Cleaning polyurethane from car paint


I was painting some shelving in the garage, and accidentally splattered the car with polyurethane. I didn’t realize this until 20 hours later, when the paint had already dried. What can I use to clean off the polyurethane without damaging the car paint?

The car is a 2007 Toyota Prius with green finish. The paint which got splattered on is Rust-O-Leum’s Varathane Stain & Polyurethane.


I think you’re toast. Some car finishes are polyurethane. I would take the car to a professional body shop and have them do the work. It may require a repaint if they can’t buff it. I don’t know of any solvents that will dissolve polyurethane and not the car finish.


Sadly, I agree with N55. This is not a time for “let’s see what this does.” Take your car to a professional, who will start by sadly shaking his head.


I hate to disagree with the comments, but … success is mine! I used a soft cloth and Meguiar Polish & Wax, rubbing with a finger nail through the cloth. It took me over an hour, but I got all the splatters off without damaging the paint.