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How to Get Oil-Based Paint off Skin

If you're using oil-based paint and you end up with more on your hands than on the object you're painting, try these methods to remove it.


  • Step 1: Fight oil with oil Find oil products around the house, such as baby oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil, and massage it into the paint. Then wash your hands with regular soap and water.
  • TIP: It may take several applications to completely remove the paint.
  • Step 2: Try other household items Try applying other common household items. Mentholated topical ointment and mayonnaise are both oil-based compounds known to break down and dissolve oil-based paint.
  • Step 3: Rub turpentine Rub turpentine into the paint to dissolve it if paint still exists. Make sure you thoroughly wash the affected area with soap and water immediately after getting rid of the paint.
  • TIP: Too much skin exposure to turpentine may cause the skin to become overly sensitive.
  • Step 4: Use a commercial product Use a commercially produced oil-based paint remover if any paint remains. Many products that remove oil-based paint from skin are available at hardware, home improvement, and beauty supply stores.
  • Step 5: Use a special soap Use a gritty industrial soap. There are many commercially produced gritty soaps available to clean oily, greasy substances from skin.
  • Step 6: Wash and moisturize Thoroughly wash and moisturize the affected area after you remove the paint. Many cleaning methods are potentially damaging to the skin -- especially sensitive areas -- but complete removal of product residue may prevent irritation. Follow cleaning with moisturizing lotion to keep your skin soft and supple.
  • FACT: Turpentine is a distillation of resin that comes from pine trees.

You Will Need

  • Household oils
  • Soap and water
  • Mentholated topical ointment
  • Mayonnaise
  • Turpentine
  • Commercial paint remover
  • Gritty industrial soap
  • Moisturizer

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