A simple way to wash oil-based paint and stain from your hands with two ingredients you already have at home. Best of all is that it’s natural and it actually works to remove oil-based products like spray paint, stain, polyurethane and oil-based paint from your skin.
Are you a messy painter? No matter how careful I am, I seem to always get paint or stain on my hands. This isn’t usually a problem because paint is easy enough to wash off your skin. Except, of course, when that paint is oil-based. That’s a completely different story.
Oil-based paint on your hands is the worst. You go to wash it off, and the water just glides right on over that spot of paint on your finger. A couple months ago, I was painting with oil-based paint. I went to wash it off, and out of habit, brought it to the sink, put it under the running water, and wrapped my hand around the brush to squeeze it. Right away, I knew I had messed up – caught black handed with a hand full of oil-based paint.
Ingredients to Clean Oil-Based Paint from Skin
- Oil (any type works – vegetable, canola, olive)
- Dish soap
Yep, that’s right. All you need to clean up oil-based paint from your skin is two items that you probably already have sitting in your kitchen: dish soap and oil!
If you prefer to watch instead of read, scroll down to the bottom of the post for a video tutorial!
How to Clean Oil-Based Paint from Hands
First, use a paper towel or scrap towel to wipe off any excess paint that might still be wet. This will save you a lot of scrubbing in the next step.
Then, pour a little oil and then dish soap into your hands, and lather them up. Rub the painted skin and it should start to wash off. Sometimes, it helps to use your fingernails to scratch off the initial layer, or I’ve found a nail brush also works well to help remove it. Usually, two round of oil, soap, water and some scrubbing removes the paint.
The final step is just to take a clean cloth and wipe off any remaining residue that might be left after washing.
How to Wash Oil-Based Paint and Stain from Brushes
As for cleaning oil-based paint from brushes, I set aside one old glass jar (pickles, applesauce – one with a wide mouth) for cleaning my brushes. I pour about two inches of mineral spirits or paint thinner into the jar (enough to cover the paint on the brush).
Simply swish the brush around, and then wipe the brush with a towel. Often, I will cap off the jar and use it again for my next oil-based project. I usually use the same stuff 3-4 times, and then I dispose of it.
I collect my used mineral spirits/paint thinner in a larger jug in the garage, and then when we go to the hazardous waste facility once a year to dispose of our other household products that should never go into landfills, I bring that jug with me. Auto repair shops and even some hardware stores will also take your used paint thinner, sometimes for a small fee.
Watch Here: How to wash oil-based paint from your skin
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I’m all about taking old pieces an bringing them back to life (which is why I tend to need to use this cleaning trick quite often). I’ve written a full post comparing all the different types of paint to use on furniture and my personal preference on the best type of paint to use on furniture.
You can find that post and a few of my other favorite furniture painting posts below.
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