Removing Paint From Carpet: Tips & Home Remedies

by Taylor

Below I've gathered tips for removing paint from carpet, including both reader submissions and some videos from around the web.

I will be honest with you though -- this is one of the toughest stains to remove, especially once the paint dries.

Therefore, if it is a really huge spill, like of a whole gallon of the paint, or something of that nature, or the carpet is really expensive, it may be best just to call in a professional.

However, it you want to have a go of it yourself then the tips and home remedies will hopefully help you.

Sometimes this is a procedure of trying various things, until one finally works. You want to try the gentlest removal methods first, and only go to the harsher treatments if you must.

In addition, it will make some difference in your removal process depending on what type of paint you've gotten on your carpeting, from latex, oil-based, water-based, acrylic, spray paint, or another variety.

Therefore, to the extent that the tips I've received specify what type paint they removed, I will make sure to make that clear to you.

If you've got your own tip or home remedy I'd love to hear from you too, and will add your suggestions to this page. You can share your paint stain removal tips here for carpet, or for any other surface, or check out the other tips that have already been submitted.

Now, with no further ado, scroll on down to see the instructions and ideas that have already been submitted.

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Instructions For Cleaning Paint From Carpet

Here's a video for tips for various suggestions for cleaning paint from carpet.

Some of the ingredients suggested for removing these stains include:

  • Liquid detergent or dish soap

  • Clean dry cloths for blotting

  • White vinegar

  • Acetone (see tip below from a reader for more details)

  • Steam carpet cleaner (see tip below for example of the before and after pictures)

  • Paint remover

Basically, this video suggests trying some gentler methods for removal, before bringing out the big guns to get rid of these spots and spills.

First, it suggests scraping any wet paint carefully (so as not to smear) off the carpet so you're dealing with as little of the spill as possible.

Next, create a cleaning solution of 1 cup of warm water, to which you add 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent or dish soap, and use the solution to blot at the stain. You should rinse and repeat this step as many times as necessary until no more paint is removed with this method.

Then, try a stain removal solution of 1 part white vinegar to 10 parts water, and again blot, rinse and repeat.

The next step is to try acetone. I highly suggest before doing this step that you first test acetone in an inconspicuous area of the carpet before applying it -- you don't want to find out after dumping it all over your carpet that it discolors or otherwise harms it.

Further, the video shows them basically pouring the acetone onto the carpeting. This is a big no no, because you'll soak the carpet padding with the liquid this way, which is not a good thing. Instead of pouring any type of stain remover on your carpeting, blot it, or apply it carefully with an eye dropper so you don't get any wetter than necessary.

Then, with the acetone, blot with a clean white cloth. Keep using new cloths so you don't accidentally re-transfer paint back onto the spot when dabbing at the acetone.

Next, the video suggests using a home steam carpet cleaner.

Finally, the video suggests using a commercial paint remover that you would get at the hardware store. Again, test such a product in an inconspicuous area of your carpet before applying directly to the spot or spill.

I'd love to hear your tips for removing these stains, so share your home remedies and tips here, or read others that have already been submitted.

Photo courtesy of ewen and donabel

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Remove Oil Based Paint Stains From Carpet With Acetone

by SR101 Reader
(Wisconsin USA)

SR101 Reader says:

To remove seemingly hopeless oil-based stains from carpet, gently blot with a rag and a little acetone.

Do not use too much, as it may damage certain kinds of petroleum-based material.

Blot or gently rub the stain until is gone. An old toothbrush may be of help with this.

Regular carpet cleaners, turpentine, turpenoid, and paint thinner did not remove these stains.

This has worked on both artists' oil paints and regular oil-based house paint that had been on both poor-quality and high-quality carpet for months.

Acetone {Referral Links}

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for this tip.

There are lots of acetone uses around your home, for stain removal and cleaning. You can check out the link for even more that I've already gathered, or share your own.

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How To Remove Paint From Carpet Using Home Carpet Cleaner

Weather Weenie shared her before and after pictures when she spilled paint on her carpet, and then cleaned it up with a home carpet cleaner.

Hoover Dual Carpet Cleaner {Referral Link}

As you can see from the before picture she had put down drop cloths, but only around the wall, and not in the middle of the room, which meant the entire gallon of grayish blue paint got everywhere.

Making sure you use drop cloths over the whole surface of any room you're working on! The picture shows exactly why!

In this case she used a Hoover MaxExtract Dual V Carpet Cleaner (see the picture to the left) to achieve the "after" picture.

It is important to note that she acted quite quickly in dealing with the mess. The faster you can clean up the paint the better your end result will be!

If you're looking for a carpet cleaning machine, check out reviews of home carpet cleaners that I've gathered here on the site, or share your own!

Before and after photo courtesy of

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Remove Acrylic Paint With Rubbing Alcohol

by SR101 Reader

SR101 Reader says:

You can remove acrylic paint with rubbing alcohol. These are the steps to take:

1) Completely soak the stained area using a paper towel with rubbing alcohol. This will break down the resins in the paint.

2) Use a brush to scratch away the paint.

3) Repeat until the stain is lifted.

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for this tip.

It is really amazing what you can do with rubbing alcohol around your home, for both cleaning and stain removal. You can click the link to see even more uses, or to share your own!

Photo courtesy of AlishaV, from Flickr CC

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Zout, Elbow Grease, Paint Scraper & Time Worked For Me

by Sat
(Silver Spring, MD)

Sat says:

I spilled a half a can of brick red paint on my new beige carpet.

The top came off while I was in bed. It happened overnight and by the morning half the paint was dry, half was in the process of drying, so I had a mess.

I scooped and scooped until I could scoop no more.

Scoop towards the center to avoid pushing paint into clean areas.

Use clean white rags to soak up as much as you can.

Now soak rags with Zout, a cleaning agent found in the laundry section of your supermarket.

Keep dabbing and changing cloths until they are thoroughly soaked.

Over and over you do this and you will get down to a smalll stain which you do the same with.

Again - clean towards the center.

I was able to remove every bit of paint and you could not tell anything amiss had occurred.

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How To Get Latex Paint Out Of Carpet: Methods To Try

Here's a video with method for how to get latex paint out of carpet.

It is very important to try to remove latex paint before it dries, because it is once it dries that it really begins to dye and stain your carpet fibers.

Some of the items that this video suggests that you use for removing these spots and spills include:

  • Vacuum

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Pliers or scissors

  • Paint remover

  • Glycerin; and

  • White vinegar

This video, similar to the one above, also suggests trying the safest methods for removal first, and only trying the harsher methods if the easier ones don't work, at least to a certain extent.

I think there is definitely some good things to learn from this video, otherwise I wouldn't have put it up, but I am not as big of a fan of this one as the one above.

The reason is that some of these methods can be a bit extreme, depending on how large the spill of paint is on your carpet fibers.

For example, the video suggests using pliers to pull the paint off the carpet fibers, or to use scissors and cut out the fibers which have paint on them. Sometimes this may work. If you've ever used latex paint you know it can almost peel off certain surfaces, and if it is a very small spot if any of the individual fibers are stained from the paint snipping them away may be possible without much visual notice.

However, if you have a huge spill you'll basically make a huge bald spot in your carpet with this method, so use your common sense with this suggestion. I would only recommend it for a drop or two of paint, at the most!

The other interesting method that this video suggests is to loosen up the stain with glycerin. Here's an article about what glycerin is used for in cleaning and stain removal so you can understand what this product is, and why it may work in this circumstance.

There are actually a lot of uses for glycerin around your home, and I've gathered many of them at the link. Check them out and also share your own uses with me, if you like to use this product for something in your home.

These are the suggestions I've compiled for removing paint from carpet. If you've got more ideas and tips I'd love to hear them! You can share your tips here, or read others that have already been submitted.

Photo courtesy of basykes

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Stain Removal Tips & Tricks For Busy Moms

Carpet Stain Removal Tips

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Comments for How To Get Latex Paint Out Of Carpet: Methods To Try

Click here to add your own comments

Removal of gloss paint on carpet
by: Alex

White wine vinegar mixed with water worked a treat removing oil based gloss paint from carpet. Thanks for the tip. You saved my life.

I don't want to bleach my carpet . . .
by: Anonymous

How do you remove paint stains from your carpet without losing the color of the carpet?

what do you suggest next?
by: Steve Prothero

I recently spilled a tray of burgundy paint on my tan new carpet. I have used a lot of Folex, steam cleaner, water rinse, and still have a pink hue.....any suggestions? More Folex?

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Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.

I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.