1. Home
  2. Cleaning
We are reader supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

How to Get Paint Out of Carpet in 6 Simple Steps

Paint stains can be a nightmare since any solvent will dissolve the binder and make matters worse – the more solvent (water) you add, the harder it becomes to clean up. Follow our easy steps to learn how to get paint out of carpet safely.

how to get paint out of carpet

If you spilled paint on your favorite carpet and are currently scratching your head trying to find the best way to remove it, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading this article to find out the best tips and tricks to remove paint from your carpet. You will also find a list of recommendations when it comes to the top professional paint removal products that deserve your attention.

How to Get Paint Out of Carpet

How to get paint ouf carpet

If you’re wondering how to remove stains from carpet, follow the next easy steps:

Step 1: Identify the paint you’re dealing with

The most difficult paints to remove are oil-based. But latex will also be a bit harder than regular water-based paint. That’s because it contains plastic resins, which make it stickier.

Step 2: Gather your cleaning supplies and tools

Removing latex or acrylic paint from carpets requires quite a few supplies and tools, including ammonia, acetone nail polish remover, baking soda, petroleum jelly (vaseline), paper towels, and rubbing alcohol.

No matter what the source says, don’t use mineral spirits or paint stripper on your carpet. You’ll regret it if you do. Mineral spirits penetrate the carpet backing, and your carpet will have a debilitating odor even after removing the paint.

Step 3: Clean the carpet thoroughly

Ensure that the carpet is as clean as possible using a carpet cleaning machine, like Bissel Carpet Cleaner or Hoover Carpet Cleaner. Work on one section of carpet at a time and blot the stain with a paper towel to pick up as much paint as you can.

It’s best to work on small portions of the stained area at once. If you try to work on larger areas, it will be more challenging to keep track of your progress. And you’re more likely to miss some spots.

Step 4: Tackle the carpet paint

Pour baking soda onto the spot and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Next, put an ample amount of acetone remover or ammonia (whichever you prefer) right on top of the baking soda and work it in thoroughly with your fingers or a scrub brush.

Next, it’s time to blot up the gunk you’ve just loosened. Use paper towels for this since they’re disposable and won’t leave any lint behind in your carpet fibers.

Step 5: Focus on tougher carpet stains

If there are still stains left after this treatment, then mix one part acetone remover with one part water until it is about the consistency of milk. About 60 ml of acetone to 30 ml of water should do the job.

But make sure to use only acetone and not nail polish remover from the store. It’s because nail polish remover contains oil-based chemicals that can damage your carpet if mixed with an acetone product. Be careful since you don’t want any oily liquid left behind.

You can spray this liquid mixture onto the carpet. Or if it is a small spot, you can just pour it on with a measuring cup. Then start working this liquid into the carpet using your fingers or by scrubbing with a soft bristle brush for about 5-10 minutes.

It usually does the trick because it breaks down the water-resistant qualities of latex paint that are making it hard to remove from carpet fibers.

Step 6: Remove all moisture

After you have removed as much as possible, blot the wet paint and baking soda residue away with paper towels until there’s no more moisture or soap bubbles.

Finally, sponge off any remaining spots and allow all pieces to air-dry to finish the process.

Be very careful not to leave any residue because it will make your carpet sticky and attract dirt like a magnet.

More Ways to Remove Paint From Carpet

More ways to remove paint from carpet

Discover more useful methods for getting rid of carpet paint:

How to get acrylic paint out of the carpet?

You can remove water-based acrylic paint from carpet using a mixture of baking soda and isopropyl alcohol in equal parts. Mineral spirits are ideal for eliminating the rest of the acrylic paint residue if you don’t have any acetone on hand.

Use a stiff bristle brush to work the mineral spirits into the stain until it becomes absorbed by all fibers, then let it sit for several minutes before blotting up with paper towels. Repeat this process until no more paint comes up onto the surface of your paper towel.

A simpler but less effective option is to mix water and ammonia (2 parts water to 1 part ammonia). Work this mixture into the affected area using a soft bristle brush or sponge and lift it with an absorbent material such as paper towels or clean cloth rags.

How to get oil paint out of the carpet?

Oil paint may be difficult to remove because it’s oil-soluble, which means that it can bond with carpet fibers. It’s best to use a combination of ammonia and mineral spirits for this task. Then work the mixture into the stain using a soft bristle brush or sponge.

After lifting out as much paint as possible, use acetone remover to finish this task by working it in again with your fingers until no oily residue is left behind.

You’ll have to shampoo your entire carpet if you can’t get any of the oil paint out. Otherwise, all your efforts will have been wasted. Then let your carpet air-dry for an hour before allowing pets back into the room.

How to get dried paint out of the carpet?

Dried paint may be much easier to remove from carpet than fresh paint because it’s more brittle. But there are a few extra tips you should know:

  • The best tool for removing dried paint is an ice scraper or putty knife since these are ideal for scraping away hard substances. If you don’t have anything like that, then use a plastic spatula instead.
  • Chisel away big patches of dried paint by pushing the putty knife or spatula against the stained area until it starts to peel up in sections the size of your hand. Then carefully pull them off, starting at one corner. Continue chiseling and peeling until all remains of the dried paint are gone.
  • Scrape away any small spots with an old credit card using the same technique as above.

How to get paint out of carpet padding?

To remove latex paint from carpet padding, use a combination of ammonia and mineral spirits (2 parts water to 1 part ammonia) or acetone (1 part acetone to 2 parts water).

Use either option sparingly; these liquids are powerful enough to dissolve most flooring adhesives, causing your carpet to come loose. So always test in an inconspicuous location before applying it all over the surface. Then wipe dry with paper towels to get rid of all residue.

How to get enamel paint out of the carpet?

Enamel paint is very difficult to remove from carpeting because it creates a hard resin-like bond with the fibers. This is because enamel paint dries extremely fast, which forces it to shrink inside carpet fibers and become stuck there for good.

So if you find yourself dealing with a large spot of enamel paint on your carpeting, forget about trying to get it out; it will require replacing whole sections of padding instead.

However, small spots may come loose without harming the surface underneath. Apply a generous amount of water and detergent right over the dried paint and work into a lather using a soft bristle brush or sponge.

Then cover the area completely with paper towels and place something heavy on top to press down all liquid in this patch.

How to remove marker from carpet?

A variety of stains can occur on carpets over time, but marker stains are especially difficult to remove because they’re made up primarily of dye, which permanently attaches itself inside the fibers.

Depending on what type of ink was used in the pen, there are three kinds that usually cause marker stains: ballpoint pen ink, permanent marker ink, and gel markers.

The best way to remove any kind of pen ink from your carpet is with a product called Carbona Stain Devils #3. Soak the stained area in water for 15 minutes, then apply the stain remover to the spot and let it sit overnight.

The next morning, use a toothbrush or scrub brush to work in the cleaner and let dry completely (at least 8 hours). Finally, vacuum up the residue and clean the carpet with detergent and warm water to finish off this task.

How to get grease out of carpet

How to get grease out of carpet?

Grease stains are extremely tough to remove from carpeting, but there is a tried and true trick that works for just about any type of stain. Here’s how:

  • Apply a generous amount of cornstarch over the stained area. Let it sit until the compound absorbs all excess grease from deep within your carpeting.
  • Then brush off the powdery residue with a clean broom or vacuum cleaner.
  • In case you have carpet dye instead of paint in your house, then this method should work well at removing it as well.

How to get tar out of the carpet?

Tar can be especially difficult to remove because it sticks to fibers like glue and becomes part of the surface when combined with heat and pressure (the same process that manufactures carpeting).

So if you’re trying to remove tar stains from your carpet, use a specialty product called Stoner Car Care. It works by breaking down the components of tar while also encapsulating them so they can’t seep back through the surface where it’s applied.

How to get oil out of carpets?

Oil stains are some of the trickiest to get out of carpeting because they’ve made a permanent bond with the fibers. The key here is speed: whatever you do, don’t let the oil dry on your carpet.

If possible, immediately blot up as much oil as you can using towels or old rags until no more can be absorbed. Then mix one cup ammonia with 1/2 gallon water and saturate the stained area completely.

Let this solution sit for an hour before extracting it from your carpeting along with all traces of grease that you were unable to remove previously. You can also try using dishwashing liquid.

How to get wax stains out of carpets?

Wax stains require special care when trying to remove them from your carpets because most creams and polishes are made of various types of oils.

The more oil that remains in your carpet, the deeper this stain will set and become more difficult to remove over time.

Cover the wax with an absorbent material, such as paper towels or dry cloths. Then use a hairdryer on its hottest setting to heat up the spill until it melts into itself.

As soon as you can scrape out most of the wax using a dull instrument, immediately blot up the excess with clean napkins or rags before too much has melted inside your carpet fibers.

If you find yourself removing excess wax from your carpeting for hours on end, then chances are everything hasn’t been absorbed yet. Instead, the wax spread around the carpet after heating up.

In that case, you’ll need to apply a solvent made from dry cleaning fluid and water over the affected area to dissolve these stains once and for all.

How to get lipstick out of carpet

How to get lipstick stain out of carpets?

As with oil-based stains above, lipstick is going to be difficult to remove from your carpet because it contains oils as well. No matter what method you use, this type of stain will set quickly, so don’t waste any time starting the cleaning process.

Here’s the best way: place a few paper towels over the stained area and press down firmly until you don’t notice any lipstick transfer anymore.

Then, mix 1/4 cup dishwashing soap with 1/2 gallon warm water and fully saturate the towels. Leave this solution on the stained area for at least 1 hour before extracting it along with all of the lipstick stains.

If you find that your original stain is still visible, then this method might not be strong enough to beat one of the most tenacious carpet stains out there. In that case, try a solvent from dry cleaning fluid and water as mentioned above before applying a pre-treatment cleaner over the affected area, too.

Best Products to Get Paint Off Carpets

Check out the following products if you need more help with removing paint from carpets:

1. Safe ‘n Easy Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover Gel

Safe ‘n easy citrus paint & varnish remover gel

The Safe ‘n Easy Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover Gel is capable of removing several layers of paint, varnishes, and coatings.

View price on Amazon

2. Goof Off FG653 Professional Strength Remover

Goof off fg653 professional strength remover

The Goof Off FG653 Professional Strength Remover can effortlessly remove tough stains and spots from carpets. It works when standard products fail.

View price on Amazon

3. Sunnyside Corporation 68532 Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover

Sunnyside corporation 68532 hi speed ready strip citrus paint & varnish remover

The Sunnyside Paint & Varnish Remover does an excellent job at eliminating up to three layers of oil or water-based painting from various surfaces, including carpets.

View price on Amazon

4. Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

Smart strip advanced paint remover

The Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover has a safe water-based formula that can destroy more than 15 layers of paint and coatings from a wide range of surfaces, and this also covers carpets.

View price on Amazon

5. Motsenbocker’s Lift Off 41301 22-Ounce Latex Paint Remover

Motsenbocker's lift off 41301 22 ounce latex paint remover

The Motsenbocker’s Lift Off 41301 22-Ounce Latex Paint Remover can safely remove latex paint and works on multiple surfaces, including carpet.

View price on Amazon

Final Thoughts on Removing Paint from Carpet

When it comes to removing paint from carpets, the worst thing that you can do is panic and rush everything. This could lead to streaking and other undesirable effects as well as frustration.

Take your time with the process and you’ll be surprised at how quickly those paint stains vanish, thanks to your diligence. Be sure to follow our step-by-step instructions above and you will be able to eliminate stubborn paint stains in no time.

If you wish to share your own tips and tricks, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the comment section below.