • Lacquer – Not safe for plastics, lacquer can clean acrylic quite well but it contains methanol and toluene.
  • Ammonia – Not good for wood and it will blacken aluminum, ammonia can clean acrylic but there will be heavy fumes involved.
  • Vinegar – Heavily diluted with water, vinegar may be used but it’s not ideal for clearing out a lot of acrylic paint. That said, it works a treat for small spots and it’s something that you’ll usually always have in the house that you can use.

With isopropyl, at a 90% concentration, you can clean acrylic quite nicely without worry of excessing fumes or toxic chemicals. Some find it irritating on their skin, so be sure to use gloves, but overall isopropyl is effective and as clean as it gets for thinning out acrylics.

Will vinegar remove acrylic paint?

Will vinegar remove acrylic paintVinegar will definitely remove acrylic paint in a pinch, but this little trick is best reserve for small bits of acrylic that you want to remove. Mix up 1-part white vinegar to 10 parts water and once it is mixed well, you can blot the surface that you are trying to clean and rub it gently into the surface.

Rub off what you can with your vinegar and water mixture and then sop it up with a paper towel or a clean cloth. Repeat as necessary and you can easily clean up some small acrylic stains, but if you need something a little more powerful then you may want to switch to something like isopropyl alcohol or some of the other solvents we’ve mentioned.

What is the easiest way to remove acrylicWhat is the easiest way to remove acrylic paint from canvas paint from canvas?

There are 3 options for this that are all quite easy and that you’ll generally have around the house. These include rubbing alcohol, turpentine, and mineral spirits. Rubbing alcohol is my preferred method, as it’s the least stinky of the bunch, but as long as you are in a well-ventilated area then any of these options are fine.

To use any of these options, just soak up your solvent into a cotton ball or a small rag and soak the area which you are wanting to clean. Let the solvent sit for about 30 minutes and it should break up the acrylic nicely, allowing you to wipe it up into your cotton or your cloth to clear the surface.

If needed, repeat the process a few times until the acrylic is fully broken-up and removed, but generally you can do this quite effectively in 2 to 3 takes, depending on the volume of acrylic which you are dealing with.

Just be patient with the process and let the solvent do it’s work and you should be able to get that canvas cleared up and ready to paint anew.

Some closing comments

Today we’ve explored the best acrylic paint remover options and as far as household solvents, I feel that isopropyl alcohol is the best option you’ve got for efficacy and convenience. Vinegar can also be used in a pinch, provided that it’s not a lot of paint, and with canvas you could use mineral spirits or turpentine if you don’t want to go with isopropyl.

By the way, while we’re on the subject, if you’d like a quick primer on cleaning acrylic paint out of brushes, check out this 3rd party link here. It’s got some useful info for you just in case you’d like a little more instruction on removing some stubborn acrylic paint.

For me, however, it’s Isopropyl alcohol all the way!

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