Removing Paint from Laminate

Each week, Good Morning America's home-improvement guru Ron Hazelton answers your questions about maintaining and upgrading your home. Click here to submit your own question.

Q: Dear Ron,

We recently purchased a weekend home. The kitchen cabinets are white plastic laminate. The previous owner used a stencil and blue spray paint to put a bow on each cabinet door.

The white laminate is bad enough but the blue bows make the cabinets hideous. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the blue bows?

— B. Woolley Sanford, FL

A: It's hard to answer this without knowing what kind of paint was used. I'm going to assume they used spray enamel because it would stick the best to laminate (although no paint should stick really well to it).

The first thing I'd check is to see how well the paint is adhered to the cabinet. Use a plastic putty knife (to prevent scratches) to see if you can scrape off the paint. You might be pleasantly surprised to see it pop right off — especially if they used latex paint, which would not adhere well at all to the laminate surface.

If this doesn't work, try dipping a clean cloth in acetone. Rub the stenciled area with the cloth in a circular motion; acetone will take off even permanent marker, so it should work well to remove the paint.

Just make sure not to use any kind of sandpaper or abrasive pad, as either of these will surely scratch the laminate surface.

— R.H.