Acetone to Clean Metal Before Painting: The Very Basics

Before you start painting on that metal piece of yours, you need to give it a proper cleaning. And what solvent would be better for this than acetone? Well, acetone is well known for its characteristic of being a good solvent.

So, how can you actually use acetone to clean metal before painting? Here I’ve talked about clean metal drip edge for painting in details.

Well, you can follow the 5-step guide to clean up metal in the simplest way possible and learn the basics as well. You’ll start by preparing the sponge, rubbing it on the metal, using water to clean the metal surface, and finish it off by letting it dry.

So, without waiting any further, let’s jump into it.

Why Use Acetone to Clean Metal Before Painting?

Acetone to Clean Metal Before Painting

For starters, acetone has a number of reasons behind its use. But these 3 reasons stand out the most:

Highly Effective

Many people use acetone in degreasing surfaces and removing stubborn stains due to its effectiveness. It is an amazing solvent and works everywhere.

Moreover, acetone provides great results every time it is used to clean household items.

Very Inexpensive

Acetone is one of those cleaning supplies that you can find pretty easily. A big reason behind this cleaning solvent being available in almost every household is its affordability.

Water Soluble and Safe

What we mean by water-soluble here is that acetone easily dissolves in water. But it is still toxic, thanks to it being a chemical substance.

But its toxicity is very low compared to other chemicals that are used for cleaning out there. It is far safer to use than lots of commercial cleaners in the market today.

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Here are some of our recommended acetone solutions in the market:

How to Use Acetone to Clean Metal Before Painting

How to Use Acetone to Clean Metal Before Painting

Now, we’ll go through how you can use acetone to clean up the metal before you start painting.

Step 1: Prepare Sponge

At first, you have to make sure that the sponge is ready for your use. Dip it in acetone and get it soaked.

Once this is done, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Rub the Spots with Acetone

Now, take the sponge and slowly rub it on the metal. Make sure it is in the direction of the grain.

For removing any residual paint, you’ll have to work on it for a while to get it off. Once you’re done here, jump on to the next one.

Step 3: Prepare Rag

After the acetone application is complete, it’s time to clean the whole metal surface with water. So, soak a rag with some clean water. Move on when done. Here I have talked details about how to clean rag at home in this article.

Step 4: Clean the Spot with Water

Now that the rag is soaked. You can use it to clean the whole metal surface. Rub it all over the surface and clean the spots where you rubbed acetone. 

Step 5: Let it Dry

Since the cleaning part is done, all that is left to do is letting the metal dry before you start painting on it. So, leave it out to dry.

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Those were all the 5 steps to cleaning metal with acetone. Next up, we have some cautionary tips for you.

Things to Keep in Mind

Here are some things you should keep in mind before you get to work:


Question: How do I remove paint stains with acetone?

Answer: To clean off paint spots with acetone, simply apply the chemical on a rag or any other applicator of your choice and use it to dab the stains. Once you are done with that, leave it that way for a few minutes before wiping the paint spots. Within this period, the acetone will work on the paint stains, dissolving them all. You can then wipe them away from the wall, window, or wherever you have them.

Question: How do I clean Super Glue and Sticker residue with acetone?

Answer: All you have to do is apply the solution on the surface where the glue is. Then you can watch it dissolve almost instantly. For caps that refuse to open due to adhesive, just put a little bit of the acetone solution around it. The solution will dissolve the glue entirely, making it very easy for you to open the container quickly.

Question: How can I degrease surfaces with acetone?

Answer: Acetone can break any type of grease, which makes it easier to clean. To make that happen, put some acetone on the place you want to clean and wait a couple of minutes. Then, wipe the surface with a clean cloth. 


That’s all we had on how to use acetone to clean metal before painting. We made this guide to help you out.

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And we hope that it served its purpose. These methods were tailored in a way that everyone can use.

Consider our recommendations and pick a method that matches your taste and helps you achieve what you want to achieve.

Moreover, we are always eager to hear back from you. So, some feedback would be truly amazing.

If you have any suggestions or if we simply missed something in our content, please let us know by leaving a comment. Until then, happy fixing.

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