By Jayden Mark
No matter how careful you are, when you’re working with paint – either at home or work – it’s inevitable that some paint is going to find its way onto your clothes, shoes, or boots. Unfortunately, paint can be difficult to remove from clothing and footwear, so it’s essential to act fast and have a plan in place for removing it.
Depending on your job, you may come in contact with fresh paint regularly, perhaps at a factory, construction site, manufacturing facility, or during a home renovation. Or maybe you got paint on your work boots while you were tackling a job around the house.
Either way, we know that leather work boots aren’t cheap, and you don’t want to fork off hundreds of dollars for a new pair every time a few drops of paint get on your boots. With that in mind, keep reading to learn about some helpful methods to remove stubborn paint from your leather work boots.
The Preparation Process
Before you grab a clean rag and a cleaning or removal solution, there are a few important steps to follow before attempting to remove paint from leather work boots, including:
Look for Items Around Your House
Depending on the removal methods you choose (which we’ll discuss later in this article), check around your house for the following items:
If you’re out of any of these items, you can find them at every grocery store.
Obviously, you don’t need everything on the list, but it’s important to find as many items as possible. That way, if one removal method isn’t providing the results, you can switch to another.
Remove as Much Paint as Possible Before You Choose a Method
Before you choose a cleaner or solution to remove paint from your work boots, grab a clean cloth or rag and blot out the wet paint. This can help remove a significant amount of paint and prevent it from spreading across your boot.
Use a Scraper
For dry paint, use a knife or scraper to remove as much of the paint as possible. The goal isn’t to remove all of the paint; this could damage the leather. Instead, try and remove the outer portion of the paint, which will make your job easier when you pick a removal method.
Does the Type of Paint Matter?
The type of paint on your work boots does matter when it comes to choosing the right products and procedures for removing the paint. The three types of paint are latex, oil, and acrylic.
Methods for Removing Paint from Work Boots
Now that we’ve explained the different types of paint and how to prepare your work boots for boot removal, let’s discuss some effective removal methods.
As we mentioned earlier, to beat oil (paint), you need oil. Olive oil is a mild substance to start with and works well at removing acrylic and oil paints.
First, ensure that the olive oil won’t damage your leather boots by applying a dab of it to an unnoticeable part of the boot. If the leather reacts positively to the olive oil, you’re safe to use a clean cloth dipped in olive oil to start removing the dry paint from your boots. When you’re finished, use a separate cloth to wipe away any excess olive oil.
If you’re fresh out of cooking oil, baby oil will do the trick, too. Baby oil will also hydrate the paint to make it easier to wipe off. Plus, because it’s hydrating and clear, it’s safer to use on your work boots compared to some of the other methods we’ll mention below.
To remove paint from work boots using baby oil, simply follow the same steps you would when using olive oil.
If you weren’t able to remove all – or any, for that matter – of the paint using the olive oil method, consider switching to Vaseline, a popular petroleum jelly. Vaseline is more abrasive than olive oil and is more effective at removing oil and acrylic paint from leather work boots.
Similar to the olive oil method, use a clean cloth to apply Vaseline to the painted area. You may need to repeat this process a few times before you see results. Once the paint is removed, use a separate cloth to wipe away any excess Vaseline.
Nail Polish Remover
If olive oil or Vaseline fails to do the trick, consider doubling down with nail polish remover. Nail polish remover is made of an organic solvent called acetone, which causes it to break down and dissolve substances.
This technique takes more precision than the previous three methods, so ditch the cloth. Instead, soak a cotton swab in the nail polish remover and dab the cotton swab on the paint spots. Then, scrape the swab against the paint. You may need to repeat this process a few times before all of the paint is removed.
If you’re still struggling to remove that pesky acrylic or oil paint from a pair of work boots, the situation could call for rubbing alcohol. Although rubbing alcohol is the most effective method of removing paint from leather work boots, you need to be very careful so you don’t end up ruining the boots.
Dip the tip of a cotton swab in the rubbing alcohol and dab the swab over the paint spots. Then, use the cotton swab to scrub the paint spots. Do this as often as necessary until all the paint is removed.
How to Remove Latex Paint from Work Boots
All of the methods we have listed so far in this article refer to acrylic and oil paint. That’s because they’re more difficult to remove from leather work boots compared to latex paint. Because latex paint is water-based, you can simply remove paint from leather work boots using a clean cloth and dish soap.
To remove latex paint from work boots, follow these simple steps:
You’re almost done. Whether you use soap or a harsher substance to remove the paint from your leather work boots, it’s a good idea to clean and condition them to completely restore the boots to their original condition.