My partner and I recently purchased a house, and it looks like the previous owners did a quick paint job covering some edges of the fixtures in the bathroom.

What would be the easiest and safest way to clean the paint from the enamel?

  • I'm making the assumption that toilets and sinks are coated in enamel. – Terry Oct 26 '15 at 22:55
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    Is it latex or oil? – gbronner Oct 26 '15 at 23:07
  • @gbronner Is there a quick way for me to check? – Terry Oct 26 '15 at 23:07
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    Dump some boiling water on it. If it wrinkles it is latex. – gbronner Oct 27 '15 at 18:24
  • The paint is indeed latex. – Terry Oct 27 '15 at 23:50

If it was paint from the walls, I'll take a stab in the dark and guess that they used the cheapest possible latex paint to get the place ready to sell. Try scraping at it with a credit card, starting from the edge of the paint.

If it starts coming off, use the credit card to pick up a handful of cheap plastic putty knives and go at it. Most latex paints don't stick particularly well to enamel unless it's been pretty severely abraded, and cheap plastic putty knives won't damage it (metal will, or at very least leave marks).


The standard way is to use a nylon brush with some hot soapy water and scrub it off.

Apply masking tape on the wall to protect it, and score the paint with a razor. You may want to use a razor scraper as well, depending on how flat your fixtures are.

Alternatively, you could look into getting a steam gun, and using jets of steam to hit the paint on the fixtures.

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