Wet paint is pretty easy to clean out of a sink. Simply wipe it with a damp cloth, flush it with water, and repeat until all the paint has been washed down the drain. 

But once it’s dried, cleaning up paint isn’t quite so simple. And if you’re reading this, that’s probably what you’re dealing with. 

Maybe you had a paint spill while doing a DIY home improvement project or rinsed your paint brushes and didn’t clean up well afterwards. Whatever the cause there are now dried paint stains and paint splatters in your sink.

Fortunately, removing dried paint from a bathroom sink is actually a pretty straightforward clean up job. And whether you’re cleaning up acrylic paint, latex paint, or spray paint, the process is pretty much the same.

Apply A Solvent

Apply A Solvent

First, you’ll need to apply a solvent to the dried paint. Solvents include WD-40, paint stripper (also called paint thinner or lacquer thinner), rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, acetone nail polish remover, and Goof Off, and similar cleaning products.

Skip the bleach or vinegar for this one: they won’t help you. 

There are several that are commonly found around the house, but for the more powerful stuff, you may need to make a trip to the hardware store.

Exactly what solvent you want to use will depend on your sink material. 

Most bathrooms have porcelain sinks, which makes them easier to clean and harder to accidentally damage. You can also use just about anything on stainless steel sinks.

Other sink materials, like stone and copper, are more sensitive and may be damaged if you’re not careful. 

Check the manufacturer materials that came with your sink to see if they have any guidelines on what products you should use or avoid when cleaning your sink. Before using any product, perform a spot test on a small, less visible area of the sink to make sure the product won’t damage or discolor it.

These are harsh chemicals, so wear gloves and make sure there’s plenty of ventilation before you get started.

Once you’ve figured out which solvent you’re going to use, saturate a cotton ball, paper towel, or similar with it. Then wipe it on the dried paint until the solvent begins to soak into and underneath the paint build-up.  

Now let the solvent soak in for about ten to fifteen minutes. 

Scrape Loosened Paint

Once the solvent has had an opportunity to soak into and around the paint stain, you’ll want to use a plastic putty knife or scraper to begin to remove the softened paint. Don’t use a metal putty knife or scraper as these can scratch your sink. 

You can also use an expired credit card or a gift card that you’ve used up if you don’t have a putty knife or scraper. Just make sure you don’t need the card anymore because this can ruin it. 

The paint that you scrape off may build up on the scraper, so be sure to remove paint build-up from the scraper as you go in order to keep the scraper as effective as possible. 

Depending on how much paint buildup there is, you may need to repeat the last step and then this one multiple times until you can’t remove any more paint with the scraper.

Remove The Last Bit Of Paint

Remove The Last Bit Of Paint

Once you can’t remove any more paint with the scraper, you can rub the last bit of paint with a scouring pad or Magic Eraser. You can also use a paste of baking soda and water.

Generally, you’ll want to avoid anything too abrasive like steel wool because this can scratch the surface of your sink. 

You may need to apply a bit more solvent to soften the final remnants of paint so you can remove them.

Once all the paint is gone, you’ll need to clean up the solvent. Most of the solvents listed above can be easily removed with hot water and dish soap.

However, you should consult the packaging first to see if the manufacturer has other recommendations. 

Finally, rinse the sink one final time to flush away the soap. 

All Done

And that’s all there is to it!

Removing dried paint from your bathroom sink may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty easy once you know what to do. And in many cases, you can do it with things you already have at home. 

Now if only it was that easy to remove from clothes and paintbrushes…