How Do You Remove House Paint from Car Fender? Secret Methods

A fender is a car component that frames and protects the wheels, and it is nearly impossible to get house paint on it. Yet here we are. How did you get house paint on your car fender?

Let’s leave the how as an accident for now. We know you are here because you need help, so let’s move on to fixing the problem. This guide will explore some methods, some of them secret, for effectively getting house paint off your car in different situations.

Techniques For Getting House Paint Off Your Car Fender

There are different ways of getting house paint off your fender. However, the type and state of the paint will affect our options. You should know that all the recommended methods in this guide are general. They may not apply to your situation. Before attempting these methods, consult your car manual or repair guide.

Cleaning Water-Based Paint from Car Fender

Water-Based paints are relatively easy to deal with. Below, we discuss some simple techniques for removing water-based house paint from your car’s fender.

1) Use Soap and Water

We said we would point out some secret techniques. This is not one. However, it is the most obvious and easy way to clean house paint from your car fender or any part of the car. This solution works best with water-based house paints like latex, especially when fresh or wet. It is an effective way to remove fresh house paint from your car’s fender.

You will need a soap and water mixture in a bucket or car shampoo and a microfiber towel or soft foam or rag. Below are the steps:

  • Put the vehicle in a shaded area because sunlight will dry the paint faster.
  • Dip the microfiber towel, soft foam, or rag into the soapy water and gently rub the affected area of the car fender.
  • Dry the area after washing it with a dry microfiber towel or soft rag.
  • This solution should work for many water-based paint types, especially when the paint is fresh.

Supposing the paint has dried, you may have to perform additional steps. You will need a plastic card and the other tools mentioned above for these steps.

  • Wet the area of the fender with paint repeatedly using warm soapy water so the paint can absorb the water.
  • Rub the areas on the fender with house paint gently using a damp microfiber towel or rag until the paint’s color starts showing on it.
  • Attempt to peel the house paint on the fender from its edges using the plastic card or your fingernails. Soaked water-based paint should be easier to pry off the fender like a sheet.
  • Apply more soapy water to ensure the house paint stays moist. Doing this is vital to removing house paint from your car fender.
  • Dry the fender after removing the paint. Additionally, you can apply car polish to enhance your car paint finish.

Using soap and water will cause the least damage to your car’s paint since it contains no strong chemicals. Even if it does not work, it will still help to remove dust so you can identify all the areas of the fender with house paint. Applying the other methods in this guide will be easier after cleaning the area.

2) Apply Nail Polish Remover or Gasoline to the Affected Area

If you could not remove the house paint from the fender using soapy water or car shampoo, you would need to reach for something more substantial. A suitable DIY method for removing house paint from your car fender is to use readily available substances like nail polish remover or gasoline.

In addition to the nail polish remover or gasoline, you will need a small microfiber cloth or a clean, soft rag, soap, and water. The steps to remove house paint from the fender here are below:

  • Dab the microfiber cloth with nail polish remover or gasoline
  • Rub the cloth gently on the affected area of the fender.
  • Add more nail polish remover or gasoline to the material and repeat until you remove the house paint from the fender.
  • Wash off the nail polish remover or gasoline with water and soap so they do not damage the car paint.


Removing Oil-Based House Paint from Car Fender

Oil-based paint may not come off as easily as water-based paint, using water, soap, gasoline, or nail paint remover. Moreso when the paint dries. So, some different strategies are required. These strategies also apply to water-based paint if you failed with the already described methods.

1) Use Strong Solvents

Solvents are an excellent way to get oil-based paint off your car’s fender. Solvents like alcohol and lacquer thinners are strong enough to dissolve other things, including house paint. For minimal and fresh or wet paint, you will only need the solvent (rubbing alcohol, lacquer), soft cloth to apply the solvent, water, and soap.

Wipe the area of the fender with the fresh paint using a cloth mixed with a bit of rubbing alcohol or lacquer. This should be enough to remove wet minimal house paint. Use soap and water and a different fabric to clean the area to remove the solvents because they can damage the car’s paint.

2) Removing Dried Oil-Based Paint from the Car Fender

The previous technique might not be enough to remove dried oil-based paint from your car fender. You will need a more robust approach. To remove dried oil-based house paint, you will still require solvents like lacquer and diluted rubbing alcohol. You can also use acetone or turpentine. Also, you will need cotton buds, soapy water, masking tape, a microfiber cloth, a clay bar, car polish, and protective gloves.

Before you start, keep your car in a shaded area and wear protective gloves. Then proceed with the following steps.

  • Use masking tape to isolate the areas around the fender or specifically around the house paint. This is to prevent the solvents, which can be harsh to the car’s paint, from getting on areas it is not needed.
  • Dip the cotton bud in the solvent and gently use it to wipe the house paint. If the paint does not come off and the cotton bud does not change color to that of the house paint, you may need a more potent solvent. Although, lacquer thinner or rubbing alcohol should be enough for most situations.
  • Mop the area you applied the solvent to with the house paint with the damp microfiber to stop the solvent from building up in a particular area.
  • Continue with the last two steps until you remove the house paint from the car fender. One way to be sure you have removed all of the house paint is if the cotton bud starts to change color to the fender’s original paint color.
  • Use a clay bar to clean the affected area of the car fender. The clay bar will remove oil paint remnants from the car fender.
  • Apply the car polish to the car fender to improve the appearance of the original paint and protect the surface.

3) Use A Paint Stripper to Get Rid of House Paint on Car Fender

Paint strippers are a substance or chemical compounds that can quickly remove layers of paint, varnish, enamel, or glue applied to a surface. While typically used in home improvement and woodwork, you can use them to remove particularly difficult to remove house paint on a car. A paint stripper dissolves paint.

While effective at their job, the caveat with paint strippers is their hazardous nature. Whether you use a solvent or caustic-based paint stripper, you must apply a lot of caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to protect your health.

The strong effect of paint strippers means they will also easily dissolve the original paint of your car fender. So, it is essential to choose a paint stripper that can remove the house paint without significantly damaging the car paint. Regardless, you may need to repaint the affected area after applying this method. Some popular paint strippers include hi-speed car paint stripper, D super remover, and Rust-Oleum nr.1 green paint stripper.

You will need a paint stripper, masking tape, plastic scraper, mineral spirits or vinegar and water mixture, disposable rag, microfiber cloth, soapy water, and car polish. Also, use a protective glove, respirator, and safety glasses when working with the paint stripper. Follow the steps below.

  • Use masking tape to delineate the area of the car fender you want to work on.
  • Gently apply the paint stripper to the affected area using a disposable cloth.
  • After ten minutes, use a plastic scraper to strip the paint off.
  • Repeat the process until you remove all house paint from your car fender
  • Clean off the paint stripper residue with whatever substance the manufacturer recommended. Otherwise, use mineral spirits or vinegar and water mix.
  • Use soapy water to wash the car fender and dry it with a damp microfiber cloth.
  • Apply the car polish on the car fender to improve the appearance of the original paint and protect the surface.

A paint stripper can remove even the toughest house paint stains on your car fender. However, using it might see you take on the added cost of repainting the area you applied it to. Supposing you still cannot remove the house paint from your car fender, it might be best to get professional help.


This guide has identified some methods for removing house paint from your car fender. It can be as easy as using soapy water, a solvent, or something more robust like a paint stripper. However, the best time to remove house paint from your car fender or any part of your car without damage to the car’s paint is right after the accident.

The type of house paint that gets onto your fender will determine the method you will take to remove it. You will find it easier to strip off water-based paint from the car fender than oil-based paint. Wet paint is also easier to remove than dry paint. So, whether it is water- or oil-based house paint on your fender, you should remove it immediately.