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Don’t let a fear of stains spoil your kids’ creative sessions! Learn how to get poster paint out of clothes and how to treat acrylic paint stains here.

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A child painting a picture using acrylic paint.

How to remove poster paint and acrylic paint from clothes

If your little one loves to paint, then you probably know that pretty much any surface looks like an excellent canvas to kids – including their clothes. Luckily, acrylic and poster paints can be child’s play to remove. Just follow our tips on how to get paint out of clothes, and you’ll be able to deck your budding artist out in a fresh, clean outfit in no time.

How to remove poster paint from clothes

When you’re trying to decide how to remove paint from clothes, the first thing you need to do is find out if the paint is water-based. If so, it’s your lucky day. Water-based paints, like poster paint, usually dissolve in the wash, so all you really need to do is help things along.

It’s far easier to remove paint from clothes if you get started right away, while the stain is fresh. If you can’t do that, it’s a good idea to keep the stain wet until you have time to remove it. 

Here’s how to get poster paint out of clothes:

  1. Lift off any wet paint with a blunt knife. Carefully scrape off as much wet paint as you can, then dab the area with a damp cloth.
  2. Rinse the stain with cold water. Flush the stain with cold water from the tap, making sure that the water is running from the back of the stain to the front. The idea is to push as much paint out of the fabric as possible!
  3. Use OMO Ultimate Liquid as a pre-treatment. Apply a small amount of laundry detergent to the stain and gently work it in, using either the textured bottom of the dosing ball or an old toothbrush. Leave it to work for a little while (about 15–30 minutes should be fine) and then wash the garment us you usually would. 

Hint: If you’re still struggling to get the stain out after rinsing the fabric, you could try blotting the stain with a little bit of rubbing alcohol. If you’re dealing with a delicate fabric, pre-treat the garment for longer – or consult a professional dry cleaner – instead. Always test stain removal methods on a less conspicuous area of the garment before treating the whole stain.

How to remove acrylic paint from clothes

If you’re looking to remove acrylic paint from clothes, the process will depend on whether the stain is wet or dry. 

If it’s still wet, you can follow the steps above, since wet acrylic paint is water-soluble. If it has time to dry before you get to it, a tricky waterproof plastic layer will form on top of the fabric, and this will need to be addressed before you can start removing the stain. Just check the care label on the garment first, and try the treatment on an inconspicuous part of the garment before treating the entire stain. 

Follow the steps below to remove acrylic paint from clothes after it has dried:

  1. Treat with a solvent. You’re likely to have something suitable around the house –hair spray, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitiser or even an alcohol-based nail varnish remover will do. Dab it on lightly using a clean cloth until the stain starts to come away. 
  2. Follow steps 1-3 above. Lift off the stain with a blunt knife or spoon, rinse through, pre-treat with OMO Ultimate liquid detergent, and then wash as usual.

Solvents aren’t a good option if your clothes are made from a delicate fabric, like silk or wool. In these cases, it’s best to bring your clothes to a professional. 

Now that you know how to remove paint from clothes, you’ll be able to jump right into action the next time someone’s brush moves from the paper onto their outfit. So why not try one of the fun arts and crafts activities here on the site? They’re sure to help your budding artist unleash their creativity!