Painting can be a messy proposition even for those attempting the home improvement with the best of intentions, but there are a few sound tips for removing paint from light fixtures that can make cleanup quicker and less stressful for those that paint outside of the lines.
Whether a light fixture is made of plastic that can be removed or of a metal that cannot be displaced, there are several ways available to remove unsightly paint spots while protecting the aesthetic integrity of the light fixture. The main keys to removing paint from light fixtures is to take your time, apply pressure to the painted area in a gentle manner and never use caustic chemicals on what are usually delicate fixtures that can be damaged easily.
One of the major problems that become apparent quickly when attempting to remove paint from light fixtures is that the paint may be actually baked on due to the excessive heat generated by a light bulb. This is especially problematic in older metal light fixtures that are attached to ceilings and may have had paint on them for 30 years or longer.
In this instance to remove paint from the light fixture the paint spot should be gently scored using the sharp tip of a knife and then mineral oil should be placed liberally onto the painted area using a cotton ball. After repeating this step several times throughout the day, by evening you should be able to remove paint from the light fixture by simply rubbing the area with a clean cloth. For light fixtures that have a heavy coat of paint on them it may be necessary to repeat this process several times over a few days, but it will work without damaging the light fixture.
Removing paint from light fixtures that are made of plastic is much faster and easier, and can usually be accomplished in a fraction of the time necessary for paint removal from metal fixtures. Using a knife tip or even a sharp fingernail the paint on plastic light fixtures can often simply be scraped from the surface in a matter of seconds or in the case of freshly applied paint a damp rag will do the trick.
If any type of moisture is used to clean a light fixture make certain that the switch is in the “off” position, or better yet, that the circuit breaker is turned off to prevent electrical shock.