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DIY project: Best way to clean paint drips and splatters from vinyl siding

Here are some options for removing paint accidents from vinyl siding after staining your deck or porch.
Here are some options for removing paint accidents from vinyl siding after staining your deck or porch.
Beth McIntire

Whether you paid someone to stain your porch or deck or saved money by doing it yourself, you'll probably have some paint drips and splatters that didn't get wiped off when they were wet. Once paint drips dry on your vinyl siding, they will no longer wipe off easily.

I did some online research and decided to try a few different suggestions for cleaning the paint drips and splatters. I found that anything you use to scrub paint accidents off your vinyl siding will take a lot of effort. Ideally, of course, you want to clean up drips immediately, but sometimes that's not possible or you don't see them until it's too late.

OxiClean spray
OxiClean spray Beth McIntire

OxiClean spray

I use OxiClean spray as a staple laundry product for stain pre-treatment. However, since OxiClean can also serve as a household cleaning product, I tried it for my paint splatters. After spraying it on and waiting about 15 minutes, I returned and scrubbed the drips with a Scotch-Brite scrubber sponge.

I had to put significant muscle behind the scrubbing and use my finger nail to scrape some of the more stubborn, large drips, but I did manage to remove enough of the pain drips to make them unnoticeable. OxiClean spray costs about $3 to $4, and you should have no trouble finding it at Walmart and most grocery stores.

Bar Keepers Friend
Bar Keepers Friend Beth McIntire

Bar Keepers Friend

Some painters and handymen swear by Bar Keepers Friend for removing paint drips. I made a paste of Bar Keepers Friend with water and used a Scotch-Brite scrubber sponge again, dampened. I worked on a more thoroughly stained area this time, and the Bar Keepers Friend paste took a whole lot of work to remove any paint. This was true even when I tried it on some smaller drips that I found elsewhere.

Bar Keepers Friend also removed some of the new paint from my deck where I accidentally rubbed against the deck boards while scrubbing. The paste did eventually remove most of the paint from my vinyl siding where I applied it, and probably would have removed more had I not run out of steam from scrubbing so hard. Bar Keepers Friend costs only a buck or two, and you can find it at many grocers and discount stores like Walmart.

Goof Off
Goof Off Beth McIntire

Goof Off

Another oft-mentioned product for removing paint drips is Goof Off spray, so I bought a bottle at Lowes for around $7. Unfortunately, the spray provided no help at all in removing paint drips from my vinyl siding. To be fair, nothing in the bottle's instructions indicate that Goof Off removes paint drips. I went by suggestions from online posters for whom the product apparently worked.

I followed the product instructions to spray on, wait a few minutes, then wipe off with a soft cloth. I tried with a dry cloth, as suggested on the bottle, and then a wet cloth. Neither did much of anything, and Goof Off has such an objectionable smell that I couldn't wait to wipe down the siding with water and give up.

Though it did not provide any assistance for me in removing paint drips and splatters from my siding, Goof Off did a fantastic job removing a few paint accidents from my sliding glass door, both on the glass and metal parts. When I say it worked well, I mean I sprayed it on, waited a couple of minutes, then wiped it off, with little effort on my part. Almost all the beige paint came off in several areas, with just a wipe of a dry cloth. Goof Off was worth the $7 just to remove the paint from the sliding glass door.