how to get paint out of carpet step by step

How to Get Paint Out of Carpet after a Paint Spill

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

As you use paint inside the house, spills can happen. As such, it's essential to learn how to get paint out of carpet to avoid spending a lot of cash on professional cleaners. So, in this post, we'll discuss some factors of cleaning paint and a step-by-step guide on how to remove paint from your carpet.

Let's get started!

Things to Consider when Removing Spilled Paint From Carpet

There are some considerations you should keep in mind as you learn how to get paint out of carpet. Let's discuss them below.

1. Types of Paints

There are different types of paints that you could use indoors. Once the paint spills, you'll need to know what type it is because each requires a specific approach. The following are the types of paints you could have spilled on your carpet.

Once you identify the type of paint you've spilled on your carpet, you can proceed and follow the methods in this post to remove it.

2. Use a White Cloth

It's essential to use a white cloth or paper towels because colored cloths are usually dyed and can transfer pigment onto your carpet. This could add more stains making it difficult to clean your carpet. So, you'll need to get several white cloths to ensure you have a spare one as you clean the ones that get stained with paint.

3. Dry Paint vs. Wet Paint

Removing paint out of carpet is a delicate process. You'll need to ensure the paint is as easy to remove as possible to ensure the stains don't become permanent. As such, if the paint has already dried, you'll need to soften it before removing it.

4. Paint Thinners

Paint thinners are great for removing paint from your carpet. However, some like acetone can also dissolve the glue holding your carpet fibers together. So you should take note of much paint thinner you are using to avoid damaging your carpet.

Related Content: Great painting ideas for creativity.

5. Blot Don’t Rub

When dealing with paint stains on your carpet, it's important to avoid scrubbing the paint right away. This could easily spread paint to other areas where it hadn't spilled. You should instead blot, sponge, or dab using a clean rag to soak up the paint and lift it from the carpet.

6. Spot Test Your Carpet Cleaning Solution

Before you commit to a specific method of removing paint from your carpet, you should test your carpet cleaner on a small section of your carpet. This will help you decide whether the solution is safe to use on your carpet.

There are some cleaners like hydrogen peroxide, which can discolor your carpet fibers. So, you should spot test to ensure it doesn't harm the carpet.

7. Wear Safety Gear

Interaction of the chemicals in paint and cleaning solutions could lead to the production of dangerous fumes. If you inhale those fumes, you could expose yourself to a high risk of respiratory damage. So, you should use a face mask when cleaning your carpet.

Additionally, you should wear gloves since there are compounds in the cleaners and paint that could irritate your skin.

Full Guide on How To Get Paint Out of Carpet

Every type of paint stain requires a specific approach to remove it from your carpet. As such, we'll discuss how to get different types of paint out of carpet in this section.

1. How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Carpet

For this method, you'll need the following items:

  • White cloth or paper towel
  • Scrub brush
  • Laundry detergent
  • Utility knife
  • Carpet cleaning solution
  • Vacuum cleaner

Once you've gathered your essentials, follow the process below.

  1. Scrape off the dried paint and blot the stain

If the paint is dry, use a toothbrush or a scrub brush to scrape it off the carpet fibers. Alternatively, you can use needle-nose pliers to break up the dry paint and a utility knife to scrape it off. Then, take a clean wet cloth and blot the stain to remove excess paint.

Check out the best indoor paints for your home here.

  1. Blot with Laundry Detergent

Rinse your cloth or get another one and use it to damp the stained area by dabbing. Since acrylic paint is water-soluble, it'll be easier to remove it from carpet than other paints. Our goal is to remove as much paint as possible before continuing the other steps. As such, you should add some laundry or liquid dishwashing detergent to your cloth and continue blotting.

  1. Use a Dissolving Agent

If the paint stains prove stubborn, you can use a dissolving agent like nail polish remover or isopropyl alcohol. Use the agent to dampen your cloth and dab it on the area with paint stains until they aren't as visible as they were. Then repeat the previous step and blot the area again with some detergent until the stain disappears.

  1. Use a Carpet Cleaner

After your carpet looks clean from the paint stains, you can finally use a carpet cleaner to finish the process. This step will clear out any lingering stains from your carpet fibers. Let the cleaning solution sit for five minutes, blot the area and use a wet vacuum cleaner to dry the area.

Caution: Acetate can produce toxic fumes as you remove it from the carpet. As such, you should wear a face mask and ensure the room is well-ventilated. Additionally, too much acetate can dissolve the glue holding your carpet fibers together, so you should use it moderately.

2. How to Remove Wet Latex Paint from Carpet

If you've just spilled latex paint on your carpet, you'll need the following items to remove it.

  • Clean washcloth or paper towels
  • Dish soap
  • Hot water
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Vacuum cleaner

So, here's how to get paint out of carpet:

  1. Remove excess paint

Start by removing the surplus paint on your carpet to avoid spreading it to other areas. You should use a putty knife to scrape the fresh paint from the outside towards the center. This will help prevent pushing it to unstained areas on your carpet.

  1. Dab the Paint Stain

Next, take a clean cloth and dab the remaining paint. Fortunately, wet latex paint will easily absorb into the cloth, so it'll help manage the stain. You don't need to scrub or rub the cloth since this could push the paint deeper into the carpet fibers.

  1. Soak the area with a cleaning solution

Add the cleaner to the hot water to create a dish soap and water solution. Add the solution to a spray bottle and spritz it over the stain. You'll need to ensure the cleaner is soaking the stained area to ensure it can remove the paint. Let it sit for about five minutes and then proceed to the next step.

  1. Blot the Stains

You'll need to blot the area with a cloth dipped in the cleaning solution you made in the previous step. So, once you wet the cloth with the cleaner, dab it on the paint stains while using the cleaner sections until there isn't any more paint transferring to your cloth.

If you are battling stubborn paint stains, add some white vinegar to your cloth and blot again. Once the stains are lifted, use dry paper towels to remove the excess moisture from your carpet. Finish by vacuuming the area dry.

3. How to Get Dry Latex Paint Out of Carpet

Removing dry latex paint out of carpet requires the same items we've used for wet latex paint. So, with these essentials at hand, follow the following procedure:

  1. Scrape the excess paint off

Take a putty knife and use it to scrape any loose paint off your carpet. The larger chunks of paint that seem challenging to scrape off will require a pair of pliers to break them down. Once the dried paint is loose, scrape it off with the knife.

  1. Add hot soapy water to the stain

Mix the dish soap with hot water to create a cleaning solution. Saturate the stain with soapy water and let it sit for about 20 minutes. This should loosen up the dried paint and make it easier to remove. Alternatively, you can use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to treat the stain.

  1. Scrape out the paint stain

Once the paint loosens up, take the putty knife and scrape off as much paint as possible. If it's a large paint stain, you can use a brush to scrub it off while adding some solvent. This will ensure you can remove the paint stains by blotting the area.

  1. Steam Iron Stubborn Paint Stains

If the stains are persistent, you can hold a steam iron on top of the carpet to loosen them. Next, scrape the paint off and use a clean towel to blot the stain. Finally, dry your carpet with your vacuum cleaner.

4. How to Get Oil-Based Paint Out of Carpet

Here's what you need to remove oil paint from carpet.

  • Paper towels or clean cloth
  • Putty knife
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Steam cleaner
  • Gloves and a face mask
  • Turpentine
  • Vacuum cleaner
  1. Remove the excess oil paint

You should use the dull knife to collect the excess oil-based paint while it's still wet. If the paint has dried, you'll need to use a carpet steamer to melt the paint and make it soft enough to remove. You can use the needle-nose pliers to break up the chunks of paint into smaller sizes that you can handle.

  1. Use a recommended paint thinner

Wet your cloth with paint thinner like acetone or turpentine. Then, dab the paint stain with your paint thinner to make the paint easier to remove.

  1. Blot the stain

The next thing to do is use a clean cloth to blot the stain. Repeat with the unstained areas until the cloth doesn't absorb any more paint. Blot the stain until it disappears from the carpet.

  1. Rinse your carpet

You won't be rinsing your carpet with plain water. Instead, mix some liquid dishwashing detergent with cold water and use a cloth or paper towel to dab the affected area. Avoid applying the cleaner directly.

  1. Dry your carpet

Take some dry paper towels and use them to absorb the excess moisture from your carpet. Finish by vacuuming the area to remove any lingering stains and moisture.

Caution: If you are using turpentine to remove oil-based paint, you should ensure you keep the room well-ventilated. Additionally, you should wear a face mask and gloves since direct contact with turpentine can cause skin irritation.

5. How to Get Water Based Paint Out of Carpet

You'll require the following:

  • White cloth
  • Dull knife
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Warmwater
  • Carpet steamer
  • Vacuum

Here's how to get paint out of carpet:

  1. Gently blot the stain

Blotting is an effective way to remove water-based paint out of carpet. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the stain since this could push the fresh paint deeper into the carpet fibers to form stubborn stains.

  1. Soak the dried paint with a cleaning solution

If you deal with dried paint stains, you can saturate the area with your homemade cleaning solution to soften the dry paint. The solution should sit for at least five minutes before proceeding to the next step.

  1. Scrape off the paint

Use the dull knife to scrape off the water-based paint. Place the knife under the soft paint and lift as much you can from the carpet. You can add soapy water to ensure you eliminate all the dry paint.

  1. Blot the paint out of the carpet

Remove the wet paint by gently blotting it with a clean cloth. You can use the clean areas of the cloth as you repeat the blotting process until all the paint is off the carpet.

  1. Dry the affected area

Finally, vacuum the area to ensure you eliminate all the moisture from your carpet.

When to Call the Professionals

Unfortunately, some carpets are delicate, and our homemade cleaning solutions could damage the fibers. In such a case, you should consider hiring professional carpet cleaners to remove the paint. If the cleaning methods we've recommended don't seem to be working, you should let professional cleaners handle it for you. This will ensure you don't damage your carpet and get all the paint out.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.