How To Remove Road Paint From Your Car

The Department of Transportation re-paints pavement markings annually. This can unintentionally be transferred to your car's surface as you drive through wet road paint. Do not worry! We researched how you can remove road paint from your car and here is what you need to do:

To remove the road paint from your car, wash it with a pressure car wash or pressure hose. If this is not enough, allow the paint to dry and soak it with WD-40 before washing again. 

To make sure you understand how to do this, we will thoroughly discuss what method you should do depending on how long the paint is stuck on your car, as well as the other things you might need to know regarding this topic. If you want to know about them, keep on reading. 

Mercedez-Benz GLC 300 Coupe 4Matic 2022 matte grey, How To Remove Road Paint From Your Car

Removing Road Paint From Your Car

Some of the tricks that were stated above might not work because it might have been a while since the paint got on your car. If that is so, the coat has already hardened and might require more than one method for removal, taking several hours. So you must act fast since the longer it dries, the harder and bonded it will become.

Parking Lot Stripe Painting on New Asphalt

If you are not sure when it got there, you can try the following ways to remove the paint without damaging your vehicle. Here is a procedure on the steps you should follow:

Step 1

Wash your car. If the paint is still fresh and was immediately seen, you can use a pressure washer or a pressure hose. However, there few points you should remember when doing this:

  • The pressure of the water is strong enough to damage the car's surface if it is too close, especially if you are targeting a chipped area. 
  • The water's direction should be angled from the top going downwards. 
  • You might spread the paint out if you direct water too near the car. Keep a safe distance. Not too far and not too close.

Step 2

Apply products that can soften the paint. You can use WD-40, an effective blend of unique lubricants that is safe to use on your car's interior and exterior. All you have to do is to spray an adequate amount of the product on the affected area. Leave it soaked for one to two hours.

During this time, the road paint will loosen. Wipe it clean with a clean cloth or towel. However, remember to not scrub the car surface with strong-bristled brushes, a solvent, or a scouring cleanser. Instead, use a rag or a microfiber cloth to make sure you will not cause any scratches.

What is a good substitute for WD-40?

WD-40 Oil

If you do not have a WD-40 product, you can use the following alternatives. These are not the perfect replicas of WD-40 but will also do the job. One option is oil-based products like sunflower or olive oil. You can even use it to remove paint from your skin.

All you need to do is to coat or cover the area where the paint is and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe it off wide on a dry rag before washing it with soap and water. 

Another effective way to remove road paint that has been on your car for a few days is to use petroleum jelly. What you should do is to get a lot of the product and apply it on and around the dried paint.

To make sure it will dissolve or soften, leave the coating there overnight or for 8 to 12 hours. After that, take it to a hot temperature pressure car wash. If you have to, you can repeat this process.

Check out this petroleum jelly on Amazon.

In instances that these means are not available to you, you can opt for the other simpler tricks that might also work. You might already have this at your house. If not, they are easy to buy online or at your local stores. Here are the following alternatives that you can do:

Use a car soap to wash the area. 

Take a look at this car soap on Amazon.

Oven cleaner: If you are going to use this, make sure to wash off the product with clean water before it completely dries out.

Check out this oven cleaner on Amazon.

Baby wipes: the chemicals that are present in wet wipes are not too harsh and can be used to wipe off the paint. However, if it is a disinfectant wipe, be extra careful and read the product label first to point out if there are any harmful ingredients to your car.

Check out these baby wipes on Amazon.

Step 3

After washing and applying remover products of your choice, apply a layer of car wax for after-care. Especially on the spot that you treated or the area where you removed road paint. 

Want to learn more about getting the road paint off your car? Read this: "How To Get Road Paint Off Of A Car."

Will WD-40 Hurt Car Paint?

No, WD-40 will not hurt your car paint. It is due to the oil-based products (petroleum distillates and paraffin) that are present on it. These are often associated with car waxes that make our car shiny so using them to remove the road paint is fine.

Does Acetone Remove Road Paint?

A bottle of acetone - two paintbrushes and gloves

Yes, acetone can remove road paint since it can act as a solvent for oil-based paints, enamel, and acrylic. But be careful, acetone is highly flammable so avoid applying it under the sunlight.

On another note, if you are going to use this, make sure to wear protective gloves and eyeglasses since it has health effects on people if inhaled or exposed to the skin or eyes. Here are some of the irritations that you may experience during prolonged exposure:

  • Nose and throat irritation. Symptoms: headache, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, and confusion.
  • Mild skin irritation: acetone can be absorbed by the skin.
  • Moderate to severe eye irritation. Symptoms: tearing, soreness, and red eyes. 

If you happen to experience any of these symptoms, the first thing you should do to make sure that you are alright is to contact the poison center or a doctor nearby. However, you can also do these first aid measures while waiting:

  • In case of inhalation, take the person who inhaled it outside for fresh air. 
  • If skin contact happened, take off all the items that the victim is wearing. Place the exposed skin under flowing, clean, and warm water for more or less than 5 minutes. Do not wear the same clothes again unless it is thoroughly cleaned. 
  • For eye contact, open the eyelid and keep it open. Place it under gently running, clean water for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • If ingested, rinse the mouth with clean water and spit it out. Do not swallow.

Trying to remove paint from plastic car parts? Learn more here: "How To Remove Paint From Plastic Car Parts."

What Are The Types Of Road Paint

asphalt road with two dividing lanes

Before you remove any road paint on your car, you should know first what types of paint are being used so you can decide the method you will do on getting it off. But unlike other's people's ideas, choosing the paint to mark the pavements are not as simple.

Here are the factors that affect it:

  • The environmental condition of the place: Paints that will be used will depend on the environment where they are used. 
  • Location of the road: A road paint on highways where there is heavy traffic will differ from that in the parking lots. 
  • State and national regulations: The restrictions and requirements are different between countries and states. It is important to know them to avoid violations. 

Now that you are aware of the conditions that are being considered, here are the commonly used types of paint applied on roads. 

  • Water-based paint
  • Solvent-based paint
  • Two-component paint
  • Low VOC solvent-based paint
  • Bio-renewable paint


Mercedez-Benz GLC 300 Coupe 4Matic 2022 matte grey

Road paints can be removed from your car in different methods. You can use a pressure washer, WD-40, Vaseline petroleum jelly, car soap, oven cleaner, baby wipes, or acetone. Just wipe them off with a clean cloth if a pressure hose and clean water are not available at the moment.

It is best to take action as soon as you saw the road paint on your car. The longer time you wait, the harder it will be for you to remove it since it will harden as it dries. 

However, make sure to take precautionary measures since these items consist of chemical ingredients that are harmful to our health once inhaled or got contact with any parts of our body. 

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