Fortunately, porcelain sinks are pretty durable. The surface will resist most solvents or paint strippers.
Porcelain is also resistant to damage from paint scrapers.
However, you still want to start with the most gentle cleaning processes to minimize any risk of damage.
Step 1: Determine The Type Of Paint
Before you can tackle the paint spill, you need to know what type of paint you’re dealing with. You can easily identify the type of paint with some denatured alcohol.
Put a bit on a rag and vigorously rub the paint for a few seconds. If you don’t have any denatured alcohol handy, you can also use rubbing alcohol.
Check your rag. If there is paint on the rag, then the paint is water-based like acrylic paint or latex paint.
If there is no paint on your rag, then you’re dealing with an oil-base.
Step 2: Keep Rubbing
If your paint is water-based, just keep using the damp cloth or a soaked cotton ball. If the stain persists, you can also use an abrasive sponge with some dish soap.
If the paint is oil-based, these methods won’t have any effect, you will need a stronger solvent. Mineral spirits will work if the paint is fresh, but if it has been around for a while you will need something stronger.
For an older paint drip, use a solvent like acetone, paint thinner, turpentine, or a lacquer thinner. A quick trip to the hardware store will give you several different options.
If you’re planning ahead, you can order solvents from Amazon. Or, if you want to get going right away, nail polish remover will work!
Remember to wear a respirator with any flammable solvent, open windows, and avoid any flames.
Step 3: Paint Stripper
If the solvent hasn’t been effective, you can up the ante and use a paint stripper. This will remove both oil and water-based paints without damaging the porcelain sink.
First, spread the stripper using a paintbrush. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until you see the paint start to blister.
If it hasn’t blistered after 10 minutes, apply more.
Next, scrape the stripper off (and the paint) using your paint scraper. Don’t use a razor blade, it will scratch the surface.
A plastic scraper will ensure you don’t damage the porcelain.
Finally, wash the surface with soapy water to remove any build-up and neutralize the stripper. Use clear water to rinse.
Step 4: Scrape Away
Sometimes you can remove paint with just the scraper, without any solvent. A plastic putty knife can also be effective, simply slide it between the paint and the porcelain, use a hammer to tap the handle, and the paint should come right off.
If your scraping has caused visible damage to your porcelain, you can use caulk to remove the scratches.
WD-40 can work on both wet and dried oil-based paint drips. (hint: it also works on rust stains).
Generously spray the WD-40 on the paint stain. Use your paint scraper or putty knife at the thickest point, this helps minimize any damage from scraping the sink.
Use your hammer again to hit the handle until the paint comes off.