How To Get Nail Polish Off Walls Without Removing Paint

Removing nail polish from walls can be a tricky task, especially if you want to avoid damaging the paint. Wall paint is delicate. Even a tiny scratch can rip off the paint of a particular area, leaving a big, ugly scar on the wall. Besides, repainting the whole wall because of a nail paint stain is time-consuming and not worth the effort. That is why we will provide some methods and tactics for removing nail polish from the wall without damaging the paint or the wallpaper. And you’ll need some particular ingredients paired with some skills to accomplish a damage-free result. Let’s have a look at them. 

How do you get dried nail polish off the wall?

There are a few different methods you can try to remove nail polish from walls without removing the paint. Here are some methods you can try:

  • Treat with Isopropyl Alcohol: Rubbing alcohol is a gentle solution that can help remove nail polish from walls. Dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently rub the nail polish stain. The alcohol will break down the nail polish, making it easier to remove.
  • Borax powder: It is also known as sodium borate powder, and is often used as an extremely effective method. Similar to the soap and water method, you’ll need to create a mixture that contains one liter of water, half a teaspoon of ammonia, and one ounce of borax. Gently apply to the stained area, and watch it disappear for good.
  • Use a Safety Razor Blade: If rubbing alcohol or clear nail polish does not cut through the dried nail polish, you can attempt to remove the stain with a safety razor blade. Gently slice away the layers of nail polish. Keep the blade flat against the wall surface and work very slowly.
  • Hairspray: Hairspray contains alcohol, which will help break down the nail polish. Spray some hairspray directly onto the nail polish stain and let it sit for a few seconds. Then, use a clean cloth to gently wipe away the stain.
  • Baking soda paste: Mix some baking soda with a little bit of water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a damp cloth to gently rub away the stain.
  • Acetone: Acetone is a strong solvent that will break down the nail polish, but it can also damage some types of paint, so be sure to test it first. Dampen a cotton ball or swab with acetone and gently rub the stain.
  • Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover: Non-acetone nail polish remover is a gentle solution that is less likely to damage the paint on your walls. Dip a cotton ball or swab into the nail polish remover and gently rub the stained area until the polish comes off. Be sure to rinse the area with water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.

What makes nail polish hard to remove?

The problem is that the nitrocellulose polymer in nail polish forms a film when the solvent evaporates out of it. The same stabilizers and plasticizers that keep the color bright and keep the polish from cracking on your nails are the ones that make it hard to remove from a wall. We need to either break those chemicals down are scrape them off, all without damaging the wall. There are a couple of methods that you can try to remove nail polish from any type of wall while keeping the wall paint in good condition.

Can you use nail polish remover to get nail polish off walls?

Nail polish remover can come in handy for removing nail polish from your nails. However, it is not suitable for use on walls. The acetone in the nail polish remover will remove both the nail polish and the wall paint. So, if you want to preserve your wall paint or wallpaper intact, using nail polish remover is not a safe option.

Which is hardest to remove, wet or dry nail polish?

The more you wait to clean the nail polish, the harder it gets to remove. If you start cleaning the nail polish as soon as it spills on the wall, it will do less damage, and with minimal effort, you can remove it. On the other hand, if the nail polish sits on the wall for a longer period and gets completely dry, then you will have to put in more effort to ensure a damage-free removal. Yet there is a possibility that you might not be able to save the wall paint from damage. So, take the initiative as quickly as possible to reduce the risk.


When it comes to cleaning walls with nail polish, it’s important to act fast. Most of the time fresh nail polish spills can be removed with soap and water. Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to be gentle and take your time to avoid damaging the paint on your walls. Remember to always test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area first before applying it to the stain on the wall. If the stain is particularly stubborn or you’re concerned about damaging the paint, it may be best to call in a professional cleaner.

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