How To Get Paint Off Your Sink

Perhaps you just finished painting your cabinets, and while you’re busy multitasking (admiring the finished result and rinsing the brush), you notice you got paint in the kitchen sink. You might even be washing the paintbrush in the sink without even thinking about it. 

Your beautiful kitchen sink has streaks of cabinet paint across its surface – now what? Well, if the paint is still wet, you’re in luck – getting the paint off is easy. But, if the paint had time to dry, it might be trickier to remove. So, if that sounds similar to the boat you’re in, keep reading for a few tips and tricks. 

How To Remove Paint From A Sink

Removing paint from a sink is usually a relatively straightforward process, whether it’s wet or dry. Some methods work best on specific surfaces but not so well on others. For example, if you have a stainless steel sink, you need to be careful using a scraper, so you don’t scratch the surface. 

That said, here are a few methods that work well for removing paint from a sink.

Check If The Paint Is Wet

If the paint is still wet, remove it before you start working on the dried portions. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paper towel
  • Sponge
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Paint scraper
  • Razor blade

Start by dabbing away the extra wet paint with a paper towel. Be careful you don’t smear the paint over other areas as you dab. If the paint splattered over the sink, splash water over the paint spots to wash them away. 

Apply a few drops of soap to a damp sponge, then soak up any remaining wet paint. Rinse the sponge regularly to prevent streaking on other areas of the sink. Then, rinse the sink thoroughly to remove paint-streaked water. 

For thicker parts of paint that are partially dried, use a paint scraper. Gently scrape the paint, being careful not to damage the sink. Alternatively, use a blade from a razor knife, but be careful. Score thick drops of paint with the blade to help them lift away easier. 

Continue the process until you remove all residual paint. Then, use the sponge to remove any residual paint. 

Use WD-40

WD-40 110071 Multi-Use Product Spray with Smart Straw, 11 oz. (Pack of 1)

WD-40 is useful for various things, including softening paint. If you have a utility sink with paint streaks, try a bit of WD-40. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • WD-40
  • Dish soap
  • Soft cloth
  • Plastic scraper

Spray a liberal amount of WD-40 onto the paint splatters. Give the oil a few minutes to work, usually between 10 and 15 minutes. It might take longer, depending on how long the paint has been there, the type of paint, and the thickness of the splatter. 

Once the paint softens, use the scraper to lift the splatter. You might have to remove the paint in layers, peel the soft portions off, then reapply WD-40. If you can’t reach the paint with a scraper, use a scrub pad to scrub the area gently. 

After the paint is gone, clean the WD-40 residue with dish soap and water. Rinse the sink well. 

Use Turpentine

Turpentine works great for latex paint splatters in your sink. It’s a less toxic alternative to other petroleum-based paint removal options. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Turpentine
  • Clean rag

Apply a small amount of turpentine to the corner of the clean rag. Then, rub the turpentine onto the paint splatters in a circular motion. This will help dislodge and dissolve the paint, allowing you to rinse it away with water. 

Use Lacquer Thinner

Sunnyside 45732 Lacquer and Epoxy Thinner, Quart

Lacquer thinner is another good option if you have some on hand. The thinner is made of acetone and other solvents. If you tried turpentine without success, ensure you rinse the area thoroughly before trying lacquer thinner – be careful not to mix the solvents.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lacquer thinner
  • Clean rag or sponge
  • Powder cleanser (like Bon Ami)
  • Olive oil (optional)

Pour a small amount of lacquer thinner onto your rag or sponge. Rub it directly onto the paint using circular motions. Once the paint lifts, rinse the area thoroughly with water. Clean the area with a small amount of powder cleanser and water. 

Pat the area dry with a dry cloth or paper towel. Make sure there isn’t any residual paint left over. If the sink looks dull, apply a small amount of olive oil to the area with a soft cloth. Buff it on the surface of the sink. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Paint in Sink

Does Vinegar Remove Paint?

Yes, vinegar removes paint, and it will dissolve both water- and oil-based paint and works best on wooden and metal surfaces. It’s a popular pick as a natural paint remover, especially considering it’s something many people have on hand. 

Usually, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to remove dried paint from a wooden or metal surface. You’ll need to give the vinegar time to work its magic. In some cases, it might not cut it, so you might have to try something else. 

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