How to Remove Paint from Glass – A Step by Step Guide

by Andrew Ahearne - November 7, 2021

Sometimes, no matter how carefully you line your wall trim with painter’s tape, paint splatters. In the end, you’re left with a few specks of paint on a window you’ve tried to protect.

Don’t worry. It happens to the best of us.

Paint can be a problematic substance to remove from glass. Often, the paint will have dried onto the glass, and it becomes impossible to remove using just soap. Luckily for you, our experts are here to help! We will discuss how to successfully remove paint from glass without damaging your windows or leaving any streaks behind.

Before we go through the necessary steps to remove paint spots from your windows, have these tools on hand before you begin the paint removal process:

  • White Vinegar
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Rag
  • Dish Soap
  • Warm Water
  • Razor Blade
  • Paint Scraper


Step One:


Pour one cup of white vinegar into a container and microwave it for 30 – 60 seconds until it is boiled. Afterwards, wear your rubber gloves to protect yourself from the heat and take out the container.

Soak your rag of the hot vinegar and begin to rub it on your glass until the paint begins to soften. Once it is soft enough, use your paint scraper to scrape off the paint.

This option is not only cost-effective and efficient, but it is also eco-friendly.


Step Two:


If the paint has failed to completely come off after the first step, it’s time to get the old bucket out!

Fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap, and submerge your second rug in the solution. Here, you will want to use your gloves as a safety precaution and begin rubbing away at your glass. This detergent ensures your razor blade will glide across the glass, preventing any damage – which we’ll discuss in step three.


Step Three:


Proceed to use a razor blade to scrape off the stubborn remnants of paint. Hold your blade at a 45-degree angle and begin to carefully scrape away at the paint, gliding in a slow, smooth motion in a single direction. Pushing and pulling your blade in multiple directions can potentially flake off pieces of glass and damage your window, so be careful.

Step Four:


Once all paint has been entirely removed, it’s just a case of rinsing away the soap and any leftover paint particles. Use a squeegee to remove the remaining streaks, then dry with a cloth and admire your work!


Removing Paint From a Metal Window Frame


If you are trying to remove paint from metal windows, you will need the following supplies:

  • Bucket and rag
  • Paintbrush
  • Tarpaulin
  • Respirator, Rubber gloves and Safety Glasses
  • Paint Stripper
  • Mineral Spirit
  • Nylon Brush


Step One:


Before the paint removal process can begin, you’ll need to remove any nails, screws and hinges from the window frame. Once you put all the hardware to one side, take a clean tarp and place it on the floor and proceed to put on your safety gear mentioned in our supply list.

Step Two:


Take out the paint stripper you have purchased from a hardware store and read the instructions carefully so you know what to do. Ensure windows are fully open as the chemicals in paint strippers can be dangerous to your health.


Step Three:


Once you’re ready, pour the paint stripper into a bucket, dip your nylon brush into the solution, and begin applying 2-3 coats to all surfaces of the window frame. Be sure to pay close attention to any areas where paint has started peeling up.


Step Four:


After applying the paint stripper to all surfaces, wait for at least 20 minutes. The paint stripper needs time to work before you can scrape off the softened paint. Once 20-30 minutes has passed, take your nylon brush and start scraping away the paint.

Step Five:


Once all paint has been fully removed, wet your rag with a few drops of mineral spirit and wipe away any remaining residue. Proceed to rinse and dry the window frame and put its parts back in place.


Understanding Paint Removers and Solvents


In addition to natural options like white vinegar, you can also use other specialist paint removal products to remove stubborn paint spots. While a variety of solvents and paint removers exist, most are solvent-based and contain toxic chemicals.

Before you embark on your new paint removal adventure, make sure to check the label for warnings and use it in a well-ventilated area.


Cellulose Paint Thinners


Cellulose paint thinners are designed to break down cellulose-based paints, such as those used on metal surfaces like motor vehicles or machines. However, this type of product will work to remove most paint types due to its solvent-based formula.




For harder paints to remove, like enamel, you may need to use a more potent product. Enamel paint is oil-based and can be extremely difficult to remove, so you need to use acetone – a paint and varnish remover.

As acetone removes oil-based paints, it is advised not to use it for long periods as it can have harmful effects. Exposure can lead to dry, cracked skin, also known as dermatitis. If you consider using acetone paint remover to remove stubborn spots of paint from glass, we recommend wearing gloves and a mask to protect your skin and lungs.

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