Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Skin?

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off SkinIf you like to paint, you’re going to get some on you. If you are new to painting then you might be wondering does acrylic paint wash off of skin? While it dries fast, if you clean it off before this happens then it is quite easy. Once it dries, however, then you’ll need a little baby oil and alcohol mixed together to help loosen it up enough to clean.

In today’s article I’ll talk about acrylic paint and how it interacts with your skin. Don’t worry, it can be a pain sometimes to remove but once you know what to do then it’s just a minor inconvenience.

Is it safe to paint on skin with acrylic?Is it safe to paint on skin with acrylic

Acrylic is not a good paint to purposely paint skin with. The problem with it is that acrylic quickly dries, at which point without a solvent of some sort you would need to peel it off of the skin. This irritates the skin and can painfully pull-out hairs, so you certainly don’t want to have to do this.

It’s perfectly fine for painting things like canvas, shirts, or even items that you will be keeping outdoors (there are some special outdoor acrylics that are quite popular), but if you get these on your skin in the process of painting something else, you’ll still need to clean it.

This is going to require stocking up on some baby oil and a bit of rubbing alcohol. Let’s talk about how you can use this to clean your skin.

How do I remove acrylic paint from skin?

How do I remove acrylic paint from skinRemoving acrylic paint from your skin is easy, if a bit time consuming. If you’ve gotten your baby oil and rubbing alcohol, then grab some cotton balls from the medicine cabinet and simply follow these steps:


  • Pour baby oil liberally over the spot that you are looking to clean. If you are cleaning your hands, then just pour a little in the palm of your hand and rub your hands vigorously together.
  • Use your fingernails or a scrub brush to loosen up the paint. You should be able to loosen it up enough to remove with soap and water but if you still have some left, then just use the next step.
  • Saturate a cotton ball with your rubbing alcohol and dab at any of the small remaining areas, enough to get them nice and wet with the alcohol. After a few minutes, wash with soap and warm water and repeat the process as necessary.

Once you’ve gotten all of the paint out, a little lotion might be a good idea, as the alcohol can dry out your hands a bit and this will help to rehydrate them fairly quickly.

What paint is safe on skin?What paint is safe on skin

You will want to look for water-based body paints. While acrylic is water-based, it doesn’t fall into the ‘body paint’ category as it simply doesn’t have the same safeguards as body paints. Body paints will typically be water-based, non-toxic, and they are also hypoallergenic so that you won’t have to worry about breaking into a rash after painting up your skin.

You can apply body paints with a sponge or even an airbrush, but be careful if it’s warm out. The mileage that you’ll get varies from brand to brand and body paints tend to be susceptible to thinning out from sweating.

As far as removal, it’s a piece of cake, with the easiest way to do it being the application of baby oil or coconut oil to the painted area followed by a liberal session with some soap and water until the paint has been fully removed.

If it sticks to the tub, use products like Magic Eraser and you should be able to clean it up quite easily. Body paints look great but they also dissolve quickly by necessity.

In conclusion

Today I’ve answered the question ‘does acrylic paint wash off skin’ and addressed a few other common questions about this paint. If you need to get it out of your skin, a little baby oil should help you to loosen up most of it so that you can get it with soap and water, with a little rubbing alcohol and cotton to get any bits that are still clinging.

Acrylic should not be used for the specific purpose of painting skin, as body paints are specifically formulated for this and much easier to remove. If you’d like a little more information on acrylic paint and skin, you can click this 3rd party link and get a little more detail on the subject just in case your curiosity has not yet been sated.

Just be sure to keep that acrylic off of your skin and on the canvas where it’s supposed to be!