Removing Road Stripe Paint from Vehicle

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Summer Road Striping

Every summer the City repaints road stripes and pavement markings. Road stripe paint is latex or water-based and dries very quickly. It is important to rinse or apply water as soon as possible after getting road stripe paint on any vehicle. Then 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.

Scrubbing back and forth, using solvents or scouring cleanser will damage the finish. There are several procedures that can be used to remove road stripe paint from vehicles.


Apply warm water and soap and allow soaking several minutes, and then rinsing with a pressure washer. This may need to be repeated several times. Do not scrub back and forth. 


If there is still paint on the vehicle after washing with warm soap and water, allow the water on the vehicle to dry and apply WD-40® to the paint residue. Let the WD-40® soak for 1 to 2 hours and rewash the vehicle with soap and water. Do not scrub back and forth. 

WD-40® will soften the paint without hurting the vehicle finish. This step can be repeated if needed.

GOOF-Off® Paint Remover

If there is any remaining paint on the vehicle, apply GOOF-Off® latex paint remover. Follow the directions on the container.  Do not scrub back and forth.

After the paint is removed, apply a good wax to the vehicle’s finish to remove any lasting signs of the road stripe paint.

If these washing steps fail and you feel the City is responsible for the removal of the paint, you can file a claim for damages with the City. The completed form must be signed and notarized; notary service is available at City Hall. Please contact the City Clerk at (360) 252-5488 or if you have specific questions regarding the claims process.

The City of Tumwater provides this information as a courtesy.