How to Remove Oil Based Paint Stains From Fabrics


Ikram asked: How do I clean stained glass paint from clothing? While traveling, I packed a stained glass painting in the bag. It stained my off-white dress. How can this be removed without damaging the cloth?

Oil based paints are difficult to remove from any fabric. Stained glass paints are often oil based and are made to last. These paints are used to paint shirts with permanent designs, so removing it can be very difficult. Here is the most probable method for removing the stain safely from your washable item.

You Will Need:

  • Paint thinner or Turpentine
  • Non-deodorant bar soap or Liquid detergent
  • Water
  • Bowl

Steps to Remove the Paint:

  1. Select a thinner for the particular type of paint that was used. For many paints, they are available in the paint department. For specialty paints, such as stained glass paints, check an art supply store for the appropriate thinner. If no paint thinner can be found, use turpentine.
  2. Apply the paint thinner through the fabric by stretching the piece over a bowl or bucket. Pour the thinner through the fabric from the back of the stain to the front. This helps remove the stain faster because it doesn’t have to push the stain all the way through the fabric.
  3. Rinse completely with clean water.
  4. Repeat if necessary.
  5. Rub the area with bar soap or liquid detergent.
  6. Rinse again with water.
  7. Launder as usual.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Some oil based paints are not removable. If the above methods do not lessen the amount of paint or make it lighter, the stain is permanent. If the stain lightens after the first attempt, it is worth doing a second application to see if it can be removed further.
  • Mineral spirits or nail polish remover can also be applied to the stain to aid in removal.


  1. Betty says:

    Hubby got a new jacket, painted while wearing it and got oil paint on the sleeve. I didn’t have turpentine or anything, so I used gasoline. It worked well and the jacket is now in the wash; stain all gone.

  2. Nitin says:

    Really, its useful. I have removed oil paint by turpentine and washed it.

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