How to Remove Paint Spatters From Lighting Fixtures

Lisa East Hunter

So you painted a room in your home and you thought you had everything perfectly taped and covered with newspapers. Then you go back to look at your work, and you realize that paint splatters are stuck to your light fixtures. You don't need to replace the light fixture.

Steel wool

Using the right tools will have it shining like new.

  1. Turn the light off. Heat will cause the paint stripper to react differently. If you need light to work by, move a lamp into the room or work during the day.

  2. Apply a generous amount of paint stripper to the splatters using a paint brush. Don't use a good-quality brush. The brush will be ruined by the paint stripper and will have to be thrown out after this project. Place a sheet of tin foil around the paint stripper to keep it from drying too quickly. This speeds up the chemical process.

  3. Allow the paint stripper to soften the splatters. Test to see if the stripper has done its job by scraping the paint splatters with a scraper. If the paint begins to come off then the chemicals are working.

  4. Rub the splatters in a circular motion using extra-fine steel wool. The scraper can be used on flat surfaces but can be difficult to handle properly over curved edges and detail work. Use the steel wool on rounded areas.

  5. Use a toothbrush coated with more paint stripper to get into tiny crevices.

  6. Use a damp cloth to remove all traces of the paint stripper from your light fixture.


If the paint stripper doesn't work the first time, be patient. Apply more chemicals and wait for the process to start working. Apply paint stripper directly to a toothbrush or the steel wool to work on really stubborn spots.


Wear rubber gloves when working with chemical paint strippers.

Wear safety glasses to avoid getting paint-stripper splatters in your eyes.