How to Get Paint Out of the Carpet [3 Ways]

Last updated on September 18, 2023

Got paint onto your carpet during painting job? It isn’t a lost cause yet. Here are three ways how you can get paint out of the carpet (based on paint type). Read on!

Carpets are not immune to wear and damage. There are so many things that cause carpets to take a beating: dirt, stains, among other things are going to cause problems for a carpet. But, what about paint? Does it matter the type of paint or how long it has been there?

Paint can get on the carpet through various means. Whether paint gets spilled while working on an art project with a child, or paint drips or spills from painting walls or ceilings, it can be removed. Whether it is latex, oil-based, acrylic, or some other type of paint, it does not matter. Stay calm and use these tips and tricks, endorsed by professional cleaners, to make your carpet look new again.

Table of Contents

Latex Paint

latex paint and brush

Whether it is wet or dry, latex paint can be easier to remove than other paints, thanks to it being water-soluble. By definition, when something is water-soluble, that means it can be dissolved in water. That makes the steps for removing latex paint pretty straight-forward and quite simple.

For wet latex paint, grab either a sponge or washcloth, as well as cold and warm water, and a dishwashing liquid soap:

  • First, blot as much paint as possible using the sponge or washcloth. Do not rub the paint into the carpet, as it will only cause the paint to go deeper into the carpet fibers.
  • After blotting the paint, rinse the sponge or washcloth. 
  • Let it then soak in cold water. Then, blot the affected area with the sponge or washcloth. Repeat as many times as needed, until the paint is gone.  

Do not let the sponge or washcloth dry with the removed paint still on it. It will harden and be impossible to use in the future. Also, the paint covered sponge or washcloth will transfer paint to other surfaces if wetted and used again in the future. Simply allow the used sponge or washcloth to soak in a mixture of warm water and a teaspoon of the dishwashing soap.

With dried latex paint, the process is very similar to that of the wet paint. However, you’ll want to first start with a knife to scrape dried paint from the affected area. Then, spray the area with a combination of a cup of water and half a teaspoon of dish soap and allow the area to soak for a couple of minutes.  

Gently scrub the area with a brush. Repeat spraying the solution and scrubbing the area for more stubborn areas. It might take a few times going through this cycle to completely remove the paint.

Acrylic Paint

rubbing alcohol

Acrylic paint is widely-used paint for several reasons, especially due to it being water-soluble and less toxic than other paints. However, acrylic is a quick-drying paint. The good news is that many times, this type of paint can be removed using items that many people already have on hand in their homes. This includes things like mild liquid dish soap, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol.

To remove the paint with vinegar and water, mix a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and put it in a spray bottle.  Spray on the area with paint and then blot it with a clean cloth. Then, rub the area with a small brush to help lift the paint. Use a one to ten mixture of white vinegar and water to apply to the area and soak up with a sponge before rinsing with clean, cold water.

Another way to remove acrylic paint is by using rubbing alcohol and glycerine. First, scrape the dry paint and remove it from the stained area. Then, use a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol and blot the area, letting it stand for about 20 minutes. Once soaked, use a clean cloth to blot the area.  

Next, use the glycerine by dabbing it on the affected spot and let it sit for a couple of hours. Finally, if needed, dab acetone on the area and steam clean the spot. Then, take a deep breath, and be proud of what was just accomplished!  

Oil-Based Paints

oil based paint

When it comes to oil-based paints, people can get very nervous about trying to remove these stains from the carpet. However, doing it the correct way using some simple household items can help save a person’s sanity and their carpet. Rubbing alcohol, liquid dishwashing soap, and hydrogen peroxide, along with some water is what is needed to help remove this type of paint from your carpet.

Prior to starting, be sure to have the area thoroughly vacuumed to avoid any additional debris to complicate the paint removal. Then, using a butter (or dull) knife, scrape away any excess paint. Then, put rubbing alcohol on a non-colored towel and begin to dab the area.  Be sure not to press too hard or scrub the area, because those actions may permanently damage the carpet.

Then, using a mixture of a quarter teaspoon of the soap with a quart of water, apply to the area and then blot to remove the paint. Be sure to pay attention to the dishwashing soap to make sure it does not have any bleach or lanolin. If so, it can cause permanent damage to the carpet. Next, remove the mixture by soaking with water, but do not blot the area. Let paper towels rest on top of the area to soak up the liquids.

Paint Removal Confidence

Paint removal from a carpeted area is a scary thought. Many people just prefer to put another piece of furniture over the area than attempt to take care of removing the stain. However, the process really is not scary at all.

By using many common items already around the home, people can take care of paint removal on the carpet by themselves. With a little knowledge and elbow grease, you can avoid permanent damage to your carpets.

Take time now to make sure all of the necessary tools are available and stocked. This way, when the time comes to spring into paint removal action, no time is wasted. Armed with this knowledge and knowhow, no paint stain will forever mark a carpet again!

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