How to Get Paint Out of Carpet (Oil, Acrylic & Water Based)

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get paint out of carpetYou had the great idea of adding a fresh coat of paint to your walls, and as a result, you spilled some on your beautiful new carpeting. We have all been through this situation at least once. Even worse, maybe you didn’t notice the paint spill or splatter so now it’s completely dry on your carpet.

Don’t panic – any paint spill can be cleaned up somewhat quickly depending on what kind of paint it is. We’re going to use a couple of methods and break down the different types of paint and how each one requires a unique cleaning process.

Here´s how you get paint out of carpet:

Water-Based Paints

use cleaning towelsWe’ll start with one of the easiest kinds of paint to clean up. Water-based paints are not as thick and oily, so you can soak up most of it before starting with the deep clean. Be sure when cleaning this type of paint not vigorously to scrub the stain because that will spread it.

Here are the steps you need to take to clean water-based paints out of your carpet:

  • Get a cleaning towel and start patting any of the substantial spills. Try to get as much of it up out of the carpet as possible without scrubbing or pressing too hard. With water-based paints, you should be able to get most of it by doing this.
  • Spread a few tablespoons of dishwasher soap mixed with warm water over the stain and continue to pat it with a new towel now. Follow this process until most of the paint disappears from the carpet.
  • Once you feel that you got most of it up, vacuum up any loose paint and cleaning solution. If possible, use a wet vacuum like a shop vac.
  • If you still see paint on the carpet after following these steps, repeat until the entire stain is gone.

Acrylic Paint

scrub the stained areaThis type of paint is more difficult to remove than water-based paints because of its dense texture and consistency. It’s going to require a lot more than a towel to clean this mess, but it’s easy if you follow these steps.

Here are the steps you need to take to clean acrylic paint out of your carpet:

  • Take a damp towel and pat the stained area with it to make the painted area wet.
  • Add a tablespoon of laundry soap to the rag and pat the affected area until the paint starts to come up out of the carpet. Do not scrub the carpet because that will just spread the stain around.

Once you have blotted the carpet using laundry soap and removed a majority of the stain, you need something stronger to get the thick portion of the stain out.

  • Take a clean rag and add a small amount of acetone to it and continue patting the stained area. Be careful when inhaling acetone, consider opening a window or door while doing this.

At this point, the stain shouldn’t be too noticeable, but if it is, there is one final step you can take to guarantee you remove the whole stain and get your carpet looking perfect again. After using the acetone on your carpet, there may be some discoloration depending on the color of the paint stain. A store-bought carpet cleaner helps clean the carpet after you remove the stain.

  • Use the carpet cleaner directly on the stained area and start scrubbing with a small gentle brush like a toothbrush.
  • Make sure you have the right carpet cleaner for your type of carpet.
  • Once you have scrubbed for a few minutes, vacuum up the area using a wet vacuum.
  • Repeat this until the entire stain is gone.

Oil Paints

Oil paints may not be as severe as acrylic, but they are annoying because they spread quickly and are difficult to remove completely.

Here are the steps you need to follow to remove oil paints from your carpet:

  • Get a dull knife and scrape up as much of the heavy paint as possible. Make sure you do not force the paint deeper into the carpet or spread it around.
  • Pat the affected area with a clean towel and continue you this until you have removed most of the paint from the carpet.

After you do this, you find a discoloration in your carpet.

To fix the discolored area combine a tablespoon of dishwashing soap with a few cups of cold water.

  • Soak the cloth in the cleaning product and wring it out until its damp.
  • Pat the area until you soak up the remaining paint discoloration.
  • Continue this until there is no stain left.

Using a carpet cleaner or a steam cleaner will make this process faster and easier for all types of stains, but obviously it comes with a price.

We recently put up this post where we review the top steam cleaners right now.

Paint spills can be a scary thing. They often occur at the worst times – like when you just installed new carpeting. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on professional carpet cleaners or replacement rugs. Cleaning paint from carpet is as easy as a few simple steps using everyday household products.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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