Try rubbing baby oil or vaseline on your hands to loosen paint stains. It's much easier on your skin than paint thinner or mineral spirits. Keep paint from lodging under your fingernails by rub them over a bar of soap before painting. Prevent paint from getting on your hands all together by wearing rubber glove when you paint.
UBI thanks for the Citronella comment. I had wood stain all over my hands and no paint thinner. Six soap and waters with steel wool didn't work, but one dose of citronella took it all off - and smells better than gasoline. (09/19/2005)
Try using goo gone. It worked with the paint we were using. It was permanent rusting paint for cars and we tried for 2 days to keep washing our hands. We saw the most improvement from the goo gone. Hope I helped (11/06/2006)
Try Pam, Crisco, any kind of cooking oil! I made the mistake of trying to wash off an oil-based paintbrush and got paint all over my hands. I was devastated when it would not come off with soap and water. Then I remembered something from high-school chemistry about "likes attracting likes". Oil based paints will mix with other oils! I grabbed my can of Pam cooking spray and sprayed it over my hands and rubbed them vigorously. Then, I got a good squirt of hand soap and rubbed! As I prayed, I turned on the water and "viola" the paint came off! I was overjoyed! Thank you Lord for high-school chemistry! Who'd of thunk it?! (11/18/2006)
I took in all of your ideas, and made one crazy invention. First, get petroleum jelly, and rub it all over your hands, simultaneously rubbing, until the the lather becomes a greyish/white color. Then spray PAM cooking oil, or any low fat cooking oil in a can over your hands, about 1, 4 second spray on each hand. Then continuously rub your hands together, mixing the jelly with the PAM. Do this for about 2 minutes, than, get a scrubbing device. (i.e. a sponge used to wash dishes) and continuously scrub your hands. Do this for about 5 minutes, and no paint will be visible. Now, the sponge might hurt, but once the paint is off, your hands feel better! (12/29/2006)
Kosher Salt or any salt with big crystals and any kind of cooking oil works great!
Took it off in under a minute and my hands feel very nice now. (04/23/2007)
Mineral Spirits works best for me or even that lava soap with the sand in it but I have troubles getting it out of my nails and cuticles. (08/03/2007)
Thanks for the advice! I had some oven degreaser. I sprayed that on and used a soft-scrub pad to take it off instantly! (08/06/2007)
By Mike N.
Use butter (or margarine) and sugar (equal amounts) just rub together on hands till paint has gone. Wash off with hot soapy water (it really works!) (09/01/2007)
If that does not work you can always use generic nail polish remover. Works like a charm. (10/11/2007)
The cooking spray worked perfectly! I didn't want to use anything harsh on my skin and the SPRAY paint came right off! Thank you! (12/04/2007)
By Michelle Boise,ID
Since we are talking about kids' hands why not use some pan spray or baby lotion befor the fact? It seems to me the paint wouldn't stick to their hands and wouldn't harm the project since both are washable.
Actually if you use a good quality fabric paint, even if it has dried, it should just peel off. I use Tulip fabric paints and whenever I get it on my skin, I have just peeled it off. Make sure that both they and the surface they are painting on is well protected though, since fabric paint on clothes and other fibres may only come off if you catch it while it is wet or at least, before the 24 hour curing period is past.
I had wood stain on my hands and I used Citronella aka lamp fuel took it off after 3 washes! it does work!