How to Get Paint Out of the Kitchen Sink

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Last updated: April 8, 2023

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You can have fantasies about having control over the world, but I know I can barely control my kitchen sink. That is the grace I’m given. Because when one can control things, one is limited to one’s own vision.

Kiki Smith

Your kitchen sink is an essential part of kitchen life. The first things that come to mind about a kitchen sink? You wash your hands, dishes, and food in them and they are a constant chore to be kept clean. However, if you know anyone that has done their own home renovations or painting, the workmanship may not be their best. I’ve had friends make a mess with a latex paint spill on their porcelain sink and with stainless steel sinks, to then be faced with the challenging task of using SOS pads, and laundry detergents to remove a little paint from a porcelain surface.

Faced with a mess and want to get paint out of your kitchen sink? Have a clean cloth, plenty of water, and a mixture of acetone ready in small amounts to clean up dried, grungy messes. There’s always a good chance that thin coats of paint will require more vigorous cleaning on the sink’s flat surface.

Any kind of paint from acrylic paint, spray paint, or anything else is a paint stain which is a big no-no for any skin. Read on as I explain a few easy steps to only clean utility sink messes and other kitchen disasters.

Table of Contents

  1. How to Get Latex Paint Out of Porcelain Kitchen Sink
  2. How to Get Paint Out of Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
  3. Types of Solvents for Removing Paint from Stainless Steel Sinks
    1. Thinners
    2. Turpentine
    3. Use Available Ingredients at Home
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. Can you get paint out of the stainless steel kitchen sink?
    2. Is turpentine safe to use on the stainless sink?
    3. Can you remove black paint from a porcelain sink?
    4. Can you remove spray paint from a porcelain sink?

How to Get Latex Paint Out of Porcelain Kitchen Sink

Many people often forget to cover their sink before painting their kitchen or bathroom. Unfortunately, painting the ceiling or walls may lead to unexpected dripping latex paint onto your porcelain sinks. One good way to avoid this is to purchase heavy-duty canvas drop cloths from any home hardware store like Home Depot. You can even get away with using a plastic bag to cover your kitchen countertop, kitchen sink, or bathroom sink if you’re painting there.

Latex paint is a water-based type of paint that is easier to clean up when still wet. You can also scrape the dried paint away after it hardens with a plastic putty knife as this is the best option compared to a finger nail. You might find it more difficult to remove the paint if you let it stay on your sink longer. Thus, it is always better to clean up the stains faster. Any oil-based paints cannot be removed with denatured alcohol as it would require a strong paint thinner. Acrylic-based paints can be removed with a bit of paint thinner or denatured alcohol. White spirit (mineral spirit) is a viable option to help thin paint, for easier removal and also helps to clean paint brushes.

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Be mindful of unused paint when you’re finished painting your kitchen. Store it in an inconspicuous area. Paint has harsh chemicals and toxic fumes that create environmental issues for homeowners. At the end of the day, you should always wear rubber gloves when painting.

Follow these steps to remove latex paint from porcelain sinks.

You can use the corner of a paper towel or even your finger to touch the paint to check if it is still wet. If the stain is still wet, you can use a paper towel or a soft cloth to dab up as much paint as possible. Just be careful when dabbing to avoid further smearing the color across the small area. If the stain gets splattered in the sink bowl, you can run some hot and soapy water and splash it at the paint spots to remove them. This may require a steady water supply and either a soft scrub or strong circular motions against the sink’s hard surfaces to remove stubborn paint.

Squirt several drops of liquid soap on a damp cloth, damp sponge, or scouring pad. You can then wipe away any leftover wet paint. Make sure to regularly rinse this sponge to ensure that you don’t rub the paint on other parts of the sink. Wipe down the entire sink and rinse it thoroughly to remove paint-streaked water.

Use a paint stripper or plastic scraper to scrape off the hardened splatters of paint. For trickier spots, you can use a razor blade. It’s a knife whose one side features a straight razor edge while the other has a grip non-sharp flat area. Use the razor blade to break away the tops of the thick drips of paint.

Continue to use the paint scraper for the drips until you remove all or most of the paint. Use a plastic scrub pad to scour the surface if there is still leftover paint.

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How to Get Paint Out of Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

With stainless steel being the top material of choice for utility sinks, it quickly exposes them to different materials from various home improvement projects such as paint.

Since it is easy for paint to drip on your sink, it might be challenging to remove the paint once it dries. I do not recommend using abrasive techniques or materials like steel wool, Brillo pad, or wire brush since these can harm or damage the sink finish.

Solvents such as lacquer thinner and mineral spirits seem like a practical option to address paint spills. But before you use any solvent or a scratch-free household sink bleach, don’t forget to test it first in an inconspicuous part of the sink. Also, be wary when using chemicals because of their potential effects on the septic system.

Types of Solvents for Removing Paint from Stainless Steel Sinks

Don’t forget to wear your gloves when using these solvents. Again, there are several types of solvents you can use, and each one has its degree of strength and toxicity. The specific type of solvent you choose to use will depend on the area you will work on, the products you already have at home, and the seriousness of the paint stains or spills.

A good thing to remember? Avoid combining different solvents. When the first product doesn’t work, ensure that you rinse off the sink first with room temperature water before using another one.

Here are the different types of solvents you can use to deal with paint stains on your stainless steel sink.


Lacquer thinner is a mix of acetone plus other solvents. Use it to dampen a clean rag or sponge and rub this directly on the dried paint. This is the best way to help soften the color to allow easy removal.

You can rinse it afterward and finish the task with some water and Bon Ami. This method works great on oil-based paint, acrylic paint, and paint stain. 


Using turpentine is a good idea for removing dried paint residue, and it’s a less toxic option than petroleum-based alternatives. You need to get a clean rag and apply turpentine in one corner. You can also use a cotton ball if there is no rag available. Apply it to the leftover paint stain using a rubbing motion to help dissolve and dislodge it. Rinse the spot with warm water.

Use Available Ingredients at Home

When the paint stains are still fresh on your stainless steel sink, getting rid of them is pretty simple. Prepare a solution of half a cup white vinegar, several drops of dish liquid, a tablespoon of mild detergent, a pinch of baking soda, and two cups of warm water, and mix everything properly.

Use a clean sponge, dip it in the solution, and squeeze well before dabbing the dampened sponge on the area. You can also cover the room with the paint stain using a paper towel soaked in this solution for several minutes.

It will help loosen up the paint stain to come out quickly once you scrub on it. Rinse this with hot water and inspect if you could remove all the paint. If there is still any leftover paint, repeat the procedure. Scrub it with a toothbrush to achieve better results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get paint out of the stainless steel kitchen sink?

Yes, it is possible to remove paint from your stainless steel sink. The stainless steel material is very smooth, so it wouldn’t require much effort to clean it.

Is turpentine safe to use on the stainless sink?

Yes, turpentine is safe to use on stainless sinks. Make sure you don’t do so often for a long time because it can affect the smooth surface of the material. If unsure, read the product instructions.

Can you remove black paint from a porcelain sink?

You can remove black paint from a porcelain sink using a paint cleaner. Instead of the color of the paint, what matters here is the specific type of paint in question.

Can you remove spray paint from a porcelain sink?

Yes, the good news is you can remove spray paint from your porcelain sink using bleach. When all else fails, read product instructions for added tips.

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