6 Easy Ways to Remove Oil Paint From Skin Naturally

Whether you are painting your very first portrait or mixing a few colors together to get a new and vibrant hue, accidents with colors are inevitable.

Regardless of how careful you are, you might end up with paint stains on your hands, fingers, skin, and even clothes. Paint can be removed from your hand with some water but not when you are using oil paint. You might think of removing the colors using regular paint removing agents.

However, doing so can be toxic for you and might also cause your skin to dry out. In extreme cases, it could also lead to burns.

Luckily, there are several ways that allow you to remove oil paint from the skin safely with the use of household ingredients. So, let us learn more about them and safely remove any oil-based paint from the skin.

Remove Oil Paint From Skin


After removing oil paint from the skin, you might feel a bit sticky. It could lead to itching issues when you don’t clean it properly. The key is to have a good shower with mild soap to ensure your skin is just as clean and soft as before.

Make sure you refrain from rubbing your skin or scrubbing it too harshly. It is understood that cleaning oil-based paints can be more challenging than water-based paints. So, make sure you practice caution.

If your skin starts to become red, it is a sign that you should stop right away and consult your dermatologist for a safe solution to get rid of the oil paint. The process can also vary depending on whether the paint has dried off or is wet. You might find it hard to remove dried-off oil paint.

However, getting rid of wet oil paint from the skin is relatively easy. You can make do even with a damp cloth. For dry oil paint, you need to follow the steps explained below.

Categories of Oil Paint

Before you understand the process of cleaning oil-based substances from your skin, it is essential to understand the type of oil paint that you might have to deal with. Let us check it out.

Artist Oil Paint

Artist oil paint also termed professional-grade oil paint, contains particularly high pigment concentration. The colors here are rich and pure and come out exceptionally bright when painted onto the canvas.

Moreover, the viscosity of such oil paints is creamy and thick. They tend to dry out a bit stiffer when applied to the canvas, and the same happens on your skin as well.

So, it could be a bit difficult to clean off the paint from your skin when an artist-grade oil paint falls on your skin.

Varnish Paint

Varnish paint features solvents that tend to evaporate when applied to a surface. The thing that is left behind is a transparent, hard, and glossy film. Varnish paints are used primarily for wood finishing.

However, it can be painted on other materials too. Traditionally, it is a combo of a resin, drying oil, and a thinner/solvent.

These colors don’t corrode particularly easily due to the protective pigments that protect against corrosion or deterioration. This paint variant tends to dry off relatively quickly compared to other oil paints. So, the key is to wipe it off your skin as soon as possible.

Exterior Paint

Exterior paints are formulated to survive exposure to massive temperature changes and moisture. It also needs to resist chipping, fading, and peeling issues. For these reasons, resins used to manufacture exterior paint are a tad softer. The good thing with exterior paint staining your hands is that it needs sunlight to be completely cured.

So, you don’t have to worry about it drying out unless you have been standing outside in the sun for a long time. In most cases, your exterior paint stain would remain wet and can be cleaned off with ease using a wet towel or a soap-based solution.

How To Remove Oil Paint From Skin?

Now that you know the types of paint, you can decide the right way to remove it from your skin. Let us check out the methods and understand which one fits your needs.

Method 1: Use Mineral Oil With Alcohol

If your skin is covered with big patches of oil paint, the key is to opt for a combination of mineral oil and alcohol cleaning methods to take care of the stains. First, use mineral oil to remove as much oil paint as possible from the skin.

Choose a mineral oil that you aren’t allergic to or the one that isn’t harsh to your skin. Let the oil soak into the colors and check if it has softened up. Once the colors start to soften up, use rubbing alcohol and wipe off the same with a tissue paper or clean cloth.


When using rubbing alcohol, keep in mind that it can lead to dryness in the skin. So, once you are done with the cleaning process, make sure you wipe the entire surface and top off the skin with the help of a good moisturizer.

If you don’t have any mineral oil to be used for this method, you can use baby oil as a replacement. It works just as fine and is gentler on the skin. It also helps to remove marker stains from skin.

Method 2: Take Help Of Turpentine

You can also use turpentine oil to clean off the oil paint stain on your skin. In case you feel raw turpentine is a bit too harsh on the skin, you can apply Vicks Vapor Rub as a safer option. Vicks actually house turpentine oil as a prime component, but it is much lower in quantity which is safe for your skin.

Cover the oil paint with some of the Vicks gel and allow the same to soak into the color. Doing this would soften the paint and be easy to remove with a gentle scrubbing action. Once you are done scrubbing the paint, clean it with the help of a soapy solution.

For best results, you can use lukewarm water. Alternatively, you can also use nail polish remover to get the excess paint stain off your skin. Use a cotton ball to soak in some remover liquid and rub off the colors while repeating the process as required.

Method 3: Vegetable Oil With Dish Soap

If the stains from the oil paint seem tougher to clean, you can opt for a combination of vegetable oil and dish soap combination. Start by washing the stained skin with the help of lukewarm water and liquid soap/regular soap.

Gently rub the soap on the stain and try to create a thick, soapy lather. Next, rinse away the lather to check if the paint comes off.

Now, pat and dry the skin and use vegetable oil or, better yet, olive oil to remove the remaining paint from the skin. Start by simply coating the affected section of the skin and allowing the oil to seep in. You can use any type of skin-friendly oil that you have in your house.

Here are some oils you can try to help remove the oil paint from the skin:

  • Coconut oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Essential oils like rosemary or lavender
  • Olive oil

Now, rub your skin gently until you see the colors coming off. You can use your fingers or washcloth to clean off the paint. Alternatively, you can opt for some extra scrubbing action with the help of salt scrub. Use some coarse salt with vegetable oil to get the paint off with some rubbing action.

Now rinse your skin to check if the paint comes off. Repeat the process until your skin is free of any oil paint stains. Finally, wipe off the remnants with the help of a clean towel.

Method 4: Coconut Oil With Baking Soda

The best thing about using coconut oil and baking soda for the paint stains on your skin is that they are very gentle and nurturing. Start by mixing some baking soda with coconut oil. The baking soda added to coconut oil functions as a gentle scrub that removes the dried off oil paint chunks from the skin.

However, the process can be drying, where the coconut oil comes in.

The oil helps tackle the dryness of the skin and leaves it nourished and in the same condition as it was before. Mix a cup of coconut oil and baking soda and apply this solution to the paint stain on your skin.

Gently rub the area and check if the paint softens. Repeat this process until you see the colors come off. Finally, wipe off the skin with a clean and wet cloth.

Method 5: Mayonnaise Also Works

The thought of tasty mayonnaise brings in water in your mouth. However, it is a versatile choice that can also remove oil paint from your skin. It is a gentle option that doesn’t cause any infection or harsh effects on your skin. It is very safe for use.

However, if you are allergic to ingredients in the mayo, such as eggs, you can opt for variants that do not have eggs. Simply start by applying a thick coating of mayo on the oil paint that has fallen on the skin. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. Doing this ensures that the oil present in the mayonnaise can seep into the colors and soften them.

Now, use a cotton cloth and gently rub it on the skin to get off the paint. Repeat the process until all the color comes off. Finally, wipe off the skin with some wet wipes.

Method 6: Try Paint Wipes

For artists that tend to spill the paint on their clothes or skin, it is best to put your money into purchasing some professional and high-quality paint wipes. These wipes are designed specifically to remove oil paints or any type of paints without causing any harm to the skin.

You can opt for trustworthy brands that are natural, biodegradable, & fairly effective such as:

  • Fast Orange
  • GoJo
  • SoHo Urban Wipes
  • Big Wipes

Make sure you check the components of the paint wipe to ensure you aren’t allergic to the same.

Prevention Is The Best

Regardless of the paint you use, it is better not to get them anywhere on the skin in the first place. Even acrylic paint, given its water-base, isn’t safe for your skin. It is especially true if you have sensitive skin.

Moreover, certain oil paint brands might release toxic fumes that could be harmful to people with breathing issues.

Moreover, the toxins in the paint might get absorbed by the skin depending on how much has fallen on your skin. Obviously, a bit of the color won’t hurt your skin.

However, it is better to handle oil paint with safety gear such as elbow-high gloves. If possible, you can also wear a plastic poncho or trench coat to avoid the color from getting into your clothes or any other part of the skin.

You shouldn’t even let the paint dry out on your skin. You should remove it within an hour to ensure the toxins do not get into the skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do you get oil-based paint off your face?

Generally, your face won’t be harmed when staining is caused by oil-based paint.

However, when wiping it off, make sure you use solvents that are safe for your face. Since cleaning the face could involve sensitive parts such as the eyes, you need to be extra careful. Use gentle solutions such as vegetable oil, baby oil, or vegetable oil for cleaning purposes.

Q: What is the best way to remove paint from your hands?

The best way to remove paint from your hands is to get it off while it is wet. Start by applying some warm water to the paint-covered skin.

Now, generously lather this area using mild soap or a soap bar.

Next, scrub the skin gently for a couple of minutes. Rinse your hands with soap and warm water and repeat the process as necessary until the paint comes off completely.

Q: How do you get Rustoleum paint off your skin?

You can remove Rust-Oleum paint off the skin by dipping some acetone or paint thinner on the clean cloth.

Now, rub this cloth on your paint-stained skin. Rub the same and repeat the process until the colors come off completely.

Finally, wash off the area with fresh water and apply some moisturizer to ensure your skin doesn’t feel dry.

Q: Does turpentine remove oil paint?

Yes, turpentine can remove oil paint from your skin with ease. The key is to dip a clean cloth or paper towel in some turpentine oil. This paint solvent will help thoroughly lift off the oil paint on your skin.

Q: How do you remove enamel paint from your hands?

In order to remove enamel paint from your hands, you need to rub mineral oil or vegetable oil on the hands. It will help loosen the paint.

Now, continue wiping off the hands with the help of cloth while the oil helps the dilution process. You can also use a good-quality sponge to rub off the tough stains.

Final Words

After reviewing the methods explained above, you might feel confused about the option to choose. The key is to go with the gentlest option first. If the gentle method works for you, there is no need to opt for the harsher oil paint cleaning methods.

Remember, your skin can be pretty sensitive to certain cleaning chemicals. So, it is essential to keep the colors off your skin and remove it as gently as possible. In case the paint falls on broken or bruised skin, it is better to consult your dermatologist or physician for an accurate solution that doesn’t harm you.

For more details, you can check this video that explains the process of removing oil-based paint from your skin naturally.

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Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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