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[How To] Remove Spray Paint From Glass Signs

December 15, 2011 Resources

glass sign is beautiful until paint is sprayed on it, either accidentally or due to vandalism.

Luckily, errant spray paint can be removed from glass, with the use of the right materials, some elbow grease, and a little patience. The materials needed can all be found at your local hardware store or within your own home.  They include:

  • Soap and warm water

  • Scrub brush

  • Spray paint remover

  • New, sharp single edge razor blade (or plastic scraper for etched glass)

  • Blue painter’s tape

Cleaning spray painted Glass


Because paint removers contain chemicals, caution should be used. Wear protective gloves or head gear as needed, and make sure the work area is well-ventilated. Thoroughly read the paint remover directions before using.

Step One:

First clean the glass sign with soap and warm water, using a scrub brush to remove any dirt and debris.

Step Two:

Once the sign is clean and dry, cover the nearby portions that don’t need paint removed with blue painter’s tape.

Step Three:

Now it is time to use the spray paint stripper on the area of the sign that needs the paint removed.  Follow the instructions included with the paint stripper, spraying evenly across the problem area, then wait the recommended amount of time before continuing.

Step Four:

Once you’ve waited as directed by the paint stripper instructions, you’re ready to scrape the paint off with either the straight razor blade or a plastic scraper. Plastic scrapers work best on etched glass, as they are less likely to scratch the etching.  If using a razor blade, hold the blade between your thumb and forefinger on the non-sharp edge.  Using the sharp edge to scrape in short strokes, remove small portions of paint with each scrape. Always scrape away from your body to avoid accidental cuts.

Step Five:

Gently wipe or wash away the bits of removed paint as you work to reveal the portions that still need to be scraped. Repeat as needed until all of the errant spray paint has been removed.

Step Six:

Finally, remove the blue painter’s tape from the protected areas to reveal your clean glass sign.

Additional Note: If your glass sign has many curves or hard-to-reach indentations, you may need to get inventive with the scraping tools you use. Artist hobby knives or box cutters may be useful in some situations.

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