Who doesn’t love a good game of paintball, that is, unless you end up in the middle of the battle?
If your car or house got splattered with paintball paint, all is not lost.
Yes, paintball paint washes off cars and houses. The paintballs are actually made of items often found in food: polyethylene glycol (a laxative), and other non-toxic and water-soluble substances, as well as dye. This means they’re much easier to wash off than regular paint.
Just because it washes off doesn’t mean it’s easy. Take a look at what I found.
Do Paintballs Ruin Car Paint?
If your car has been hit with a paintball, you may feel like that paint is never coming off or worry that the paintball will ruin your car paint. You’ll be happy to know that you should be safe on both counts.
Because paintballs travel at such a high rate of speed, you may feel like the paint is never coming off as you scrub until it feels like your shoulder is going to fall off.
Normally, paintball fields have rules limiting the speed the paintball travels to 300 feet per second or less but that’s still pretty quick. That means at that speed, the paintball penetrates your car’s paint pretty thoroughly. Fortunately, the only thing that will ruin your paint job is scrubbing too hard or with the wrong material.
Just like with any other potential stain, it’s best to remove the paintball paint as soon as possible.
Check out these steps to get the paintball paint off your car:
- Wash your car as you normally would with a mild car washing detergent, water, and sponge.
- Dry the area with the paint with a towel.
- Dab a few drops of a bug and tar removing product onto a cloth or paper towel and rub it over the paintball stain. Here’s a bug and tar removing spray on Amazon for less than five bucks.
- Continue to use the remover on the paint mark until it’s gone.
- Rinse the area to remove any remaining paint.
If the paintball paint got on your car window, you’ll need a few different supplies. Here’s how to get that paint off.
- Use a sponge to wet the area with paint with a mix of warm water and dishwashing soap.
- Use a razor blade at an angle and scrape the paint from the window slowly. It’s important to hold it an angle so you don’t scratch your window.
- Rinse the scraped paint off the razor before moving onto a new paint spot.
- Spray some Windex or other glass cleaner on the window and wipe it down with a dry towel.
How to Remove Paintball Paint From a House?
Same as a car, the paint from a paintball penetrates the paint on a house pretty deeply making it seem like washing it off is an insurmountable task. A few simple steps, though, should have your house back to new in no time.
The following steps should take paintball paint off both siding on a house or brick. Take a look at these steps:
- Wash the paint area with soap and water. Liquid dish detergent works well and the original Dawn dish soap is always my first choice. You can pick some up at your local grocery or big box store for a couple bucks. If you don’t feel like going out, you can grab a two-pack right here on Amazon for less than six dollars.
- Turn your garden hose on high and spray the paint to break up as much as possible. A sprayer like this one on Amazon will add even more force to break up the paint.
- Grab some cotton balls and douse them in hydrogen peroxide and rub them over the paintball stain. Hydrogen peroxide is another cheap product found in the first aid section at your local store. As with just about everything, you can also find it on Amazon right here for less than two dollars.
- Spray the area with the garden hose again to rinse off any remaining paint.
- Use a scrub brush on the siding if you still can’t get the paint off. If you can’t get it off brick, you can always pick up an acid wash at your local hardware store. Just be sure to follow the directions on the wash.
As you can see, paintball stains may take a little muscle but they should eventually come off.
Do Paintballs Stain?
As we discussed above, paintballs generally don’t stain. Not only do they not stain, they’re also usually environmentally friendly, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable. So, you may ask, what exactly are they made of?
A paintball is made up of two parts: the shell and the fill that is inside the shell. The shell is the outer part that breaks when it hits its target and the fill is the part inside that creates the splatter you see all over whatever was in its path.
The Make Up of the Shell
The shell is generally made of gelatin. Think of a gel pill you might need to swallow but a whole lot bigger.
Since the shell is made of gelatin, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t use your paintball if you dropped it. It absorbs water very quickly and any damage could cause it to break in the barrel of your marker (the instrument that shoots the paintball) or jam your marker.
- Keep the paintballs out of the sun or extra long exposure to air. The sun can cause the gelatin to harden, which means it may not explode when you hit your opponent. Excess air can cause the paintball to change shape and possibly break in your barrel.
The Make Up of the Fill
The fill of paintballs varies a bit among manufacturers but generally uses water-soluble dyes and polyethylene glycol.
Some very cheap paintballs may be filled with an oil-based fill. You may save money initially but you’ll most likely pay for it in the long run. These oil-based paintballs are hard on equipment, are more likely to stain, and can have a negative effect on the environment.
Paintballs haven’t always been as easy to wash off or as environmentally friendly. They originally started as oil-filled spheres like the cheaper ones you still sometimes find. Check out the history of paintball.
- 1960s: First paintball developed
- 1981: First paintball game played
- 1982: First commercial paintball field opens
- 1983 First National Championship held
- 1980s: Water-soluble paintballs created
- 1985/1986: Rapid spreading of sport
- 1987/1988: Three paintball powerhouse companies emerge
- 1991: Paintball craze spreads to Europe
- 1992: National Paintball Players League forms
- 1998: Paintball gear hits big box stores
First Paintball Developed
In the 1960s, a paint company developed the first paintball. It was a gelatin-shelled sphere with an oil-based paint filling. The original purpose of paintballs was for loggers to mark trees and ranchers to mark cattle. The oil-based fill made it a more permanent mark.
First Paintball Game Played
A group of friends started talked about survival in the woods in the 1970s. These discussions turned into the friends developing what they called “The Survival Game.”
The first game was played in New Hampshire in 1981. It involved 12 players, 80 acres, and 12 different colored flags at multiple stations. Whoever collected their flags first without getting shot was the winner.
First National Championship Held
The first National Survival Game or NSG Championship was held in 1983. “The Unknown Rebels” from Canada won the championship. As the sport gained popularity, players added various parts to their markers to improve their capabilities.
Rapid Spreading of Sport
Paintball slowly gained notoriety but really took off in 1985 and 1986. Not all the attention was positive. As the sport received more media exposure, it also faced negative publicity, as some people believed it was a violent activity.
Water-Soluble Paintballs Created
It didn’t take long for people to get tired of stained clothes and skin from oil-based paintballs. In the mid-1980s, manufacturers decided they needed to make water-soluble paintballs.
The challenge was creating a paintball that didn’t have water because you didn’t want it to break down the gelatin shell. This is where water-soluble ingredients came into play.
Paintball Craze Spreads to Europe
The image of paintball improved over the years and began spreading through Europe in 1991. Again, improvements to equipment were constantly being made, both with the paintballs and the markers.
National Paintball Players League Formed
In 1992, the National Paintball Players League or NPPL was formed. The organization hosted its first paintball tournament. Prior to this national tournament, paintball was mostly played on a regional level. As you would expect, this brought on a whole new era of competitive paintball.
A few other changes happened during this time. The NPPL, which started as an open-style event, separated into pro and amateur divisions. The first signs of paintball fields also started appearing rather than playing in the woods.
Paintball Gear Hits Big Box Stores
Paintballs and gear started to show up in big box stores in 1998. This led to more exposure than the sport had any received before and made it much more accessible to new players.
The Evolution of Paintball Gear
The paintball itself isn’t the only thing that has evolved. Paintball gear has changed over the years. The first players were decked out in camouflage and safety goggles. After a few years, players realized they needed more in terms of gear.
Here’s what’s players normally have today:
- Equipment accessories
- Clothing and Padding
Face protection has come a long way since the first days of paintball when players only wore safety goggles.
Most paintball fields require a mask but even if you’re playing in the woods, you should wear one. While paintballs normally only leave a small bruise, if one hits you in the eye, it could blind you.
The amount of accessories paintball players add to their gear now has definitely expanded. You’ll see players with harnesses and pods to hold their paintballs. Players are usually decked out with gear bags and cases to hold their marker, mask, and other marker equipment.
Clothing and Padding
You can really wear whatever you want to play paintball, although you might want to avoid lighter colored clothing. While most paintballs don’t stain, you’re rolling the dice wearing light clothes.
If you do get stains on your clothes, just wash them as soon as you get home. You can always bring a stain pre-treat spray to the field and give your clothes a spritz as soon as you’re done playing.
If you want to splurge, you can buy a paintball jersey and pants. This gear is lightweight and breathable and many pieces have built in padding, which comes in handy for protection.
So, whether you play paintball or just get caught in the crossfire, nothing is permanent and it’s a fun game to play.