How to Remove Latex Paint from Window Screens


Graham asked: How do I remove latex paint from a window screen? We just had the house painted and realized the painter dripped paint on the window screens. It is latex exterior paint. How do I get it off?

Paint on window screens is a common problem when painting outdoors. Fortunately the paint is simple to remove and should be gone with just a few simple steps. Follow the information below.

You Will Need:

  • Bucket or hose
  • Paint thinner or
  • Acetone nail polish remover or
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Old soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Paint:

  1. Begin by assessing the size of the paint spots. If the spots are large, it will be helpful to remove the screen so you will have easier access to them. If the spots are small, they will likely be able to be removed without removing them from the window.
  2. Moisten a soft cloth with the paint thinner, nail polish remover or alcohol.
  3. Gently rub the cloth over the area until the paint softens and comes off.
  4. Use caution not to apply too much pressure as it can cause the screen to lose its shape and stretch.
  5. Rinse the screens thoroughly with water from a bucket or spray it with the hose.
  6. Allow the screen to dry completely and reinstall (if necessary).

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Avoid using items like paper towels or cotton balls to remove the paint. These items can shred as they are rubbed over the screen and lead to a bigger mess.
  • If the paint drops are large, it will help to scrape off as much as possible before applying the paint thinner.


  1. My problem is that polyurethane dripped on a porch screen. I’ve tried mineral spirits, nail polish remover, and stripper to no avail. Help?

  2. I have stains on my screens; have tried all that Janet tried on her problem!

  3. Didn’t work!

  4. Thanks; will try it.

  5. Is it safe to use paint thinner, nail polish remover, etc., on nylon screens?

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