How to Remove Road Line Paint From Your Car

DIY Suggestions to Try at Your Own Risk

Road Stripe
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It's happened to almost all of us. We're driving along, and all of a sudden realize that we've just navigated our vehicle over fresh road paint. Now that bright yellow stuff is splattered not just underneath the car but also up and along the side.

Is it possible to remove the paint yourself, or are you doomed to paying a professional to handle it, which could entail the expense of sanding and repainting?

DIY at Your Own Risk

This is a tough thing to do, removing one layer of paint without damaging the layer underneath. If the paint is still slightly soft, it's easier than if it's already dried and hardened. While a professional detailer or body shop is the ideal way to go, there are a few things you can try at home, at your own risk. No matter what method you use, it's going to take a lot of patience and care to remove that paint.  

Peel It Off

The good news is that most road paint is latex-based, so if the coating on your car is fairly heavy, you can very carefully try to get under an edge using a razor blade and see if you can peel it off in layers. Road paint does not stick very well to an enamel-based paint, and if you have enough "bite," it should peel off easily without damaging your car's finish. Go to an automotive parts store and buy some plastic razor blades, which will minimize any possible damage to your car's paint. You can use a hair dryer to soften up the road paint somewhat, but be careful as it might also soften the paint on your vehicle, too.


Another thing to try is a product called SofScrub (or one with a similar formulation). Not to be confused with Soft Scrub, SofScrub is a concentrated, deep-action cream cleanser that usually removes the most stubborn greasy stains and is often effective on paint as well. It also rinses off easily and doesn't leave a residue. Place a small amount of SofScrub on a non-scratch scrub sponge like the ones made by Scotch-Brite, which you've dipped in hot water (hot water works better than cold) and squeezed out, then very carefully begin to work the SofScrub into the paint. It's best to do this first on an inconspicuous spot, like the paint on the underside of your hood, to see if it works without damaging your finish.  

Rubbing Compound

Since most road paint is latex-based, finding a chemical that will remove the latex and not your vehicle's finish might do the trick. A good one to try is a product called Rubbing Compound, which is made by Turtle Wax. Again, testing first on a hidden spot, work it into the paint until it starts to come off. You can also try a good old-fashioned latex paint remover.

What Not to Use

Stay away from mineral spirits and any solvents, like lacquer thinner. They are likely to either stain or strip the finish.

If you succeed in removing the road paint, finish the job with a thorough washing and a good coat of wax.