How To Get Paint Off Of Leather Boots

How To Get Paint Off Of Leather Boots featured photo

As much as we want to keep our leather boots nice and squeaky clean, it is not possible unless you do not wear them at all. While dusty leather boots can be easily wiped with a cloth, removing paint is another story.

But, paint does not have to stay on your leather boots forever. You can remove paint on leather boots using several methods and you’d probably have the things needed in your home.

To get paint off of leather boots, you can use cooking/baby oil, rubbing alcohol, vaseline, nail polish remover, and even dish soap and water, but which one you use depends on the paint and your boot. 

But, as easy as it sounds, you just don’t want to go ahead and rub the product aggressively on your boots. This can lead to discoloration and can even damage your boots.

Having leather boots myself, I searched for the best way to remove paint safely. In this article, we will talk about the different methods you can use to remove paint from leather boots. We will also be discussing how the kind of paint can affect your choice of method for cleaning your boots.

So, if you want your paint-stained leather boots to look good as new, read until the end.

How To Get Paint Stains Off Leather Boots

How To Get Paint Stains Off Leather Boots

Leather is very durable but it is also delicate so taking off paint from leather boots can be quite hard. If you are not careful in taking out paint stains, the leather can peel off and the boots can be damaged, especially if you use the wrong products.

If possible, wipe the paint off while it is still wet so it is easy to take off. But, if the paint has already dried, you can use different methods to take the paint off leather boots. But, it will also depend on the type of paint that has stained your leather boots.

Types of Paint

Types of Paint

There are oil-based paint and water-based paint that can stain your leather boots. Water-based paints are easier to clean since the solvent is mainly water. Knowing what kind of paint you are trying to clean is important as paints have different chemical properties.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is actually one of the best paints to use if you want to paint your leather boots. But, removing dried acrylic paint is tougher as it is a fast-drying paint made of acrylic polymer emulsions. Acrylic paints are water-based but they contain chemicals that make them harder to remove.


Latex paints are also water-based and are easier to clean than oil-based paints. These are usually used to paint walls, ceilings, and doors.


As the name suggests, it is a natural or synthetic oil-based paint. Using only water won’t take the paint out as oil-based paints are not water-soluble.

What You’ll Need To Remove Paint From Leather Boots

What You’ll Need To Remove Paint From Leather Boots

There are several things you can use to take off paint from your leather boots and most of these you might already have in your home.

Here are the things you need to remove paint on your leather boots:

– Cooking oil (avoid dark-colored oil such as chili oil)

– Baby oil

– Vaseline

– Nail polish remover

-Rubbing alcohol

– Dish soap and water

– Clean rag or towel

– Cotton balls

– Dull butter knife (optional)

– Leather conditioner

– Leather wax

Cooking Oil

The cooking oil method can be used to remove acrylic and oil paint as it can rehydrate dried paint.

To use cooking oil:

  1. Put a small amount of cooking oil (e.g. olive oil) on a rag or towel, enough that the towel is damp.
  2. Dab the oiled cloth on the surface where the paint is and wait for a few minutes for the oil to hydrate and loosen up the paint.
  3. Using a dull butter knife, or your fingers, gently scrape the paint off, You can also use the same cloth to scrape away the paint.
  4. If the oil leaves a dark spot on your boots, gently wipe the boots with soap and water.

Baby Oil

Aside from cooking oil, you can also use baby oil to remove paint from leather boots. Follow the same steps as with the cooking oil, but replace it with baby oil.


Vaseline can also be used in removing acrylic and oil-based paint on leather boots. It works the same way as cooking or baby oil. but vaseline is more aggressive than the two. Vaseline can lead to discoloration if used too much.

To use vaseline:

  1. Dab a clean cloth into the vaseline. Be careful not to put too much product.
  2. Gently scrape away the paint with the cloth. Make sure to only scrape where the paint is.
  3. Repeat step 2 on other surfaces of the boot stained with paint.
  4. Using a clean cloth, wipe the vaseline off the boots.

Nail Polish Remover

Since nail polish has acetone as its ingredient, it is very abrasive but can be effective in removing acrylic and oil-based paint from leather boots.

To use nail polish remover:

  1. Pour a small amount of nail polish remover on a cotton ball.
  2. Dab the cotton ball damped with nail polish onto the dry paint and let it sit for a few seconds.
  3. With a new, clean cotton ball, gently wipe the paint off the surface.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another abrasive product but can also be used to remove acrylic and oil-based paint on leather boots.

To use alcohol, use the same steps as with the nail polish remover. Make sure to gently wipe the paint off to avoid discoloration and damage to the leather boots.

Dish Soap And Water

If you have latex paint stain on your boots, this is the best method to use. This can also work with oil-based paints but it might take a while to scrape the paint off, especially when the paint has already dried.

To use soap and water:

  1. Mix dish soap and water in a bowl or basin.
  2. Damp a clean cloth with the soap and water mixture.
  3. Gently wipe the paint off the boots.
  4. After wiping off the paint, use a new cloth and wet it with clean water only.
  5. Wipe the cloth on the surface where the paint was.
  6. Let your boots dry.

Final Touches On Your Leather Boots

Since you are removing the paint with abrasive solutions, it is good to wash your boots to remove traces of the chemicals that were used. After cleaning your leather boots in the method you prefer, you can use soap and water to clean your boots and then let them dry. 

After cleaning your boots, use a leather conditioner or leather wax to keep your boots in good condition.

If you polish and clean your leather boots regularly, you can keep them looking good as new every time.

Final Thoughts

Products like cooking oil/baby oil, nail polish remover, alcohol, vaseline, dish soap, and water can be used to remove paint from leather boots.

While these products can be aggressive and cause discoloration on leather boots, using as little product as possible can prevent it from happening. Wiping and scraping the paint gently will also help keep your leather boots in good condition.

It is not possible to keep our leather boots clean all the time, but with regular cleaning and polishing, you can be sure to keep your boots looking good as new.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know!