So, you’ve decided to do a little DIY painting project and repainted your guest room a cool shade of Paris Grey. While proudly admiring your impressive paint job, you suddenly realize Paris Grey is not only on your walls but on your carpets too! Even though you’ve used newspapers and plastic to protect your floors from paint splatters and spills, somehow, it always seems to find its way onto your carpet. What now? While it seems like an impossible task, you can remove paint from your carpets. The cleaning process may take a bit of patience and some elbow grease, but it can be done.
Before we dive in, when dealing with a paint spillage, the crucial factor to consider is time. So, try to clean up the spilled paint as soon as it happens. Another important detail? You need to understand what paint type you’re dealing with. Water-based paints will require different cleaning, tools, and techniques compared to oil-based paints. Because each of these paints has different ingredients, chemicals, and properties, the carpet cleaning methods will vary. Once you’re armed with the right cleaning tools and understand all the stain removing steps you need to take, you can get to work on cleaning up the mess.
Below we take a look at the best ways to get paint out of a carpet, what to do with wet and dry paint, as well as a few at-home remedies and hacks that will have your carpets paint-free in no time at all.
What is the Best Way to Get Paint Out of a Carpet?
As mentioned above, identifying the type of paint used is crucial. Most paints fall into two categories: water-based paints and oil-based paints. Knowing which of these has toppled over onto your carpet will help the clean-up process significantly. The type of paint should be clearly marked on the paint can or container. Otherwise, you can ask the store where you bought the paint from or find the details online.
- Oil-based Paint: Unsurprisingly, natural or synthetic oils form the base of oil-based paints. While oil-based paints are extremely durable when it comes to painting your house, the oil present in these paints makes them all the more challenging to remove from your carpet.
- Water-based Paint: As the name suggests, water-based paint uses water as its base. Because of this, water-based paints (also known as latex paints) are easier to remove from your carpets and rugs when either wet or dry.
Now that we’ve covered the difference between oil and water-based paints, let’s take a look at how to clean each of these when wet and dry,
How to Get Wet Paint Out of a Carpet
We’ll discuss how to deal with water-based paint and oil-based paint.
How to Get Wet Water-Based Paint Out of a Carpet
- Unsure of how to get latex paint out of carpet? For water-based paint that’s wet, use a damp paper towel to blot and absorb the top layer of paint.
- As tempting as it may be, don’t scrub the area. This will push the paint further into the carpet’s fibers.
- If you’ve run out of paper towels, use a clean cloth instead. It should be a cloth that you don’t mind staining or throwing away after you’ve used it.
- After blotting up the surplus paint, splash hot water over the area to wet it.
- While the spot moistens with water, mix 8 (fl oz). luke warm water and 0.50 (fl oz). of dish soap to create a gentle warm water cleaning solution.
- Grab a scrubbing brush, massage the area until a gentle lather appears. Work your way from the stain’s outer parts moving towards the stain’s center, this will avoid spreading the stain over a wider circumference.
- Keep scrubbing, and you’ll start to see the paint slowly starting to disintegrate. Feel free to use more soap solution if necessary.
- After you’ve finished washing the area, vacuum the spot thoroughly. This will stop mildew or mold growing within the fibers.
How to Get Wet Oil-Based Paint Out of a Carpet
- When it comes to wet oil-based paint, try to pick up as much of the messed paint with a paint scraper or butter knife. Do this by carefully placing the knife beneath the paint and raising the knife or scraper to lift the paint.
- Don’t scrub bits of the paint into the carpet, as this means it will be even trickier to get rid of.
- With a heavy-duty paper towel (or a clean cloth), begin blotting up the paint. Only stop blotting once there is no more paint being lifted.
- Next, dab your cloth with some turpentine or paint thinner, and keep on blotting. The chemical composition of turps or paint thinner will help loosen the pain and dissolve the stain.
- Remember to open windows and doors in order to get some fresh air when working with turpentine.
- When the stain has completely dissolved, you’ll need to get rid of the paint thinner. To do this, mix 8 (fl oz) warm water with 0.50 (fl oz) dish soap. Gently rub the area, and then use your cloth to lift any remaining moisture.
- Finally, run your vacuum over the previously stained spot.
How to Get Dry Paint Out of a Carpet
We’ll again discuss how to deal with water-based paint and oil-based paint.
Removing and Cleaning Dry Water-Based Paint
- With a utility or butter knife, carefully scratch off all the dry paint you can manage. Scraping the paint off this way will remove any big, dry pieces of the paint.
- Use your hands to pick up the larger paint chips and a vacuum to suck up the finer paint chips.
- Mix a 8 (fl oz) of water with 0,5 (fl oz) dish soap in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz your mix onto the dry paint stain, and leave it to soak for a while.
- Using a hard brush, massage the spot, increasing the solution as and when you need it. If the paint has sunk far into the carpet, redo this process a few times.
- Finally, vacuum the area. It might be a good idea to use a store-bought carpet cleaning product afterward to freshen up the spot.
Removing and Cleaning Dry Oil-Based Paint
- When it comes to oil-based paint stains that have dried, use a knife to lift off the hardened top layer—disposing of the paint pieces so they are removed from the soiled space.
- Next, use a strong needle to further loosen up the paint. You can use a vacuum to suck up the smaller paint chips.
- Then your steam cleaner should lift up any excess paint.
- Next, dab a cloth with acetone or paint thinner and use the cloth to blot the stain lightly.
- Then try steam cleaning with a mild dish soap/warm water solution.
- If the tops of the carpet are still stained, try to trim the tips with a razor or pair of scissors.
What About Other Types of Paint?
Now that we have covered how to remove and clean up water-based and oil-based paints, what are the best methods to clean up other types of paint? Let’s explore how best to get rid of spilled acrylic paint, emulsion paint, and washable paint off your carpets.
How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of a Carpet
- Using an eyedropper, squeeze a couple of drops of acetone on the acrylic paint stain.
- Then using a dry cloth or paper towel blot the spot to lift any visible paint.
- Apply a good carpet spot remover, and after a couple of minutes, use a steam vacuum to lift the solution. Finally, leave the carpet to dry completely.
How to Get Emulsion Paint Out of a Carpet
- Soak a splash of rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and use it softly dab the stain.
- In order to clean the area around the stain, opt for a wet vacuum cleaner.
- Take glycerin-soaked paper towels and use them to blot the stain. Continue until all the emulsion paint has eventually lifted.
How to Get Washable Paint Out of a Carpet
- With a moist sponge, blot the paint stain, wash or change the sponge as it becomes soaked in the paint.
- If any stain remains, apply the rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and blot again until the cotton ball soaks up the washable paint.
- If needed, you can lift the solution with a steam vacuum.
How to Remove Paint from a Carpet with Home Remedies
On top of the methods mentioned above, several additional home remedies may be sitting in your bathroom or kitchen cabinets. Let’s take a closer look at each home remedy below:
Nail Polish Remover / Acetone
Many nail polish removers have acetone as a main active ingredient. Acetone works as a powerful solvent for both oil-based and latex-based paint and can be used to remove paint from several different types of surfaces, including your carpets and soft furnishings.
- Put some nail polish remover on a clean cloth and dab the stain with it.
- Be sure to keep the area where you’re working well ventilated. Prolonged exposure to acetone fumes can be harmful to your health.
- Blot until the paint is lifted and then clean with a mild cleaning solution.
Because alcohol is a degreasing agent, it helps break down the components of many greasy stains, including oil-based paints.
- Wet the stain with some warm water so that the stained spot becomes damp.
- Then apply the rubbing alcohol to a clean white cloth, white paper towel, or cotton ball.
- Next, use the cloth or paper towel to dab up the paint stain. Rinse it with warm water and repeat the process as needed.
Using Turpentine to Remove Paint from a Carpet
Turpentine will help separate spilled paint from the carpet’s fibers, allowing you to remove more paint without scrubbing.
- Wet the stain with some warm water so that the spot is damp.
- Then apply turpentine to a clean cloth, paper towel, or cotton ball.
- Next, use the cloth, paper towel, or cotton ball to dab up the stain.
- Rinse it with warm water and repeat the process as needed.
Does WD-40 Remove Paint from a Carpet?
A versatile product, WD-40 has a wide range of surprising uses. One, in particular, is removing paint from your carpets. The solvents in WD-40 help to break down oil stains—loosening stubborn oil molecules from fabric fibers.
- Add some WD-40 to the paint-stained area, and watch as it starts to soften up.
- Gently rub the WD-40 with a clean rag, then let it soak the stain for around twenty minutes or so.
- Following this, the stain should have dissolved. Next, you can add a smidge of dishwashing liquid and water to clean the area.
Can Carpet Cleaning Products Get Paint Out of a Carpet?
Indeed, some of them can. This will depend on the type of paint stain, whether it’s wet or dry, and the volume of paint. Unfortunately, large deposits of paint are usually hard to remove with regular household carpet cleaners. You may want to start with something like acetone or rubbing alcohol to loosen the paint and follow with a carpet cleaner to help remove the stain afterward.
- Apply the carpet cleaner directly to the carpet, then gently scrub with a brush or toothbrush.
- Let the carpet cleaner sit for five to six minutes after scrubbing.
Note: Before using it to remove a paint stain, read the cleaning product’s label to make sure it’s safe to use on paint and carpets.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
While these DIY methods have shown success, the surest way to remove paint and preserve the integrity of your carpet is to call an IICRC certified carpet cleaner like Carpet Tech. While harsh chemicals or soaps may remove the paint, it could damage your carpet or the padding underneath. Be sure to reach out to a professional to discuss your options.
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about getting paint stains out of your carpet: Remember, the sooner you get to cleaning the stain, the better. The longer it’s left to soak into the carpet fabrics and harden, the more likely you’ll have permanent Paris Grey stains where they shouldn’t be. Happy cleaning!