How to Remove Paint from a Mirror

How to Remove Paint from a Mirror (4 Easy Step-by-Step Methods)

Do you have a mirror with dried on paint or spray paint splatters?

You’re probably trying to figure out the best way to clean it off without scratching the glass. Great thinking ahead.

Spray painting a mirror frame can be a really fun DIY project (have you tried out this DIY boho mirror yet?).

But as you’ve probably discovered, it’s easy to accidentally spray paint where it doesn’t belong!

Paint stains happen, but thankfully there’s no need to stress.

In this post, we’re going to cover how to remove spray paint from mirror surfaces using one of four low-cost, easy methods. Let’s get into it! 

  • When removing spray paint stains from a mirror, you can wipe them off using steel wool, a razor blade, cleaning vinegar, paint thinner, or a household solvent like nail polish remover with a clean rag. 
  • If none of those options work, try an easy-off oven cleaner, graffiti remover, or WD-40. 
  • Avoid using non-glass safe cleaners with gritty paper towels or a magic eraser to clean paint, as this can cause scratches on the mirror. 

How to Remove Paint from a Mirror

Ready to get that annoying paint off your nice mirror?

Here are four easy step-by-step methods for that don’t require a lot of supplies, time, or know-how! Whether you need to remove spray paint or paint splatters, there are several ways to get paint off a mirror.

Method 1: Remove with Steel Wool

This method works if you’re trying to remove stubborn, caked-on spray paint from a mirror. It’s one of the better options if you’re looking for something chemical-free. 

Just keep in mind, be really gentle when using this method to remove spray paint. Steel wool can be abrasive for a mirror’s surface, especially with heavy pressure.

Here’s how it’s done: 

1. Purchase #0000 steel wool.

Get a fine steel wool pad for the project. I’d recommend #0000 fine steel wool, so as not to damage your glass mirror during the cleaning process. 

These fine steel wool pads will do the trick. 

2. Wear a respirator mask. 

It’s easy to overlook this step, but I highly recommend wearing a quality dust mask when working with #0000 steel wool. 

The invisible steel fibers are so fine that when they break off, you’re at risk of inhaling them without noticing. Repeated steel fiber inhalation is hazardous to your respiratory health.  

3. Soak the steel wool in a bowl of warm, soapy water.

After you’ve put on the necessary safety gear, fill a small bowl with warm water mixed with regular dish soap.

Then simply wet the wool pad with the solution. This warm, soapy solution will help soften the steel wool pad, and prepare it for breaking the bonds in the spray paint stains.

Don’t use a dry steel wool pad on the mirror, as this will be too abrasive for the glass surface and potentially damage it. 

4. Gently scrub away the stuck-on spray paint. 

Start by testing the wool pad with just a small spot on the mirror to make sure no scratching occurs. Then gently wipe away the rest of the spray paint on the mirror. 

5. Buff the mirror with mineral oil. 

Taking a microfiber towel or melamine sponge, apply a little mineral oil to the mirror surface, and buff it to make it sparkling clean. This step is optional, but it’ll give the mirror a protective, good-as-new finish.

Method 2: Gently Scraps with Razor Blade

Method #2 is another great chemical-free way to remove spray paint stains from glass mirror. It’s cheap, too – all you need is a razor blade or thin scraper! 

First, lubricate the mirror with soapy, warm water. Wipe the soap solution onto the mirror with a clean rag or towel. 

Next, hold your razor blade or scraper at an angle against the mirror. Start gently scraping away the paint, making sure not to press down hard. 

After scraping away as much of the paint as possible, wipe the mirror down again with the warm water and soap. 

Note: when using a razor blade on a glass mirror, proceed with caution. You’ll want to use a gentle touch, and ensure the blade is as flush to the mirror as possible.

Too much pressure or too upright, and the blade could irreparably scratch or even crack the glass. 

Method 3: Nail Polish Remover or Rubbing Alcohol

Nail polish remover, acetone, or rubbing alcohol can be an effective way to remove paint from mirror surfaces. Nail polish remover is so effective because it contains acetone and a fatty substance like oil. 

When combined, this solution works to quickly break down the bonds in paint. In fact, acetone is so powerful it can even dissolve superglue and epoxy resins. 

Here’s how it’s done: 

1. Dip a clean cloth or cotton ball in acetone, rubbing alcohol, or nail polish remover. 

It’s up to you which solvent you choose to clean with. Nail polish remover isn’t as strong as acetone, but offers a less irritating odor and skin reaction. 

And rubbing alcohol is also a good choice for removing latex paint off the mirror, just like you would use when trying to get spray paint off wood

Remember: removing spray paint off glass is best done with a solvent or alcohol-based cleaner, not an ammonia or bleach-based cleaner.

2. Press the solution against the paint for a minute, letting it absorb.

Before immediately trying to wipe away the paint, hold the solvent against the paint so that it absorbs into the paint.

This will help speed up the process of breaking down the molecules that are keeping the paint bonded to the mirror. This way, you won’t have to do as much scrubbing!

3. Gently wipe off the paint splatters, or wipe with firm pressure for larger stains. 

If you’re dealing with just a few drops of spray paint splatter, you can get the job done with just a cotton swab or cotton pad dipped in the solvent of your choice. The paint should come right off after a little rubbing. 

Don’t worry too much about scratching the mirror if you’re using a microfiber cloth or cotton ball.

You can apply firm pressure if needed, but be more gentle if you’re cleaning an antique mirror. 

Check out the video below to learn more!

Method 4: Paint Thinner or Stripper

Method #4 involves the use of paint thinner or stripper to remove stubborn spray paint.

This is the option to use if you’ve already tried nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol, and it hasn’t yielded results. 

Paint thinner is an effective solvent used for cleaning and thinning oil-based paints from various surfaces.

As opposed to Method #3, paint thinner is good at tackling a wide variety of paint types. 

So if you’re dealing with something other than oil-based or latex paint, paint thinner or stripper might be a better choice. 

Here’s how it’s done: 

1. Put on rubber gloves or latex gloves.

Wear rubber gloves when working with paint stripper or thinner.

These solvents can be irritating for skin, especially sensitive skin. This step adds a layer of protection.

2. Dip a paint brush into the paint thinner or stripper.

Submerge the tip of a disposable paint brush into a paint thinner or a NMP-based paint remover paste. Then apply it over the paint on the mirror, letting it absorb into the dried paint for 1-2 hours. 

3. Take a razor blade and scrape off the softened paint. 

After a couple hours, the thinning solvent will have totally softened up the dried paint.

It should be easy at this point to scrape the dried paint off the mirror with a razor blade, putty scraper, or plastic card. 

If you still see flecks of remaining paint, simply wipe off the paint with a clean cloth and a dab of nail polish remover or warm water with soap. And voila, a clean mirror!

Additional Tips: Mirror Care & Maintenance

Tips for Removing Paint from Mirror

Here are some useful tips for keeping your beautiful mirror clean, shining, and in mint condition.

  • Whenever you apply mirror-safe cleaner to a mirror to clean off a spray paint stain or other debris, always use a soft, microfiber or lint-free clean cloth. 
  • Avoid using cleaners that contain ammonia, bleach, or gritty powder.
  • Use alcohol-based cleaners on mirror and window glass surfaces. 
  • Try to keep your mirror as dry as possible, especially in wetter rooms like a bathroom. Install a ventilation fan or keep doors open to air out the room after hot showers. 
  • If you’re cleaning paint off the mirror with warm, soapy water, make sure to wring out the cloth completely before wiping the mirror down. The damp cloth shouldn’t be soaking wet.
  • After cleaning the mirror, be sure to dry off the entire mirror and bordering surfaces thoroughly to prevent water damage. 
  • Avoid spraying a mirror cleaner directly onto the surface of the mirror. The cleaner can leak behind the glass and ruin the backing or frame. Instead, spray it directly onto the cleaning cloth. 
  • Before painting a mirror frame, be sure to use painter’s tape along the sides to prevent excess paint from ruining the frame’s finish.


How do you remove dried paint from glass?

Apply some mineral spirits-based paint thinning solvent, nail polish remover, or acetone to an old paint stain. Then wipe away with a dry cloth or melamine sponge. 

You can also scrape off old paint from glass with a razor held flush against the glass.

Just be sure not to apply heavy pressure, or you could damage the glass surface. 

Can you remove acrylic paint from mirror?

Yes, you can remove acrylic paint from mirrors.

If the acrylic paint is still freshly wet, you should be able to clean it off easily using warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. 

If the acrylic paint is already dry, remove it using a razor blade, rubber scraper, white vinegar, or paint thinners.

Will rubbing alcohol remove paint from mirror?

Yes, rubbing alcohol is an effective solvent that can remove paint from a mirror surface.

A little goes a long way, so apply a little to a cotton ball or lint-free cloth, and rub away the paint until it’s fully removed. 

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to get paint off a mirror. Whether you’re dealing with spray paint or just your everyday latex paint stains, removing paint is easier than you think!

From razor blades to fine steel wool and liquid solvents, you have many options for getting rid of that stuck-on spray paint.

It shouldn’t take long to remove the spray paint from your lovely mirror.

Just be sure to carefully scrape when using a sharp edge, and exercise caution when working with an old antique mirror. 

Jessica Vaillancourt is a freelance writer and blogger obsessed with the Travel, Wellness, and Personal Development industries.

She has 5+ years of experience helping human-first agencies, global companies, and entrepreneurs crush their content marketing goals, and serve more people. Jessica’s work has appeared on leading websites like,, and

Today, her sole focus (besides finding the world’s best coffee shop) is writing to serve humans, and slow traveling abroad to expand her mind. You can get to know her work at