How to get spray paint or graffiti off a car

Let’s hope you never have to get spray paint off your car, but on the off chance that you do—perhaps after somebody had a little too much fun on Halloween — or perhaps you cheated on your partner like the person above!! Either way, it’s not a pleasant surprise!

If you discover it early in the morning when the dew is still on the car and the paint is damp, you might just have a chance at getting it off without having to take the car into an auto body shop.

Here are some things you can try:

1. Treat with soapy water

sponge over the car for washing made with color filters.

Fill a bucket with very warm, soapy water. Use a mild detergent, such as dish soap or a car-washing solution.

Use a rag or dishcloth and scrub the offending paint. Depending on the vandals’ choice of paint, your problem may be solved right here.

Keep in mind the vandalism may just be a playful hoax with easily washable paint. Regardless of the type of paint, if it hasn’t fully dried yet, this may do the trick. The sooner you try to clean the spray paint, the better. What could be a soap-and-water job could turn into something much more difficult if the paint is allowed to dry and bake in the sun.

2. Treat with nail varnish remover

Get any brand non-acetone nail polish remover. It’s formulated to take the enamel layer off fingernails, which is essentially what you’re attempting to do with your car’s finish.
Pour some liquid onto a terrycloth towel.

Rub very gently to remove spray paint. It should take it right off.

Wash and rinse thoroughly when done.

Add a coat of wax after the wash and rinse.

3. Treat with Meguiar’s clay

Purchase the Smooth Surface Clay Kit, which includes detailing spray (which you would use as a lubricant for the clay), some wax and a microfiber cloth.

Use the clay to remove the spray paint. It works very well and isn’t harsh to your paint. Follow the instructions that come with your kit.

Wax your car afterwards.

4. Treating with Rubbing Compound

Purchase rubbing compound, which can be found at any auto parts store.

Use a dry, soft cloth and vigorously rub the rubbing compound on the offending paint, testing a small area first before tackling the whole thing. You might also try a slightly abrasive microfiber cloth (these can also be purchased at auto parts stores).

5. Treat with Petrol

It might damage your clear coat, but it will get rid of most spray paint. This should only be used if the paint covers a very small area.

Wax your car after cleaning, this makes it easier to remove spray paint if it happens again.

6. Get Professional help

Call the body shop and the insurance agent. If all else fails, or if you’re nervous about trying to remove the paint yourself, get an estimate from a professional. They may be able to remove the spray paint (probably using one of the methods described here) or the car may need to be partially or entirely repainted, depending on the extent of the damage.

If you carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, vandalism should be covered, so check your deductible and file a claim if the bill will be more than the deductible.

Touch-wood we hope you are never in this situation but if you ever find yourself with a graffiti’d car then hopefully these tips will help you!



*Tips taken from