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How to clean up after painting

From the Resene Paint Experts Q&A

Do you have a question about cleaning up after painting? Browse through this painting Q&A for help with your own projects.

Always make sure you read the product label and data sheet prior to application. If in doubt about any aspect of your project, please ask our Paint Expert for help or come in and see our staff at your local Resene ColorShop or Reseller.



Q. Does your Resene Deep Clean concentrate work on decks where mould is already spreading, or only before it appears?

A. Resene Deep Clean will work on existing moss and mould growth although you will not see immediate results. It could take a week or two to see the growth disappearing. It’s a great long term product.

November 2023

Q. We moved into a new house 18 months ago, after a few months we noticed what looked like mould appearing on a number of window frames, so we had the house washed. Problem solved, we thought. However, a few months later the mould started appearing again, so we washed the window frames ourselves with Exit Mould. This worked however the mould has reappeared again. Do you know why this is happening and what we can do to fix the problem?

A. Mould or micro biological growth grows due the environment allowing it to, such as sheltered areas on homes.

This area on the house may need to be treated with Resene Moss & Mould Killer multiple times to try and kill the spores. Washing simply removes the surface and not the ‘roots’. Using Exit Mould would have worked temporarily but I see this as an ongoing problem which may require treatment annually. An area within windblown distance will be the source of mould so unless that changes (you may never know what it is) it will keep coming back. It’s best to treat as soon as you see a small amount so the mould does not encroach inside.

September 2023

Q. Our house is very mouldy, if you can assist with what’s the best way to prep walls and best paint to prevent mould appearing again.

A. Mould growth is a sign of one or a combination of the following: low light level, poor ventilation and moisture. To achieve long term control of mould, these conditions need to be changed.

For an immediate solution, treat the mould using Resene Moss & Mould Killer. You may need 2-3 applications of this over a week. Use carefully as this product contains bleach and will discolour materials.

Once dry, apply one coat of Resene Sureseal pigmented sealer. Allow to dry. Apply a second coat if you believe there is bleed through. Apply two coats of Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in your desired colour on walls and Resene Ceiling Paint on the ceilings.

If you need to clean the walls and ceiling frequently, I suggest using a higher gloss on both walls and ceilings such as Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss. This product can be used on skirting, frames and doors also.

September 2023

Q. I have a new house (completed only 3 months ago) and the mineral oil coated cedar is showing quite significant mould already. It is east facing. What should I do?

A. The timber would have been exposed to spores before the mineral oil was applied as the mineral oil has mould inhibitors in it and is not a food source for mould growth as it is a mineral and not a plant-based oil.

Treat your cladding with Resene Deep Clean twice a year (spring and autumn) and as long as the cladding is subject to rain washing the Resene Deep Clean will help to kill mould and the residue will be washed off with rain.

Be mindful of children and animals in the first 24 hours and before first rain after application on the substrate and surrounding areas.

September 2023

Q. How do I remove old masking tape residue from aluminium windows?

A. You can use a product called De-Solv-it, which is a natural cleaner to remove sticky spots. Otherwise, meths on a cotton tip, to gently remove without rubbing too hard on the aluminium coating will work.

August 2023

Q. Previous tenants have left many yellow sticky marks on the walls from hanging fairy lights. Is there a good way to remove these without damaging the paint surface and without having to repaint?

A. We recommend warm water to soften the adhesion. Otherwise, we recommend trying Dissolveit, it's a natural based spot remover. Leave it to react and soften then gently rub off.

May 2023

Q. I am wondering if you can advise me on black marks that appear to be running down from below the windows. The house was painted 18 months ago and this appears to be coming up and becoming more prominent. I can’t recall if they existed before hand as haven’t owned the house for too long (the house itself is 10 years old). The markings appear to go down four weatherboards.

Any ideas what this could be and how to clean it?

A. At a guess, I think it could be residue from the window rubber or more likely dirt from the inside of the opening window and the rain is collecting it and meeting at a point and running down the surface of your cladding.

Try cleaning with Resene Paint Prep and Housewash. If that doesn’t work you could try a gentle clean with Jif or another abrasive cleaner, being careful to not damage the paint surface.

May 2023

Q. We are in a new house. I purchased your Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner to get rid of some marks and fly dirt. It seems to have left marks where I cleaned. Is there something I can do about it?

A. Acrylic ceiling flats are very porous and do tend mark easily. We call this effect burnishing. These do flatten off in a few days but may still be visible. To avoid patches when cleaning, we recommend cleaning the entire ceiling evenly and try and wipe in the same direction to help with uniformity. We do have a paint – Resene SpaceCote Flat – which is designed for use on ceilings and is a more washable option than normal ceiling paint.

March 2023

Q. What method do you recommend for exterior house cleaning? Soft wash or brush wash?

A. A soft wash using a very soft brush is good for fresh paintwork (between 1 and 6 months). After that, you can use a slightly harder bristle but nothing more than you would clean a substrate like cabinetry with as it can really damage the paint film. Using Resene Paint Prep and Housewash with water annually will keep the paint looking fresh for longer.

High pressure water blasting is not recommended.

January 2023

Q. Roof painters have caused significant overspray into our unpainted asbestos clad home. How can this be safely removed?

A. I am unaware of any safe practical option to remove the over spray. One suggestion maybe to spray Resene Graffiti Cleaner onto the area and while still wet, remember it must be wet at all times, scrub with a Nylon brush then wash down. This may be an issue with runoff into gutters/downpipes.

January 2023

Q. On removing the masking tape off aluminium joinery, some waterborne enamel paint has ended up on the powder coated aluminium. What is the best way to remove?

A. Removing paint from aluminium is a long process as it needs to be carefully removed. You can try using Methylated Spirits to soften the dried paint but this could have an effect on the colour of the joinery. Best bet is to lightly blunt scrape, and use warm water with a small amount of Handy Andy.

January 2023

Q. How do I remove diluted Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen paint from exposed aggregate concrete? The spill happened on clean up, so it is white clean up water we are trying to remove.

A. Once paint has dried (even diluted) it can become rather tricky to remove. If you have access to a water blaster, try that first. Next, try applying Methylated Spirits as this softens acrylic paint such as Resene Lumbersider and should make it easy to remove under a bristle broom. Do a test patch first to ensure it doesn’t damage the aggregate and do not allow to settle in garden beds. If it does, thoroughly flush with fresh water.

January 2023

Q. What is the best way to remove graffiti from galvanised doors, glass and concrete walls?

A. Resene has a product called Resene Graffiti Cleaner that can aid in the removal of graffiti. It will work well on the glass especially, but will also remove and soften your existing paint.

We recommend using this cleaner to remove as much graffiti as possible and then repaint. Use a stain blocker sealer like Resene Sureseal (on the concrete) and topcoat.

December 2022

Q. I have some overpainting of waterborne enamel paint on some internal powder coated aluminium joinery which I need to remove.

A. Best to try meths but do so in an area that is not visible.

June 2022

Q. I got some waterbased paint on frosted glass and cannot scrape off. What can I use to dissolve then wipe off please?

A. Try a cloth and methylated spirits.

June 2022

Q. How do I get Resene X-200 acrylic weathertight membrane off aluminium window frames (1980s copper) that I did not notice?

A. Try wiping with meths and a cloth.

June 2022

Q. Could you please tell me how to clean a brush after using the Resene Metallic and Special Effects paints? Are they not water based?

A. Resene FX Metallic paints are waterborne with water wash up, however if the paint has dried out then you will have to soak in Resene Brush Cleaner. Resene Brush Cleaner may not work if the paint has been dry in the brush for some time.

June 2022

Q. I have dried drips of Resene Quick Dry paint on my concrete which I would like to remove. The driveway is sealer. How do we remove the drips?

A. Resene Graffiti Cleaner can be used to remove the Resene Quick Dry but it will also remove the concrete sealer. There is no selective way to remove only the Resene Quick Dry.

April 2022

Q. We have recently had our house exterior painted with Resene paint. The painters sadly washed out their paintbrushes in the vegetable garden. My enquiry is about the effect of the Resene paint on the soil and how safe the soil is for vegetable gardening.

As the house was painted in a light colour the soil is now clearly whitish in colour. I would appreciate hearing from an expert who understands the effects of your paint on the soil.

A. Resene paint does not contain any lead-based components, historically lead contamination of soils has been the key issue, so no issues on that front. Once the paint has dried all volatiles will have left the paint and again, we see no toxicity issues.

The whiteness is due to titanium dioxide, this is a component of toothpaste and there will be no residual toxicity associated with this.

April 2022

Q. When using a painted blackboard, how easy is it to clean?

A. When a blackboard is fresh the chalk stands out in sharp contrast to the board. As the board settles in the degree of black actually becomes softened by a layer of chalk and the contrast lessens. Thus, the removal of chalk becomes easier as the contrast is less obvious. The quality of finish will impact on the cleanability as well. If you want a jet black board every time then you will need to wipe with a damp then dry cloth.

September 2021

Q. I have brought a house that smells of smoke. What would the paint process be to help get rid of the smoke smell.

A. We have no paint that can block smoke odour. Smoke odour can be absorbed into carpets and furnishings so my first suggestion would be to get these cleaned. Professional carpet cleaners can add a deodorant to mask odours.

For painted surfaces try wiping down with Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner, this may assist in removing some odour from the surfaces.

September 2021

Q. Within the care and maintenance guide it states that external paint should be cleaned annually however it does not specifically state how regularly internal paint must be cleaned in order to retain its warranty.

A. There is no specific requirement for interior painted surfaces as the external cleaning is a response to weathering. With interior paint wipe down using Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner when required, paying particular attention to hand contact areas.

August 2021

Q. We have a bedroom which had been painted with Resene Half Drought and also a feature wall painted a darkish/grey a few years back - they now have marks and smears on them. What is the best method of cleaning them? It looks as if the whole feature wall needs cleaning more than part of it.

A. Use Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner to label directions and yes clean down the entire wall.

August 2021

Q. What’s the best way of removing dried Resene waterbased paint from brown aluminium windows please?

A. Assuming the joinery is anodised, you could try soaking a cloth in methylated sprits and placing it onto the area and then gently rubbing or careful application of Resene Graffiti Cleaner. I recommend you try a small area first to confirm that it works and does not damage the existing joinery finish.

May 2021

Q. How do I remove paint dribbles from red brick?

A. Suggest you try Resene Graffiti Cleaner used to label instructions. You may have to try more than one application, if this is the case allow the bricks to dry out between applications.

April 2021

Q. My son cleaned a roller by running the hose along it to make it spin/clean resulting in the side of the house receiving watered down paint spray. The paint was Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen. Can you advise a product to remove the spray from the bricks please?

A. You could try Resene Graffiti Cleaner.

April 2021

Q. How do I clean a painted woodgrain Hardiplank house? The house is virtually surrounded by trees but they are not right up close, about 3 to 4 metres away. The weatherboards are a bit green and brownish from the trees.

A. Treat areas of moss/mould infestation with Resene Moss & Mould Killer diluted and used to label instructions. For heavy infestations more applications may be needed. Scrub down using Resene Paint Prep and Housewash diluted and used to label directions. Do not allow the wash solution to dry out on the surface. Rinse clean or hose down with fresh water ensuring all salts are also removed.

February 2021

Q. I spilt some of the Resene testpot in Resene Trendy Pink onto the floor of my garage. I believe it is concrete. Would you be able to provide advice for clean up?

A. Assuming it is unpainted concrete that the paint has been spilt onto, try wetting the paint spill with meths and then scrubbing with a nylon brush and wipe. Alternatively use Resene Graffiti Cleaner.

We cannot guarantee complete removal, there may be finger print of the paint. More than one treatment may be required. If using the graffiti cleaner allow the treated area to thoroughly dry out before repeating the application.

February 2021

Q. We recently worked on a project where Resene Uracryl GraffitiShield was specified – our client is wanting to put together a cleaning/maintenance document as part of their handover, and has asked what cleaners should be used should graffiti occur.

A. We only recommend using Resene Graffiti Cleaner for removal.

January 2021

Q. We have had our house painted with low sheen waterborne black paint on the exterior. I cannot for the life of me get it clean. Is this a problem with this paint? Is there a sealant that should be applied so I can just wipe the dust off? Does this suggest incorrect application? Or can you recommend something to clean it with?

A. The issue is the gloss level, if the contamination occurred soon after application then the paint will be soft, an extended period of weathering is required to improve cleanability. Black attracts heat and when this occurs the paint will soften and contaminants will become attached more strongly to the surface. Moving to a higher gloss level such as Resene Sonyx 101 is the quickest way to resolve the issue.

November 2020

Q. I have a customer who requires paint removed from textured brickwork. She has tried Sea and Sky and that did not work. I was wondering if you had any ideas.

A. The only other suggestion would be Resene Graffiti Cleaner.

September 2020

Q. My house is cedar clad, rough sawn, and stained with Resene Woodsman oil stain in the black colour. Recently we have noticed some bright green patches of mould. We just wanted some input on the recommended way to remove the mould such that the stain finish or the cedar won't be damaged? The problem is only in a few spots at the moment so we are hoping to get on top of it.

A. The mildest way is to apply Resene Deep Clean. It’s not a rapid kill but will get cleaner over time.

September 2020

Q. I have noticed that painters at our place quite some time ago had gotten some paint on the edge of our COLORSTEEL® roof. Is there a product to safely remove Resene paint from the COLORSTEEL® without damaging it?

A. Methylated Spirits will remove acrylic paint but not enamel. You should dab some onto a rag and lightly rub the affect area. It will soften and remove the acrylic paint. Trial a small area first to see how you go before really getting into it.

June 2020

Q. We have Resene exterior paint on our Shadowclad cladding. I have hosed the exterior down periodically, but discovered that the water in Kaiapoi is very hard. The paint is black so it has left water marks. Is there a safe method to remove these without hurting the paint? Vinegar perhaps?

A. If the white staining is from salts in the water supply, prepare a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Next, coat the affected area with the solution, then wipe the surface with a clean towel. If the water spots are particularly stubborn, let the vinegar soak in for 10 minutes before wiping the surface.

June 2020

Q. My goddaughter painted my fence with oil based wood stain and managed to get lots of splatters/marks on a concrete fence and water tank both painted with Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen. Do I need to do something with the splatters/marks before I paint over again with Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen to fix?

A. Wash down using Resene Paint Prep and Housewash diluted and used to label instructions then spot prime the stain marks with Resene Wood Primer.

May 2020

Q. We are a theatre and have a ‘paint area’ with a sink in it. The sink gets blocked relatively regularly. We've just had a really good go at clearing out some of the gunge, but there's still a lot of cloggy stuff down there. Is there a particular cleaner we could try down the sink outlet to hopefully clear it out a bit?

A. Congealed partly dry paint can be difficult to dislodge. Only suggestion would be to pour Sea 2 Sky paint stripper down the drain and leave to sit overnight to see if this softens the paint and allow washing through. You will probably need to use warm water (not hot) and a plunger.

If you are generating a lot of waste paint it may be advisable to invest in a small Resene WashWise unit.

March 2020

Q. Can you offer me some advice of how to get dried water based paint out of clothing?

A. It may not be easy if the paint has been on the clothing for some time. Suggest you purchase a spray bottle of Resene Graffiti Cleaner, spray onto the affected areas, rub in (wear rubber gloves) and leave for a few minutes making sure the area remains wet with the spray then warm water wash.

It’s best to test this first on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first to make sure there are no issues.

February 2020

Q. I recently applied Resene deck oil to my new deck and unknowingly some dropped between the boards onto my concrete carport and path below, leaving a yellow stain. How can I get rid of that yellow stain on my concrete?

A. Suggest you try using Resene Brush Clean. Apply the cleaner to the dry concrete and scrub with a stiff nylon brush. Leave for 2-3 mins, then wash off with water.

October 2019

Q. What is the best way to remove paint on light switches?

A. Wipe with meths and a cloth. If it is a waterborne paint, the sooner the better.

October 2019

Q. I have white Resene Lumbersider spilled over my new concrete driveway, I tried to wash it off but it's still there and it's been about 3 months now.

A. You could use Resene Graffiti Cleaner to remove the paint. It will really depend on if it has penetrated into the concrete, as to whether you can remove it completely. You could also try waterblasting.

September 2019

Q. Our painter has dropped dark paint drops while painting wooden shingles onto Oamaru stone. I am seeking a solution to remove them please.

A. I suggest that you use Resene Graffiti Cleaner following label instructions.  Due to the porosity of the Oamaru stone you may have to repeat this (if so, allow the area to dry before re-applying the cleaner).

June 2019

Q. My daughter has just painted her bathroom and noticed she has spilt Resene Sureseal on the Resene Qristal ClearFloor 1K varnished floor. Can you tell me how to remove the Resene Sureseal without damaging the Resene Qristal ClearFloor? There are drips and spots in a number of places. We haven't done the final coats of Resene Qristal ClearFloor. The floor is stained with Resene Colorwood.

We have already had to take the floor right back and sand and redo all levels after an accident with plasterboard glue, so sanding and redoing can be done but it would help if you can suggest something to get the worst off. 

A. Carefully wet sand the Resene Sureseal spots/drips using 220 grit wet and dry paper to remove the Resene Sureseal, then re-apply the clear varnish.

June 2019

Q. Do you have advice on the best way to get paint out of clothes and carpets? We used waterbased enamel paint.

A. Suggest you try Resene Graffiti Cleaner as the paint is probably well dried. Check that the cleaner does not affect the material on either before using.

June 2019

Q. I am wondering if there was something I can use/do to an item of clothing that has got some dry Resene testpot paint on it?

A. Suggest you try sponging the area with Resene Graffiti Cleaner, rub the cleaner into the paint spots (wear rubber gloves) to soften the paint then wash.  Test the cleaner on an inconspicuous area of the clothing first to ensure it does not affect it.

June 2019

Q. I have a house that is covered in dust from the driveway, which wasn't gravelled immediately after construction. The dusty cedar cladding stain is light coloured. Is Resene Paint Prep and Housewash ok to clean this with?

A. You can use Resene Paint Prep and Housewash to try and remove the dust, however we cannot say that it will be effective and if the dust contamination has occurred while the stain was fresh, then it may have become attached/embedded to the stain and difficult to remove.

May 2019

Q. Could you advise about how to remove a few dried spatters of Resene Sureseal pigmented sealer from light switches and other fittings?  The walls and ceiling were prepped only about two weeks ago.

A. Our only suggestion would be careful use of Resene Graffiti Cleaner. We cannot give any undertaking that the use of the product will not affect the substrate.

May 2019

Q. A contractor undertaking water blasting/sealing work at a neighbouring property has left drops and splodges on a car, asphalt driveway and painted steel roof on our adjoining property. Can you advise the process and complexity of removing Resene Waterborne Aquapel and what sort of damage might be expected to paint etc?

A. Resene Waterborne Aquapel is not paint but a water repellent treatment for concrete. The only way that we are aware of, is to wipe the surface with eucalyptus oil.

May 2019

Q. On our house we have the Resene Rockcote and paint system. Is Resene Paint Prep and Housewash ok to use around aluminium windows? On the bottle it says it may etch into metal and aluminium. We were given this product by the Resene rep to wash the house.

A. In the diluted state there is little or no risk unless the diluted wash solution is allowed to dry out on the surface.

December 2018

Q. I painted Resene Woodsman English Walnut waterbased stain on our wood siding about five months ago. I got some on our white downpipes, which I never realised until I started painting near this area recently. Is there an easy way to remove the brown stain from the pipes? I have tried mineral turps and methylated spirits and neither worked.

A. Turps normally does the trick here so it's sounding rather stubborn. You could try a solvent wipe or Resene Graffiti Cleaner (which comes in a handy pack) however, you want to ensure you wash down with fresh water following using it, so as not to adversely affect the downpipes.

November 2018

Q. I am painting the house white and I painted a bit of our COLORSTEEL®, which is Ironsand. I didn’t realise I shouldn’t have painted it. Is there any way to remove the paint? It’s a single coat, do we need to replace the gutter fully or paint over with the original colour again?

A. If it hasn't been on long, it may well scratch off with your finger nail; however you could try a small amount of methylated spirits on a rag to remove the white acrylic paint. Just try a small area first to see if it removes the white paint (which it should). Failing that, you could use a Resene testpot in Ironsand to overcoat the area.

November 2018

Q. I have a friend, who had a friend help her in painting a bathroom. Drops of solventborne timber/plasterboard primer/sealer, landed on her plastic bath. It is probable that the bath is made from Perspex. Another company recommended using meth or Brasso to remove the splashes. Is there any other solvent that you could suggest using?

A. Meth can be used for the removal of waterborne paints (Perspex is reasonably resistant to this solvent), and then only if the waterborne paint is relatively fresh. Meth is usually ineffective against a solventborne paint. To the best of my knowledge, Perspex is not resistant to solvents that may remove a solventborne paint.

You may have to look to the Brasso option but I suggest a test is done, that is not visible to be sure there is no reaction. Brasso will rely on abrasive removal rather than dissolution.

November 2018

Q. I used paint stripper to remove paint on a hardboard ceiling panel in the bathroom. I have added a few screws to prevent flexing of the hardboard panel. I was intending to seal/prime the tempered hardboard with Resene Sureseal before using Resene SpaceCote. Will Resene Sureseal adhere to the hardboard? Does the hardboard need sanding before?

A. The recommended Resene sealer for tempered hardboard is Resene Sureseal.

November 2018

Q. What is the best product to remove some paint spills, mainly drops, from a wooden timber deck?

A. If the deck is unpainted then I suggest Resene Graffiti Cleaner.

November 2018

Q. My 3 year old daughter put some waterbased paint on the sleeves of her dress. I've already washed the dress twice and used some stain remover with no success. What can I do?

A. Waterborne paints can be removed by washing when the paint is wet, not dry. If this was not the case, waterborne paints applied to an exterior surface would wash off with rain.

You could try using Resene Graffiti Cleaner to soften the dry paint and then wash. You would need to test an inconspicuous area first to see if the fabric will be resistant to the cleaner.

August 2018

Q. What's the best course of action if you've accidentally painted bare wood without using any primer? Should I lightly sand the paint and then add primer? Or just accept a bad job and add more coats of paint?

A. If exterior timber, sand to remove, then prime is the safest option.

June 2018

Q. I spilt a half pot of exterior enamel paint, outside on the tarseal while I was painting. I decided to leave the clean up to the end and thought I'd waterblast it off. Unfortunately it won't budge. Do you have any helpful, relatively cheap ideas to remove this please?

A. We recommend you overcoat the affected area with a couple of coats of Resene Blacktop driveway coating.

April 2018

Q. How do I remove waterbased paint from aluminium joinery?

A. If the waterbased paint is fresh, try wiping with a cloth wet with meths. The other option is to use Resene Graffiti Cleaner but try a test patch first, in a non-conspicuous area.

January 2018

Q. I have cedar weatherboards, which have previously been stained with oil based stain, there is some mould evident. Which is the best cleaner to use before re-staining?

A. Treat mould areas with Resene Moss & Mould Killer diluted and used to label directions, then scrub down using Resene Timber and Deck Wash diluted again used to label directions.

November 2017

Q. How do I clean paint off a concrete wall where someone has cleaned brushes?

I spilt white Resene Sonyx 101 on my stained deck, how do I remove that?

A. Sorry, but removal of Resene Sonyx 101 spills from the deck will be difficult to achieve without affecting the stain finish.

February 2017

Q. The previous owners of my house didn't believe in masking and managed to get oil based paint on the aluminium joinery. It is white powder coated Fisher Aluminium joinery from 1989. What would you recommend to get this off without damaging the powder coat?

A. Once the oil based paint has dried and aged removal without damaging the powder coating is extremely difficult. The only suggestion would be to try Resene Graffiti Cleaner but test first on an area that is not that noticeable.

February 2017

Q. Could you please tell me the best way to remove paint from aluminium windows? Our house was painted by the previous owner and when the house was painted they managed to get some on the window frames.

A. It may be difficult now as the paint is probably well cured. I suggest you try Resene Graffiti Cleaner on a small area that is inconspicuous to see if that removes the paint.

January 2017

Q. I spilt white paint all down my concrete steps and have the landlord coming tomorrow! How can I remove the paint and fast?

A. We recommend Resene Graffiti Cleaner.

December 2016

Q. I spilt some charcoal oil stain on concrete outside - do you sell a product which would remove this. It is more the dark stain than the oil?

A. The only suggestion would be to try Resene Graffiti Cleaner.

November 2016

Q. How do you remove dried water based paint from clothing?

A. Try meths first.

October 2016

Q. Are you able to assist with a technical matter regarding washing paint brushes (waterbased paint)? I am looking for the chemical composition of the water once a waterbased paint brush is washed out. Do you have any details on this subject?

A. In general the wash water will be a diluted version of the paint. This will consist of a waterborne paint resin, pigments and wetting agents. The main coloured pigment will be titanium dioxide; tinted colours will contain other pigment dispersions to give the required colour. Depending upon the paint there may be other additives for rheology control and in primers anti-corrosive pigments.

June 2016

Q. How do we remove acrylic paint splashes from a maroon Formica benchtop? It looks like the painter has rinsed out his brush and then flicked it over the bench.

A. Rubbing with a cloth wet with methylated spirits is the usual way to remove waterborne paint from a hard surface.

June 2016

Q. I joined in a paint activity. Unfortunately, paint got on my new Nike top (purchased on Friday) and although I washed it as soon as I got home, it hasn't come out. Can you please advise how I can get the paint out?

A. Try soaking the area in meths and gently massage the meths into the area. Then wash up in warm soapy water.

June 2016

Q. How do I remove Resene X-200 that went on to my window framing?

A. Resene X-200 should be removable by wiping with a cloth and methylated spirits. Note that if the underlying paint is also a waterborne coating that this will also possibly be removed.

April 2016

Q. Our painter has left drips and splashes of waterborne enamel paint on some of the bricks of our 1960s brick and tile unit. How can we remove these?

A. Suggest you try removal using Resene Graffiti Cleaner. Wet out the areas and leave for a few minutes then scrub using a stiff nylon brush and then rinse off.

Usually glazed old bricks are very porous and that can make complete removal a real challenge. If there are signs that it has worked you may have to repeat.

March 2016

Q. What's the most efficient method to remove acrylic overspray (mist) from an old cement path/brick pathing and asphalt. I'm thinking soften paint with a thinner then scrub with a soapy solution?

A. We recommend using Resene Graffiti Cleaner.

February 2016

Q. What can we use to remove white markings from our brickwork? My husband sprayed a cleaner over it three months ago but don't know if this has any bearing or not. We are painting the woodwork on the house in a fantastic looking Resene stain and it detracts from the appearance.

A. It is most likely efflorescence from the brick work. This can be difficult to totally remove especially if it is engrained in the surface. Wire brushing can work but not always to complete removal. Efflorescence is caused by water coming through or out of the brickwork and soluble salts are dissolved and when the water dries on the surface a white deposit is left which hardens and does not redissolve. Application of a saturation coat of Resene Solventborne Aquapel will help hold the salt migration but will not address the white if there is existing efflorescence. The other possible way is to treat the affected areas with CLR solution.

January 2016

Q. Do you have a product for removing oil based paint off concrete block walls?

A. This is not an easy task. We have Sea 2 Sky paint strippers but removal of paint from blockwork can be difficult as the paint is often absorbed into the block surface. The other possible methods are soda blasting or waterblasting with sand injection but the latter needs careful control to avoid exposure of aggregate.

December 2015

Q. Is there a product available to clean up Resene X-200 paint? I have some spilled on terracotta tiles, which has hardened. I'm looking for a solvent to clean it off before I seal the terracotta tiles.

A. Suggest you try Resene Brush Cleaner, wet out the areas with the product and brush in using a stiff nylon brush. Leave for 3-4 minutes then wash off with scrubbing.

November 2015

Q. Is there a Resene product that would remove old paint from the brick surround of an open fireplace? I want to get it back to the original red brick with grey grout. The wooden mantlepiece fixes down into the top of the brick.

A. Paint stripper would be the only suggestion and stripping paint from bricks back to bare is not easy.

October 2015

Q. We have just painted our toilet walls very dark blue with white architraves, scotias etc but the blue paint has dripped here and there onto the white paint. What would be the easiest way to cover the blue? We painted the bare wood with white enamel based paint over an undercoat.

A. Painting over the spots is the only way to rectify the situation, you should lightly sand the spots to remove some of the blue and to produce a smoother surface.

May 2015

Q. Can you help on how to get a dark stain and varnish out of oak furniture?

A. It depends on the stain but if the original stain was spirit based then it's extremely difficult. Stains are not removed using paint strippers alone and the only way is to remove the timber to the depth of the original stain penetration by sanding/planing.

May 2015

Q. How do I remove paint from pavers, concrete and tiles? Or can I use textured paint or other paint to paint over existing paint on these surfaces?

A. Depends upon the paint type but if the paint has been on the areas for some time then painting over it may be the easiest option.

April 2015

Q. How do you clean wood stain off a deck?

A. Resene Timber and Deck Wash can clean off many stains, ready for re-staining.

April 2015

Q. How can we remove dried paint splashes from aluminium window frames?

A. If the paint is waterborne and fresh try wiping with meths and a cloth. Alternatively use Resene Brush Cleaner and a cloth but wear protective gloves when using the Resene Brush Cleaner. Wash the cleaned area down with water after wiping with Resene Brush Cleaner. Try a small inconspicuous area first to ensure that there is no effect on the aluminium.

March 2015

Q. I was up a ladder painting timber acrylic paint over metal primer on a metal post. I knocked the pail off the ladder and paint went everywhere. There is about a 3 foot high concrete pillar that the metal support post is set in and the paint spilled over that concrete pillar. Can I use the timber acrylic paint on the concrete surface?

A. Suggest that it would be best to prime the concrete with Resene Concrete Primer first.

March 2015

Q. What can I use to remove wooden floor varnish from powder coated aluminium door frames?

A. You could try and remove the varnish by wiping with a cloth and MEK but it may affect the powder coated surface.

March 2015

Q. I have spilt some perfume on a painted shelf. It has gone all sticky. Can you tell me what to do to correct this?

A. Perfume contains a quantity of an alcohol type solvent and this will soften and possibly irreversibly damage acrylic based paints. Sorry but there is no remedy other than to scrape back the affected area and reprime and paint. If you want the best resistance to this recurring use a solventborne topcoat such as Resene Super Gloss or Resene Lusta-Glo.

February 2015

Q. I have a lot of paint splashes and spots on my pavers (pergola area etc) after repainting the outside of the house a couple of years ago - time to clean it up properly. I guess it's all Resene Lumbersider, in a few different colours. What's going to be the most effective way of cleaning it up? Tried turps and paint stripper - doesn't really work because the pavers are porous. Is a strong acid wash the answer? If so, what sort of acid and what sort of strength?

A. Only possible suggestion is to carefully waterblast. Thick layers of acrylic paint are unaffected by acid washing. Acid etching involves diluting Spirits of Salts (concentrated hydrochloric acid) by adding 1 part of acid to 6 parts of water, you have to wear protective gear including a face mask as the acid is very corrosive and all operations must use plastic containers.

February 2015

Q. How do I remove dried waterbased paint spots from Firth pavers?

A. If the paint has dried hard then complete removal may be difficult. Suggest you try to waterblast the pavers.

January 2015

Q. Can you provide some advice on how to remove Resene Aquapel from a GRC outdoor table. So far we've tried Jif and water, however this isn't particularly effective.

A. Sorry nothing that we have looked at will remove the cured Resene Aquapel. The Resene Aquapel undergoes a chemical reaction with the substrate and is locked into the substrate.

January 2015

Q. I am wanting to remove paint splashes from bricks on the exterior of the house. Is there a product you'd recommend? Last owners were pretty messy!

A. If the bricks were unglazed then removal will be more difficult. Suggest you try spraying Resene Graffiti Cleaner onto the area and then scrub with a stiff nylon brush then wash off.

July 2014

Q. Our painter accidentally splashed some white Resene Lustacryl paint onto some brand new shiny black plastic electrical insulation that sheaths the mains electricity wires coming into our house. The paint has now dried. What solvent can we use to remove it, or if it can't be removed, what type of black paint should we apply to cover it up?

A. Meths is the usual solvent for softening waterborne paints but this needs to be done within 24 hours to be really effective. You can try using a cloth wet with meths and rub the paint and see if it can be removed. If not then you can use any Resene waterborne paint to paint over the white, you can purchase a Resene testpot of black if you only have small areas to overcoat.

May 2014

Q. Is there any product that would remove burn marks in spotted gum decking caused by sparks from an angle grinder being used overhead? Something that might bleach them out as opposed to sanding.

A. Sorry not aware of any magical potion other than sanding.

May 2014

Q. How do I remove waterbased paint overspray from a Perspex skylight?

A. Meths will usually soften and sometimes dissolve waterborne paints to allow their removal form a surface. In your case the adhesion of the paint to the Perspex may be such that removal may require multiple treatments with a rag soaked in meths. Suggest that you check first on an inconspicuous area that the meths does not react with the Perspex and cause it to become cloudy as this can happen.

November 2013

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