How To Remove Paint From Windows Quick And Easy: 3 DIY Steps To Remove Paint From Glass

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I spent this past weekend painting our foyer — including the muntins around the window panes on the sidelights and the transom window overhead. All that remained was the cleanup.

If you’re like me, you don’t bother to tape off your window panes prior to painting the muntins and sash.

In my opinion, it’s easier and quicker to remove paint from windows with a glass scraper

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or wallpaper shaver
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after the paint has dried.

I’m really not a sloppy painter by any means, but when painting windows I like to let loose for a change.

Here’s my best advice for how to remove paint from glass windows — plus a few great tips to remember when you’re ready to remove the paint from the window panes.


#1 – Gather Your Supplies

Here’s what you’ll need to remove paint from windows:

  • Spray bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Clean, soft cotton cloth
  • Utility knife
  • Glass scraper or wallpaper shaver
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  • Window cleaner
  • Newspaper or clean cloth/paper towels
  • Canvas drop cloth

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#2 – Remove Paint From Windows

These are the steps I used to quickly remove paint from all the glass windows in my home:

  1. Spread out your drop cloth where you’ll be working.
  2. Put some warm water in the kitchen sink (or a bucket).
  3. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of dish soap to the water.
    soapy bucket
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    TIP: Stir it around a little, but don’t make it all bubbly. You want the benefit of the slippery dish soap without all of the bubbles getting in your way. It doesn’t really matter which brand of dish soap you use.
  4. Fill your spray bottle (or dip your cloth in the bucket).
  5. Apply your homemade solution liberally to the window — using either method.
  6. Use the utility knife to score the perimeter of your window pane — being careful not to dig into the wood. 
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    IMPORTANT: You want to use very light pressure, so you don’t scratch the window. Easy does it! I suggest this step because the paint comes away in a straight clean line without any jagged edges of pulling the paint off the pane.
  7. Hold your glass scraper (or wallpaper shaver) at a 30- to 45-degree angle and scrape all of the paint off the glass. Scrape with a slow & steady motion, so you accidentally nick the window pane.
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    TIP: Keep a clean edge on your scraper — so it doesn’t scratch the window. If you hold your scraper at a 90-degree angle (like most people do at first), you’ll notice that it’s also harder to scrape that way.
  8. Dry the window, and the woodwork & trim that’s around it.

That’s all there is to it!


#3 – Clean Everything Up

Clean up the windows with the window cleaner.
Then wipe the windows dry with newspaper or cloth. I prefer newspaper because it doesn’t leave any lint on the glass and leaves the windows streak-free.

I finished 15 small window panes in about 15 minutes or so — from start to finish. It’s that quick and easy!

In case you’re wondering, I used a Hyde brand wallpaper shaver that I had in my tool chest rather than a glass scraper. It works just as well as a mini glass scraper — if not better — because it doesn’t have a razor-sharp edge like a glass scraper.

Also, when you try to remove paint from glass, there’s less chance of scratching your windows if you use a wallpaper shaver. (It’s a serious multi-tasking tool!) Don’t get me wrong — it’s plenty sharp, just not razor sharp — which I believe to be advantageous when removing paint from glass windows.

If you follow these 3 easy tips the next time you need to remove paint from windows in your home, you’ll be surprised how much more time & energy you have for other DIY projects around the house!


More Tips To Help You Remove Paint From Glass

In addition the ideas I’ve shared from my own personal painting experiences, I also found some other great tips for removing paint from glass that you might find helpful:
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I started as a home-stalker... visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects -- chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.

2 thoughts on “How To Remove Paint From Windows Quick And Easy: 3 DIY Steps To Remove Paint From Glass

  1. I have no idea what wallpaper shaver is. I used to remove paint from windows by using glass scraper and yes, big chance of scratching the glass.

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