Sandra asked: Is there a way to clean nail polish off a wall without ruining the paint? I have tried 409, bleach, magic erasers and nail polish remover. None of them have worked!
Nail polish on a wall is essentially paint on top of paint. It is difficult to remove because you’re trying to remove just one layer of the paint. It can be removed, but will take some time and scrubbing. Surprisingly, nail polish remover is not the answer in this case. It will only make the problem worse by smudging the polish and removing the paint. The same is true for rubbing alcohol; although it will work to remove the nail polish, it will take the wall paint off along with it. Here’s what to do instead.
You Will Need:
- A cloth
- Nail polish
- An ice cube
- A razor blade
- A sponge
- Dish liquid
Steps to Remove the Nail Polish:
- If the paint is still wet, immediately go wipe it off with a cloth! (Be sure to wipe with a lifting motion so you don’t smear the polish over the wall.)
- If the paint has dried, there are three things you can try. First, very carefully apply another coat of nail polish over the polish on the wall. The fresh nail polish will soften and dissolve the old nail polish so that both can then be easily wiped off. Give it a minute to work, then wipe it off with a lifting motion.
- Another option is to allow the polish to fully dry. This can be hastened by rubbing an ice cube over the polish. Then, very carefully scrape the polish off the wall with a razor blade.
- Lastly, you can try simply washing the polish off. Just as the polish on your nails breaks down after you wash the dishes, you can wash the spot on the wall repeatedly (once or twice per day) until the polish breaks down and can easily be chipped off the wall. Just be careful not to over-wash the wall around the spot, which could leave a mark. You can do this either with a dish sponge that has dish liquid and water on it, or with a cloth that has all-purpose cleaner on it. Test each one on a small hidden area of the wall first to be sure it is safe, then rub it over the nail polish for a couple minutes. Repeat this process as many times as needed for the polish to be removed.
- Mr. Clean Magic Erasers can remove all kinds of stains from many surfaces without causing any damage or removing the paint. Simply moisten the sponge and rub it over the area. Nail polish tends to apply thickly though, so it may take a while to get through it.
- If the nail polish cannot be removed, the area can always be painted over to hide the accident.
- Acetone can also be used, although it is the same ingredient used in nail polish remover, to wipe away nail polish without removing the paint. Others have also recommended turpentine. We recommend you test both of these on a hidden area first to ensure that it does not damage the painted surface.