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Out, Damn Spot! (Getting Paint Off Windows.)

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You paint your house to improve its appearance...only to discover that droplets of splashed paint are now splattered on your windows, making it feel like your house's appeal has gone backwards rather than forwards.  Here's some help for getting those notoriously stubborn paint spots off:

Take Cover

When it comes to windows, the expression, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" definitely rings true.  Before starting your next paint job, prepare by applying masking tape around the edges of any windows that are adjacent to the surface being painted.  Because paint sprayers are more difficult to control, if you will be using one consider covering the entire pane with plastic sheeting to prevent "overspray."  

Keep a rag handy while you're working to mop up any small splashes before they have a chance to dry.  But don't actually wash your windows before painting--that extra layer of dirt and dust will make it harder for stray paint to adhere and hence make it easier to remove later.

Stay Sharp

Once paint has dried, it's nearly impossible to remove using conventional window-wiping techniques.  Instead, your best bet is to use a razor to gently scrape the spot away.  Fresh spots should lift away as a single sheet, while older dried-out spots will likely break apart into individual flecks.

To reduce the risk of scratching the window itself, rinse the window with a solution of soapy water first.  This liquid lubricates things, making it easier for the razor to slide without damaging the surface.  Holding the razor at a 45-degree angle will also help minimize the likelihood that the razor will scratch the window or break.  If the razor starts to make a rough, scratchy, sound, it has likely become dull and should be replaced, as you will have greater success (and be less likely to injure yourself) using a new blade.  

Before using a razor on your window, consider testing it on a less conspicuous area of the glass, such as a lower corner.  Some glasses have special treatments (such as high-tech films to reduce UV penetration) that can be damaged by sharp tools.  If you are unsure how to proceed, consider contacting a professional window cleaning service.

Solve It With Solvents

While a bottle of ammonia-based window cleaner will likely do little to help in the battle against paint spots, there are a few solvents which can help, especially if you're only trying to tackle a few small stains.  Acetone (like is found in nail-polish remover) can be used for enamel-based paints, while rubbing alcohol is a good choice for acrylics.  Simply apply the solvent to a rag and rub the spot away.  Use a clean rag to dry and buff the window afterwards.

Paint on your windows may seem like a permanent disaster, but with the right tools and a little effort your glass can look like new again. For more help, contact a company like Lambs Window Cleaning with any questions or concerns you might have.