Wet Paint Removal and Claim Information

Please note: MaineDOT does not accept responsibility for any damage that results from driving on wet paint.

Road painting activities usually last from mid-April through the end of fall (sometimes into November).

Your first line of defense to avoid paint getting on your vehicle is to heed the warnings and follow the instructions outlined on MaineDOT's painting vehicles. Allow plenty of space between you and the painting vehicle.

MaineDOT generally uses environmentally-friendly waterborne paint. The key to successful removal is taking swift action.

If you accidentally get road paint on your vehicle, please follow the suggestions below.

Please note: MaineDOT provides the following removal suggestions as a courtesy only and does not accept any responsibility for its use.

Procedure For Removing Road Paint From Cars

Download these suggestions.

WARNING: Do not scrub the finish with a solvent or scouring cleanser! This will damage the finish.

  • Pressure Wash Vehicle: As soon as possible after getting road stripe paint on any vehicle, wash the vehicle at a pressure car wash. Doing this should loosen and remove most of the paint unless it has dried for more than a day.
  • Apply WD-40: If the pressure car wash does not remove the road stripe paint, allow the water to dry and then spray the residue with WD-40 and allow the WD-40 to stay on the area for 1-2 hours and then rewash the vehicle. The WD-40 usually softens the road striping paint without hurting the vehicle finish. If there is a heavy concentration of paint the procedure can be repeated.
  • Petroleum Jelly: For paint that has dried for several days or for very heavy accumulations, apply a generous coating of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to the dried road striping paint. Allow it to stay on for 8 to 12 hours to soften the paint and then take the vehicle to a pressure car wash and wash it. This should remove most of the road striping paint. If necessary, repeat the procedure.
  • Car Wax: After cleaning the road striping paint away, apply a good coat of car wax to the vehicle's finish. The wax should remove any lasting signs of the road striping paint.
  • Petroleum Jelly: Paint removal from wheel wells can be very difficult because they are normally a flat finish. Apply a liberal coating of Vaseline to the area and leave it on for several days and then pressure wash.
  • Rubbing Alcohol: Applying an alcohol, like rubbing alcohol, to the area in the wheel well may also help soften and remove any residue left after the Vaseline procedure is completed. Again, DO NOT SCRUB! Apply with a very wet rag or sponge. Remember that alcohol is flammable so please be careful.