How to Get Paint OFF of Cowboy Boots?

Cowboy boots are among the most well-invested footwear for intense jobs, thus it’s simple to obtain some unpleasant stains or paints on your boots while you’re at work. 

These paint stains differ greatly from mud stains, and water stains, because their chemical makeup is highly complicated, cleaning them thoroughly, will never be as simple as a piece of cake. But don’t worry, we are here to help you through the process. 

There are plenty of ways through which you can get rid of paint on your cowboy boots. To clean your boots without damaging them, you only need to know what sort of paint stained them and what solutions are appropriate to use on your footwear. Otherwise, you risk destroying your expensive footwear.

​How to Get Paint OFF of Cowboy Boots

Paint is one of the most aggravating and nasty chemicals to get on your clothes and shoes, especially your leather cowboy boots. 

Although the stain may appear permanent at first, there are several options for swiftly clearing the damage and recovering the material. 

Because leather shoes are so sensitive, cleaning paint from them needs extra care. 

Types of paint and ways to remove them

1.) Water based paints- Water-based paint, unlike oil-based paint, is mostly made of water rather than a chemical solvent. It has a greater color proportion in the composition. 

Water-based spray paint does not stick to surfaces very well. They immediately dry down after being absorbed into the leather, and if the leather becomes wet, you can simply remove spray paint off the leather surface

Nothing will be left on the surface of the leather cowboy boots if the stain is treated quickly. 

2.) Oil based paints- To treat and remove oil-based paint stains, a range of chemicals are needed. They are also persistent stains that are more difficult to remove than water-based paints. 

Because these paints include oils, when they penetrate the leather cowboy boots, the oil carrying the color can be sucked down, enabling the stain to root deeper. 

Even if you wash the stains as soon as they hit the leather surface, certain traces of color will remain on the leather surface.

We, on the other hand, are here to help you remove that tenacious paint from your leather shoes and boots. You may quickly restore your shoes to their former splendour. 

Ways to remove paint from your cowboy boots

There are several methods for removing paint off leather: 

1.) Cooking oil or baby oil


• Dip a cotton swab or a rag into some oil. 

• Dab the paint lightly with the oil. 

• Allow the oil to sit on the paint for a few minutes to penetrate, hydrate, and loosen it. 

• After the oil has had time to absorb, gently take off the paint with your fingernail or a dull butter knife. 

• You may need to repeat this process several times to remove all of the paint. 

• If the oil leaves a dark stain on the leather, carefully wash and shine the boot with soap and water.

See also: Will Baby Oil Soften Leather Boots?

2.) Vaseline- It operates in the same manner that oil does. The vaseline moistens the paint, causing it to peel away. 


• Apply petroleum jelly on the paint. 

• Allow the petroleum jelly to absorb for a few minutes. 

• Remove the paint with your fingernail or a dull butter knife. 

• Get rid of excess vaseline by wiping it off and then washing the area with soap and water 

• Finally, polish the boots.

See also: Can Vaseline be used to Protect Leather Work Boots?

3.) Vinegar- It’s a big win for vinegar because it has the inherent ability to act as a cleaning agent. 


• Remove any dry paint stains or grime from your leather boots using a moist soft cloth. 

• In a bowl, combine warm water and vinegar, and then apply it to the stained leather with clean cotton balls. Vinegar does wonderfully for softening dried paint.

4.) Nail paint remover- Nail paint remover is excellent for eliminating a variety of substances. It can, however, be harmful too. You’ll want to use the least amount of nail paint remover possible. 


• Dip a cotton swab into the nail polish remover. 

• Dab the polish remover gently onto the paint. 

• Continue dabbing until the paint starts to run off onto the cloth or cotton swab. 

• You may also gently wipe the paint away, but make sure not to rub it. 

• Nail polish remover may remove the dye from some leather shoes, so polish the shoe after removing all of the paint.

5.) Rubbing alcoholRubbing alcohol works similarly to nail polish remover, except it is gentler on leather and is less likely to remove color. 

However, alcohol will dry out the leather, so applying a leather conditioner after removing the paint, is critical to keeping your shoes looking excellent. 


• Soak a cotton swab in alcohol. 

• Gently dab onto the paint. 

• Wipe away the paint gently. 

• Apply leather conditioner to the leather.

6.) Soap, water, and a gentle brush- Paint can be removed with soap and water, especially if the paint is water based and is not totally dry.


• To make a lather, dip a towel in warm water and knead it into the soap. 

• Dab the warm water and soap lather onto the paint of the shoe. 

• You may also gently press the soapy cloth on the paint for a few seconds. The idea is to get enough moisture in there to loosen the paint. 

• Gently stroke your soft bristles brush across the paint. Using a circular motion will work the paint into the leather rather than removing it. 

• Continue dabbing and swiping until all of the paint has been removed. 

• Allow the shoe to dry completely. 

• Apply leather conditioner to the leather.


Can leather conditioners help in getting rid of paint? 

When it comes to removing paint off leather boots, conditioner can be used instead of detergent. Conditioner, by creating a protective layer, is also the greatest method to keep your boots looking beautiful.

However, its efficiency is inferior to that of other approaches, and it is not advised because it is less adaptable. 

Conditioning leather boots with conditioner will make them softer and simpler to clean, but it will also leave a somewhat greasy residue that will cause the leather to stiffen quickly.

What to do if the paint has dried off on your cowboy boots? 

If you believe that washing off dry spray paint on leather cowboy boots was any different than cleaning off conventional liquid paint, you were mistaken. 

Steps to remove dried paint from boots- 

• Grab a dull knife and carefully scrape the dried paint coat from the surface of your boots. 

• Try eliminating most of it, and once you’re done, scrub the discolored area with soapy water and a toothbrush to dislodge the paint residue. 

• Using a towel, clean the afflicted area. 

• Now massage in some olive oil or vaseline. 

• Finally, you can use a toothbrush to scrub off the remaining stuff. 

What if strong substances like alcohol damage the color of your cowboy boots? 

The boots will not look good after rubbing abrasive agents like acetone or alcohol on the leather. This is due to the fact that these chemicals might degrade the leather and hamper the color of the upper surface. 

Steps to save your boots- 

• Check that the boots are dry and that all of the paint has been removed. 

• To ensure that the boots are fully clean, wash them. 

• Allow the boots to dry for as long as they require. 

• Apply a little coating of leather conditioner to the work boots with a clean cloth. 

• The leather conditioner should be massaged into the boots. 

• Allow the conditioner to penetrate the leather for a few minutes. 

• Remove any extra conditioner from the boots with another clean towel.

• Buff the boots with a brush and you’re done. 


Getting paint on your leather shoes may be a nightmare. Hopefully, this article will help you get rid of paint stains on your cowboy leather boots, without causing damage to your footwear. 

While water-based paint stains are easily removed, oil-based paint stains may not be totally removed. They are nevertheless capable of leaving permanent pale streaks. 

Remember to prepare your new leather shoes before using them, it will make cleaning paint and other minor messes much easier.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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