How do I clean paint from natural rush seating?


I have a barstool with rush seats that has a blue paint smear on the seat. Since rush is a grass I’ve struggled finding anything online on how to clean paint from it. Is there anything I can use?

  15 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 11, 2021

    A few suggestions:

    -Find someone in your area that does rush repair and ask them about it, they may offer you some suggestions on what can be done.

    -Call the manufacturer and ask them, they have a hotline to field questions about their product.

    -Go to the store (or online) and purchase some rush, use a segment and try different techniques to see if anything will work. Because rush might unravel, it is near impossible to scrub. I would try some Citri strip on a piece of it and see what happens, this is a stripper that is might try something that is an organic solvent such as denatured alcohol.

    -Replace the rush seat professionally.

    I did find this link, yes, it says wicker, but it also talks about rush and sea grass:

    "It also would be extremely tedious to get all the paint from the hundreds of nooks and crannies in wicker. And, two types of wicker definitely will not stand up to paint remover: fiber rush, machine-twisted kraft paper fashioned to look like rush; and sea grass, made of strands twisted together. Both of these types will unravel when saturated with water or liquid paint remover."


    So sorry this happened to you and wish you the best.

  • I would worry about getting the seats wet with paint stripper because it may stretch the fibers of the rush. You might try lightly sanding the area with the paint to see if that will remove it.

    • Em Em on May 11, 2021

      If the paint ran in the cracks that would be difficult to reach.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on May 11, 2021

    Hello. Is it a lot of paint or small area. One last ditch effort might be to paint over it in an effort to disguise the stain with paint in the natural rush covered fibers.

  • Deb K Deb K on May 11, 2021

    Hi Taylor, hope these help,

    1. Cover all the wood surrounding the seat, including the lower portion of the chair back, with masking tape.
    2. Rub the seat with a rag dampened with denatured alcohol.
    3. Wipe the seat with a dry rag as soon as you're finished rubbing it with alcohol.

    Keep cane seats clean, free of dust, dirt, and grime. Clean grimy or dirty cane seats with a wood soap such as Murphy's Oil Soap or mild detergent in warm water, using a soft cloth or perhaps a soft bristle brush. Take care not to damage the wood surface with the water.

  • Mogie Mogie on May 11, 2021

    If you can't remove the paint why not just paint the seats with chalk paint?

  • Betsy Betsy on May 11, 2021

    Hi Taylor: Try Citristrip, that works really good. Or, try this site:

    Good luck

  • William William on May 12, 2021

    Goof Off is for paint OOPS.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on May 13, 2021

    Hi! I'm assuming you have already tried scraping it and household cleaning products. I recently came across Krudkutter that removes latex paint, although haven't tried it yet. I have previously used Goof Off, but, it has a strong odor, so have good ventilation. If it's latex paint, gently scrubbing with a moist microfiber cloth may remove some of it also. I would scrape with a plastic scraper as it loosens and blot. Good luck!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 13, 2021


    Try using Paint Thiners or White Spirit. Then wash it over when off.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on May 14, 2021

    The most important thing I would think is to blot rather than rub the solution you use to clean it. That will help to prevent destroying the fibers.

  • Annie Annie on May 15, 2021

    If the paint is a water based latex, then a warm wet cloth soaking the area may loosen the paint....

  • Sue c. Sue c. on May 15, 2021

    Why not be a trendsetter and paint the entire seat of the chair a color of your choosing that will cover the blue? Or if having 1 chair stand out is not your style paint all the seats. This could end up being a chance for lovely decoration in an unexpected spot. And very individual since the color is your choice. P.S. I had paint spilled on the rush seat of an antique rocker. I nearly choked to death!! When I calmed down I tried to clean but the stain of the color was permanent. I was able to paint the seat a tobacco brown which was appropriate for the rocker. I know someday someone will replace the seat and wonder--why did they ever paint this? Duh what were they thinking? But for now it looks as though it is supposed to be that way. If you do all your chairs please post a pic. I would love to see your triumph over someone with paint on their hind end.