How To Get “Oops” Dried Paint Out Of Clothes

Posted in Furniture Makeover
It's the worst trying to get dried paint out of clothes. But, there's a simple solution, and it works with acrylic, latex, and chalk paint.
How To Get \

Surely I’m not the only one that paints furniture with their good clothes on. I think not! I hear this complaint often from my creative furniture painting friends, but it became personal when I drop chalk paint on my favorite pair of Hey Dude shoes. It didn’t help that it was the next day before I discovered it. Immediately I started searching for the answer of how to get dried paint out of clothes… or, in my case, shoes.

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How To Get “Oops” Dried Paint Out Of Clothes

I had heard of a method using hair spray (probably the alcohol in the hairspray) to remove dried latex and acrylic paint from clothes but never found a good one for removing dried chalk paint. Chalk paint sticks to everything! Well, at least the brand of paint I LOVE and use does. So I knew this would be a challenge.

I was sad that I had been so foolish and just had to try something to save my favorite pair of shoes. If all else fails, I can always paint them. I’ve painted a lot of fabric in my day. HA!


  • clothes or your favorite pair of shoes with dried paint on them
  • butter knife (or blunt object for scraping)
  • alcohol (70% Isopropyl is what I had on hand)
  • toothbrush (for scrubbing)
  • stain remover
  • washing machine

STEP 1 Removing “Oops” Dried Paint Out Of Clothes… AND SHOES!

Because the chalk paint had dried, I saw no reason to use water at that point. All the tutorials I read mentioned removing as much of the dried paint as possible first. Hmm, I needed a tool.

It turns out that a butter knife works pretty darn well. Be sure and use the blunt side and not the side with the little teeth when rubbing across the fabric. Ask me how I know. 😏 I caught on to that quickly.

All that was left after scraping was a powdery residue from the dried paint. Brush away the powdery residue before the next step.

STEP 2 Alcohol To Break Up The Dried Paint

Next, saturate the area with good ole rubbing alcohol and let it sit for a few. Then using the blunt end of the butterknife, continue to scrub the fabric.

I used a paper towel and inserted it inside the shoe to soak up the extra alcohol while scrubbing the fabric.

Immediately I noticed some of the paint pigments breaking up, leaving me with green-colored alcohol. The chalk mineral paint I had “oops” dropped on them just happened to be my favorite color of green, and it was starting to worry me that I might end up with one green shoe. Obviously, the paint is highly pigmented.

I used a butter knife to loosen up the dried paint after applying the rubbing alcohol. This works!

STEP 3 Rub And Scrub

Next, I used a toothbrush (not mine) to scrub the area once again and re-wetting the fabric with the alcohol.

Once the fabric fibers are wet, they will open up and swell. That’s a good thing, and the toothbrush bristles get right on in there and get the job done to break up the dried paint.

Once the fabric fibers are wet, they will open up and swell. That's a good thing, and the toothbrush bristles get right on in there and get the job done to break up the dried paint. This is how I get dried paint out of clothes and shoes.

STEP 4 Use A Good Stain Remover

Once you can no longer see the dried paint spots, use a good stain remover and saturate the area. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes or so before washing on the hottest water setting the fabric will allow.

Before washing, I was still in doubt that the green hue left behind from scrapping the dried paint would come out of my fabric shoes. That’s why I opted to use the stain remover. I’m not sure this helped, but all that matters to me is that it worked. The shoes were overdue for a bath anyway, so a little extra never hurts. 🙂

After using the rubbing alcohol to loosen the dried paint on my shoes and clothes, I sprayed the whole area with a stain remover before washing in the hottest water setting allowed. It worked!

My Hey Dude shoes are back in business! I can’t believe how well this worked, and I think I’ll try this on some of my clothes. I have a lot of oopsies!

However, I have to caution you that if your clothing or shoes aren’t in good condition, you may rub a hole in them with this method. I got pretty aggressive with the scrubbing.

And just like that I got dried paint out of clothes and my fabric shoes. You got to try this simple method.

The Results

I know “how to remove dried paint from clothes” is a weird subject for me to blog about, but hey, painters are going to paint. And if I can save a garment, shoes, or help a creative out by getting dried paint out of their clothes, I figure the money we save on clothes and shoes will allow us all to buy more paint! Am I right?

Now back to this furniture makeover in progress.

I never knew that it was possible to get dried paint out of clothes, or shoes for that matter. This method works on latex, acrylic and even chalk paint!

Thanks for joining me today, and if you have tried this, please let me know how it worked out for you. Or, if you have a different method, please share it in the comment section for me and others that can’t hold paint on a brush. We would so appreciate it.

Happy Painting!

xo, Do 😘



  1. Hi Donna! This is good to know. The other day I was looking for a t shirt that did not have “oopsies” paint on them. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Got excited when I saw this! I have a pair of “every day” gym shoes I dropped a dot of latex paint on. Going to give this a try…..fingers crossed.

  3. The day I first wore my new “last pair in stock” Clemson running shorts & just had to test a color mix of chalk paint. I didn’t get paint on them that I saw but of course dropped a drop on the edge of table then backed into edge later – who doesn’t want Dixie Belle butt? Lol I by a matter of trying everything known to man & google got most of it! But this is what worked the best lol so good job wish I’d seen this in may!!!

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