Removing Alkyd Paint

What You'll Need
Needle or tweezers
Thinner or other types of solvent recommended by manufacturer

Oil based paint, also known as alkyd paint, is used for surfaces that need a durable and high gloss finish. Alkyd paint is best used on kitchens, cabinets and trims, bathrooms, and furniture because it gives the surface a lustrous shine and its durability can stand up against stains and dirt. Alkyd paints give a surface high gloss that makes it easy to clean by just wiping away the dirt. If alkyd paint is very durable, however, how does one remove it, especially if you have accidentally smeared it on a surface not intended to be painted?

Step 1 – Checking if the Alkyd Paint is Dry

You need to check if the alkyd paint has dried up or not, because the process for removing dried alkyd paint is much more grueling than the removal of wet alkyd paint. 

Step 2 – Removing Wet Alkyd Paint

If the alkyd paint was spilled on a hard surface and is still wet, engulf the spill with a rag. Do this carefully and ensure that you are trapping the paint inside the perimeter of the rag, so that you will not create a bigger mess. Once the spilled paint is nearly wiped off, clean the rag with the correct thinning solvent as recommended by the manufacturer. Wash the rag with another round of thinning solvent as necessary and wipe off the spilled alkyd paint from the surface.  Do not do this vigorously, as you may damage the existing finish of the surface.

If you are removing the wet alkyd paint from a carpet, wipe off the spilled wet paint as you would from a hard surface. Remove as much paint as you can with the help of a rag. Then dampen another rag with solvent or thinner, and dab this on the portion where the paint was spilled.  Press, dab, wash the rag and dampen the rag with solvent. Do this repeatedly until there are no signs of paint.

Step 3 – Removing Dried Alkyd Paint

If the alkyd paint has already dried, place some steam on the dried alkyl paint for easier removal. Once the dried paint is pliable, you can chisel it off with the use of a knife and pry it off the surface.

If the alkyl paint has dried on your carpet or clothing, apply some steam on the piece of cloth where the paint is located. Then pry off the paint with the help of a tweezers or a needle, whichever is suitable. Strip out the paint bit by bit, and steam the carpet or clothing as necessary. When only smudges of the paint remain, you can dab and press a rag that is damp with solvent on the spot to remove any paint residue. Do this repeatedly until no paint remains.