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How to Remove Paint from a Suede Coat

Louise Harding

After the monetary investment of the purchase of a suede coat, discovering you’ve gotten paint on that coat can be a devastating experience. The best success for paint removal from suede occurs when the paint is still wet. Act immediately to remove it. Once the paint dries on a suede coat, it might be there forever.

If all of your attempts to remove the paint fail, always consult a professional dry cleaner to further treat your suede.

  1. Scrape as much paint as possible from the coat with a plastic knife. If this is an oil-based paint, water will not help remove it. Chemicals, such as turpentine, must be applied and turpentine will damage suede. Latex paint that has dried for more than eight hours is very hard to remove as well. Remove the paint and treat immediately for best results.

  2. Fill the sink with warm water and add liquid dish detergent creating suds.

  3. Scoop the soap suds onto the sponge with your hand and apply the soap suds to the paint area on the suede coat. Use a dry dishtowel to wipe the suds and paint from the suede coat.

  4. Apply a leather cleaner to the affected area, rubbing the leather cleaner into the paint stain with a dry dishtowel in a circular motion. Use the plastic brush attached to the top of the lid of the leather cleaner (if the leather cleaner has a brush attached) to comb through the suede and remove any paint ground into the suede. Allow the leather cleaner to dry.

  5. Use a dry dishtowel to fluff the pile of the suede, and use your fingers to separate any clumped suede. If your leather cleaner came with a plastic brush on the top of the lid, use this to comb through the dry suede.

  6. Take the coat to a professional dry cleaner if the paint is still present on your suede coat. Note that there are professional dry cleaners that won’t attempt to remove an oil-based paint stain from leather or suede. If you know that your coat has oil-based paint stain, it might not be possible to remove the stain.

  7. Tip

    Paints such as acrylic, tempera, watercolor, and latex are the easiest to remove. All paints are best removed the moment you notice it on your suede coat and while the paint is still wet.


    Do not use acetone or turpentine, or any other chemical on the suede because the chemicals will damage the suede and dissolve the dyes, if not the actual composition, of the suede on the coat.