We’ve all got those tools that are, to put it mildly, a bit past their prime.
If you’ve cleaned out your garage recently, you’ve probably noticed a few yourself.
After years of neglect, they’ve definitely seen better days. But does that mean you should fall them by the wayside for good?
The good news is that, in many cases, all you need to restore your tools to their former glory is a bit of WD-40.
But wait, what if you have cleaned your tools by spraying WD 40 near an exterior wall? This may possibly cause an oil stain on the wall, which you will find hard to clean off.
The same happened to one of our regular clients when he was cleaning his dirty tools with WD40 to remove the rust and asked for help on how he could remove Wd40 from his painted walls.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about how WD-40 affects the walls.
And what are the best ways by which you can clean off the stains of Wd40 from your already-painted walls?
With this in mind, let’s jump right in!
Will WD-40 Remove Paint?
In general, WD40 is designed as a lubricating spray that is used in households, garages, and industries for various purposes.
In addition to providing the best lubrication to the machinery, it also helps remove grease, wax, black soot, and crayon stains from the walls of your house.
When it’s about painted walls, the good news is WD40 does not hurt the existing paint on your walls.
This means while using it, you need not worry about getting the paint removed from your walls if you happen to spray it accidentally on them.
With that said, it’s not a product that should be used for removing the paint either – just in case you need to strip off the paint.
You may be thinking…
So, what’s causing the exact problem for our client?
Luckily, it’s not the spraying of WD40 that caused the real problem. But it’s the stain and oil residue that has been left behind due to his negligence.
In the next section, we hope to show you why…
Will WD 40 Stain Painted Walls?
Yes, WD40 is a mixture of oil and solvent that can stain the painted walls if left unnoticed for a long.
Basically, WD40 won’t damage your walls if you wipe and clean them immediately after the spray.
And for this good reason, it can be used as a cleaning agent in your home to remove the stains of grease and oils from your walls.
You can use the spray to clean wooden panels, wallpapered, textured, bare, or painted walls.
But remember, if you do not wipe it down and leave WD-40 solvent on walls as such, it can damage the painted wall surface by penetrating deep into the primer and paint.
The soaking can sometimes be so intense that it can even go into the plaster (plastic or metal) behind it to cause a stubborn stain that’s hard to remove.
The same happened to the house walls of our client.
After completing the tool cleaning job, he hasn’t noticed that he had sprayed WD40 accidentally on the nearby wall. And it was left as such for more than a week until he returned from the family vacation.
How to Remove Wd-40 From Painted Walls?
Knowing all this, it’s time to find out how to remove the stains of powerful cleaner WD40 from your painted walls so that you get your wall looking the way it should.
Right below, we have listed down some of the cleaning steps by which you can most probably get WD40 off of painted walls.
While going over the specific steps of cleaning, you can easily get to work right away on those stubborn stains.
But do remember a few of these tips may help you get some of the WD 40 off. But probably, these are not enough to remove the staining completely.
1- Dawn cleaner
Your regular dawn cleaning solution (or a degreaser like a shampoo or a dish detergent) can work for you if you have sprayed WD40 on walls and it’s still fresh.
Simply take a bit of it to dampen a rag and wipe it down clean.
2- Baking powder
Simply dusting some baking powder on the wall can sometimes help to clear the stains.
You can simply dust it over the stain and wait for an hour.
After that, clean the powder on the wall with warm soapy water.
If you feel it’s working, you can repeat the process once again to make the stain lighter.
3- Trisodium Phosphate
This can be super harsh on the stains, grease, grime, and soot.
This should be used with proper care, or else it can damage the surface.
Make sure if you are using TSP for cleaning or stain removal, follow the directions carefully provided on the package.
4- Naphtha cleaner
Naphtha (commonly called V M & P Naphtha) is a toxic and flammable cleaning agent that can work for removing stains, oils, and wax from wall surfaces.
For using naphtha cleaner, you can take clean towels to wipe the surface repeatedly 2-5 times.
It may help to remove some of the effects of WD40 from the walls but may not be able to remove all of the stainings.
Also, remember, as these wall cleaners can change the appearance of the painted walls, you should use them with utmost care.
When using it repeatedly, wait for a few minutes before you use the same cleaner again.
Can You Use WD-40 On Painted Wood?
Yes, WD40 is a versatile agent that can be used on painted wood to remove minor stains or to clean and polish finished wood.
You can also use it as furniture polish to remove any grime, grease, and fingerprints, as well as overspray of the paint.
For this, spray the WD-40 lightly on the wood surface, and after a few minutes, wipe the residue up with a clean, lint-free cotton cloth.
Repeat the process if required to remove any left-out stains.
The good thing is you can also rub a bit of WD40 into your wood (cabinets, tables, chairs, or other furniture) to shield the wood from getting moisture or other corrosive elements in the air.
Can You Paint Over WD-40?
Yes, you can!
And we highly recommend getting a repaint if the stains from the solvent are deeply penetrated and are tough to clean.
If the stains are so intense, it’s not possible for you to remove all of them using any cleaner or stain remover.
The best solution for you, in this case, is to paint over it and get a new finish.
For painting over WD40, make sure that you clean the surface properly using a damp cloth (in soap water).
Wait for about 15 – 20 minutes to let the surface dry. After that, paint over the WD40 to cover the stains using a paintbrush or a roller.
Make sure you use a high-quality oil-based paint or enamel that is good at hiding the stains.
Are there any issues with WD-40 — what are the things you should take care of?
Yes, as with any other solvent cleaners, there are issues with a WD-40 stain remover as well.
You should, therefore, take proper precautions to avoid possible damage.
First of all, when using WD-40 to clean spots on your wall (or for any other purposes), make sure that it does not stay there for long.
Simply wipe down the oil residue after a few minutes to avoid staining.
Second, when you are using WD-40 cleaner for your household, care that you do not spray it over the carpet or upholstery in your home. It can be damaging to them.
If you are concerned about overspray, it’s good to spray some WD-40 directly into a rag. And then, rub the cloth over the surface for cleaning.
Third and most important, WD-40 does not come with a shelf-life and can be stored to serve lifelong.
At the same time, it’s flammable and toxic – it can even cause death if ingested. It can also cause severe irritation if it gets into your eyes and lungs.
Make sure when using it, use it in a well-ventilated area. And when storing, keep it in a cool dark place that is out of the reach of your children or pets at home.
WD40 or any such oil-based solvent spray cleaner won’t hurt the existing paint of your walls if used properly with all care.
But if you happen to leave a bit of it on your walls, it may cause problems related to staining and the extra cost that you may have to bear in the future for getting a repaint.
In case you are interested in shopping WD-40 for lubrication, for removing stains, or for any other use, you can check some of the bestselling products that are available on sites like Amazon and eBay.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.