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Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 27, 2021 05:37PM
Just ugh. I have a set of custom-made curtains, where I had apparently dripped some paint onto and not noticed it at the time ... looking up to see what the curtains are made of, it says polyester and that they can be cleaned by regular cycle in a washing machine, followed by tumble dry low in the dryer or gentle ironing.

I've scraped off / removed most of the paint drip from the front of the curtain, so it's really not visible any more, but the problem is that the paint apparently got into a middle layer of the curtain, such that if the curtains are backlit (which they will be in use), the drip is very obvious.

So far, what I've tried using, none of which have worked (but amazingly, none of which have damaged the fabric or caused fading of the color):

1) Dish soap
2) Rubbing alcohol
3) Acetone
4) Paint thinner
5) Goo Gone Painter's Pal

plus gentle scrubbing and putting it through a wash in the washing machine.

... is this a lost cause? I could buy a new set, but because these were custom-made, they weren't cheap and it also took a long time to get them.

TiA




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 27, 2021 06:39PM
What kind of paint... oil, acrylic, latex? The fact that you were able to scrape it off sounds like latex.

. Insert appropriate warning: test for color fastness and resistance to damage by applied chemicals. Some chemicals might only show damage after an extended time.

There is a chance sealing the stain in an environment for several hours might work, like tie-dye but with paint solvent/remover and covered with aluminum foil or a chemical resistant plastic bag (edit 2: it could also end up being an exercise in the process of chromatography). Acetone is pretty serious stuff, my next choice in that family would be anhydrous ethanol (edit: aka shellac thinner).



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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/27/2021 06:45PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: rgG
Date: May 27, 2021 07:06PM
If it is dried latex paint, I don’t think it is coming out.
It is most likely that the paint has filled in the “pores” of the middle section of the curtains, so you are in essence seeing a shadow when it is backlit.
Ask me about how many clothes I have that have dried latex paint on them.
You could actually try taking a needle and picking as much as you can out of the weave, which might help it look a little less obvious, because it should let more light through. I doubt it will ever be invisible when backlit. sad smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 27, 2021 07:39PM
Yep, it's latex... and I think what rgG has said is unfortunately correct. I'm just a bit surprised that the latex can't dissolve with extended time/immersion in a solvent (I've tried letting it soak overnight, but some of the solvents evaporate rather quickly).




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: rgG
Date: May 27, 2021 08:08PM
Quote
PeterB
Yep, it's latex... and I think what rgG has said is unfortunately correct. I'm just a bit surprised that the latex can't dissolve with extended time/immersion in a solvent (I've tried letting it soak overnight, but some of the solvents evaporate rather quickly).

Yeah, I hear you but it doesn’t seem to work. sad smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 27, 2021 09:11PM
Unfortunately there are few usable solvents for cured latex paint. Like rgG I have had much experience with latex in clothing from painting over the years. If you can catch it before the paint dries and cures, then you usually can rinse it out with water.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/27/2021 09:14PM by JoeH.
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Re: Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: Diana
Date: May 28, 2021 01:39AM
I have stripped latex paint off from painted surfaces using hand sanitizer with 70% (or more) ethanol. You can cover it with plastic wrap to keep it from evaporating, letting it sit for however long you have patience. It slowly dissolves the paint and causes it to loosen. I have no experience with it on fabric, however. It may have the unfortunate effect of spreading it so YMMV.

Diana
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Re: Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: rgG
Date: May 28, 2021 07:03AM
Alcohol is a solvent for latex paint. You could give it a try, but as Diana says, I don’t know if it would remove it cleanly or just spread it thinner.
If you have an old rag, or some material similar to your curtain would be best, with some dried latex paint on it, you could give it a test. If I was home now, I would do it for you, but I am out of town for a few days.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2021 07:06AM by rgG.
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Re: Removing an old paint stain from polyester
Posted by: neophyte
Date: May 28, 2021 03:09PM
As you know, latex paint polymerizes (a chemical reaction) as it dries, forming long chain-like structures which adhere to the surface they are applied to. Solvents are unlikely to un-polymerize the latex into its original monomer molecules, but may be able to loosen the attachment to the surface. Hence, soaking in a solvent, then applying the pin poking method is probably the best you can do to dislodge the paint.
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