How to Remove Water Based Paint from Appliances


Denise asked: How do I remove dried, water-based paint from my appliances without scratching them? When I was painting my kitchen cabinets, I used blue paint tape, but the paint leaked under the tape onto my appliances. I didn’t notice until I removed the paint after it dried. I have black appliances and used white paint, so it is very noticeable.

Water-based paints are much easier to remove than oil-based paints. However, time is still of the essence. As paints dry, they begin to set and become more and more difficult to remove. The faster you can remove the paint, the higher the level of success will be.

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Paint:

  1. Begin by filling a bucket with warm water and adding a small amount of soap.
  2. Agitate the water until suds begin to form.
  3. Moisten the soft cloth with the soapy water and wipe the areas with paint. If the paint has had a chance to dry slightly, it may take some scrubbing to remove. Avoid using scrubbing pads as they may leave scratches or a dull area on the surface.
  4. If the paint is removed, rinse the area with clean water and allow it to dry.
  5. If the paint is not removed, try scrubbing it off with a magic eraser. These erasers have a very slight abrasive surface and can remove many stains without damaging the surface.
  6. Moisten the sponge with plain water and scrub the paint away.
  7. Rinse with clean water and allow it to dry.
  8. If the paint has already set, acetone based nail polish remover may be able to remove it.
  9. Test a hidden area first to ensure there are no adverse effects to the surface.
  10. Moisten a soft cloth with the nail polish remover and rub it over the paint.
  11. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry.

Additional Tips and Ideas:

  • If the paint is not removed, it will require something stronger such as a paint remover.
  • As a last resort, the paint can be scraped off carefully with a razor blade. Keep the blade as flat as possible to avoid scratches and marks on the surface.


  1. P says:

    Methylated spirits is a solvent for many dried water-based paints — yet, quite benign on other materials and surfaces. Test for your situation.

    Your black appliances could be powder coat — and that shouldn’t be affected by meths.

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