How to Remove Spray Paint from Carpet

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how to remove spray paint from carpet

It’s a nightmare – someone gets a hold of a can of spray paint, sprays it inside, and gets it all over your carpet.

Now you’re left with splotches of paint, and you’re wondering if you’ll be able to get them out. 

The good news is that in most cases, you can get spray out of the carpet. You just need to pair the right product with the proper technique.

Here’s how to remove spray paint from carpet.

The Best Way to Remove Spray Paint from Carpet

Most spray paints are oil-based. The best way to remove oil-based paints from your carpet is to treat the stains with a paint thinning product. To do this, dampen a paper towel with paint thinner or turpentine and blot your stain. 

Keep blotting until you’ve removed all the spray paint. Avoid rubbing; it will only make the stain worse.

What to Do Before Getting Started

Before you use any of these paint removal methods, you need to do a spot test in an inconspicuous area of your carpet. Some of these products may cause a bad reaction and leave your carpet looking even worse than before you started.

Be safe and spot-check.

If you have a large paint spill that has already dried, scrape as much paint off as possible before treating the stain. The best way to do this is with a butter knife.

Top 5 Spray Paint Removal Methods

top 5 spray paint removal methods

Paint Thinner (For Oil Based Paint)

Paint thinner is a solvent that thins oil-based paints. It’s a great way to remove wet and dry paint from the carpet.

To use this method, dampen a cloth with the paint thinner and blot the stain. Avoid rubbing or pressing too hard when you blot. Doing this may result in the paint spreading.

Turpentine (For Oil Based Paint)

Turpentine is an excellent cleaner for oil-based paint – especially when the paint is still wet. So, if you have a fresh stain, give this method a try.

Dampen a rag with turpentine and blot the paint. Keep gently blotting until you’ve lifted all the paint. Afterward, you can clean the area with a bit of soap and water.

Goo Gone (For Latex Paint)

If your carpet stain resulted from latex paint, give Goo Gone a try. 

First, you’ll need to dab up any paint you can with a wet cloth. After that, saturate a cloth with Goo Gone paint remover and dab it all over the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then blot up the paint.

Rubbing Alcohol (For Latex Paint)

If you have an overspray from latex paint, try dabbing the stain with hot soapy water. Remove as much paint as you can with this solution.

After you’ve done that, soak a rag with rubbing alcohol and gently blot up any remaining paint. (If you don’t have alcohol, you can try acetone nail polish remover. Just be sure to do a spot-test.)

Dish Soap (For Water-Based)

If your carpet stain resulted from water-based spray paint, your best tool is dish soap and hot water.

Before you get started, you should use a butter knife to scrape up any dried paint. You’ll then need to blot the area with hot soapy water. For dried paint, alternative between blotting and scraping until the stain is gone.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to remove spray paint on carpet

How do you remove dried spray paint?

If you have dried spray paint on your carpet, one of the best removal methods is to gently scrape as much paint off as you can. Once you’ve scraped the paint, you’ll need to treat the remaining stain depending on the type of paint you use.

For oil-based spray paint, treat the stain with paint thinner. For latex-based, try Goo Gone, and if your spray paint is water-based, you can treat the stain with hot water and dish soap.

Can I use nail polisher remover to get paint out of carpet?

If the paint on your carpet is latex-based, you can use acetone-based nail polish remover to lift it. For this method, dampen a rag or paper towel with the nail polish remover and gently blot until the stain is removed.

Make sure you spot test your carpet before trying this, as it could cause a stain or discoloration.

Will vinegar remove spray paint from carpet?

While vinegar is often touted as a cure-all, there are products much better suited for removing paint from carpet. However, if your paint stain has resulted from water-based paint, you may have some luck blotting the stain with white distilled vinegar.


If you got a little spray paint on your carpet, you’re not doomed to live with the stain forever. Try one of these methods to remove spray paint from carpet based on the type of paint you used.

For the best results, remember to spot-test the carpet and never rub the stain.

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Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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