How to Remove Spray Paint from Tires

Oops, you just noticed you accidentally got some spray paint on your tires while you were painting the rims last week. Or maybe you drove over some wet paint that caused some of it to dry up on your tires. No matter the cause, you want to get the spray paint removed to keep your tires looking new again.

Fortunately, you can use several household products to remove paint from tires. In this article, we’ll provide a few helpful tips and answer the question: How to get spray paint off rubber tires.

How to remove spray paint from tires

How to Remove Spray Paint from Tires

Removing paint from tires is a fairly easy process, and less stressful than removing paint from your car’s trim or body where you can potentially scratch the surface or cause the paint to fade. Read more about How To Remove Spray Paint from Rims and How to Remove Spray Paint from a Car

Here are five different ways to remove spray paint from car tires:

First Method: Using rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a tried and true method for removing spray paint from a variety of surfaces, including car tires.

Materials needed:

  • Cloth or sponge
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • And a little elbow grease

Apply the rubbing alcohol to the painted area of the tire and allow it to soak into the paint for a short time. You can use warm water on either a cloth or a sponge and vigorously wipe away the paint marks. If all goes well, the paint should be removed quickly.

Second Method: Using vegetable oil

While you probably already know that vegetable oil is great for cooking, you may not have heard of it being used for removing paint from rubber.

It might take a little longer than some of the other processes we’ll discuss, but it’s incredibly convenient. Plus, you’ll save the time and money of having to take a trip to the store, since just about every home has a bottle or spray can of vegetable oil.

Materials needed:

  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Nylon-bristled brush or putty knife
  • Cloth

Follow these steps to remove spray paint with vegetable oil from your car tire:

  1. Hose down the tire with water
  2. Apply the vegetable oil evenly over the paint
  3. Allow the vegetable oil to sit for 2 to 4 hours to allow it to penetrate and break apart the paint
  4. Use the nylon-bristled brush and/or a putty knife to scrub away the paint. You can use water intermittently
  5. Hose off the tire and let it dry

Third Method: Using bug and tar remover

Materials needed:

  • Soap and water
  • Bug and tar remover
  • Soft-bristled brush or cloth

Before applying the bug remover, completely wash the tire with soap and water. Apply the bug and tar remover, and let it sit for a couple of minutes to allow it to soak into the spray paint.

Then use the cloth or brush to wipe away the paint. If there’s still paint on the tire, repeat the process until it comes off. Once all of the paint is gone, completely wash the tire with soap and water.

Fourth Method: Using Baking Soda

The baking soda method of removing spray paint from car tires is another convenient method, because who doesn’t have baking soda in their home?

Materials needed:

  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Soft-bristled brush

How to remove the paint:

  • Wash the entire tire with soap and water to remove any dirt and debris.
  • Apply the baking soda over the paint.
  • Pour some lemon juice over the baking soda. The combination of baking soda and lemon juice is commonly used as a cleaner to remove harsh stains on several surfaces without the use of harsh chemicals.
  • After the lemon juice has mixed with the baking soda, use the brush to remove the paint.
  • Repeat the process until all of the paint is gone.

Fifth Method: Using Krylon

Perhaps the quickest way to remove the spray paint is by actually using more spray paint on the tire.

Materials needed:

  • Soap and water
  • A can of Krylon matte black or satin spray paint.

The process is simple: after cleaning the tire, spray the can of Krylon over the affected areas. The black color of the spray paint will effectively hide the original spray paint.

This is not the process to take if you want to restore your tire to its original condition because the color will not be an exact match with the rest of the tire. However, it can save you a lot of time, and most people will not notice the difference with an untrained eye.


How do you get dried paint off rubber?

Perhaps the most effective way to remove dry paint from a rubber car tire is with a little bit of rubbing alcohol. Apply rubbing alcohol to the affected area. Once the alcohol has penetrated the dry paint, use a sponge soaked in warm water and a mild detergent to wipe away the paint.

Will paint thinner remove spray paint?

A paint thinner can be highly effective at removing spray paint depending on the surface.

Will paint thinner damage tires?

Yes. A paint thinner can remove some of the oils from tires, leading to possible cracking, chalkiness, and brittleness.

Will paint remover damage tires?

Paint removal can also damage rubber tires by eating away at the rubber.

Will spray paint damage tires?

Spray paint usually doesn’t cause damage to car tires, but it can be an eyesore if not removed.

Does WD-40 remove spray paint?

WD-40 has proven effective at removing spray paint from several surfaces, including rubber. Consider using a magic eraser to rub the WD-40 into the painted areas.

How to remove white wall paint from tires?

You can try and remove white wall paint or white lettering from a tire with a few steps. First, use an industrial-strength remover such as a CitriStrip, apply it to the white wall, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, use a brass brush to remove the paint. Wipe the paint away using a microfiber towel and then apply an all-purpose cleaner and scrub the tire with a big brush with hard bristles.

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