Removing paint from a carpet can be an extremely difficult task especially in cases where no expertise is available. There are however ways through which this can be done both effectively and efficiently.

The first step on how to get paint out of your carpet is to identify the kind of paint that has spilled on your carpet. This is because water-based, acrylic-based and oil-based paints usually dry differently which means that they have different removal techniques.

Immediate clean-up is however recommended when the paint spillage is fresh. This is because it is generally easier to clean out fresh paint when compared to its dry counterpart.

Owners are therefore advised to have cleaning materials on standby when they decide to paint the interior surfaces of their houses.

How to get paint out of carpet

Acrylic-based paint is a water soluble paint that is made up of a polymer emulsion in which pigment particles are dispersed. It however dries up fast after which it becomes water resistant.

The following steps should be followed when looking to rid your carpet of any spilled acrylic paint

Excess Paint Removal

Fresh acrylic-based paint should first and foremost be gently scraped off using a paint scraper. A spoon or a knife may be utilised where the scraper is unavailable.

In such cases, a rag should be used to wipe the spoon between scraping intervals especially if the spillage is large. Rags can also be used to blot out the paint. This kind of blotting usually demands a gentle outer to inner motion that contains the spillage.

Soft brushing should be initially applied when dealing with dried acrylic-based paint. This is because it loosens up small paint pieces which can then be collected using either a dustpan nor a vacuum attachment.
It should however be done horizontally so as not to drive the paint inwards. A pair of pliers can be utilised to carefully remove the larger pieces.

Lubricants may also be applied when looking to soften the paint for faster removal. Tough metal implements such as putty knives should be used as a last resort if the stain is exceedingly tough.

Application of Soapy Water and Vinegar

An equally proportional mixture of mild soap and warm water should be created in a bucket. This solution should be applied to the paint stain either through spraying or dabbing.

Soft brushing of the solution into the carpet should then be done after which absorbent blotting should take place. This procedure should be continuously repeated until as much stain as possible has been vacuum lifted.

The remaining stain can then be blotted out by sponge dabbing a mild vinegar solution on the stain. The vinegar solution should be quite mild for it not to bleach the carpet’s dyed colours.

Alcohol and Glycerine Blotting

Leasing dry cloths with either alcohol or glycerine also goes a long way in cleaning acrylic paint stains. Such cloths should be used to blot the stain. A vacuum cleaner should be used to clean the area after alcoholic blotting.

Glycerine blotting on the other hand should be maintained for longer periods of time that allow for the said paint to stop coming up.

Using Acetone and Spot Remover

Acetone must first be tested on an inconspicuous area of the carpet before it is applied on the paint stain at hand. In such tests, both acetone and the spot cleaner should also be applied and left to rest for 5 to 7 minutes.

Any potential damage to the carpet can be assessed after cleaning the said spot using a steam vacuum attachment. A hidden piece of carpet such as the one in the closet is normally highly recommended for such an exercise.

If the results are favourable, one can then safely use the acetone as a blotting agent for the paint stain. Acetone is either laced on a cloth or poured on the carpet using an eye drop when this is the case.

The role of acetone in such scenarios is usually to lift the paint from the deep pockets of the carpet onto the surface. This is what facilitates the process of cloth blotting.

It is however important to ensure that one has proper protective equipment and ventilation before using acetone. Acetone should also not be directly poured from its container onto the carpet lest it spills onto the padding.

A spot remover can also be used in the same way as acetone with the only difference being the foam that it forms after gentle brushing. This foam should be left on the surface to rest for a few minutes before tidying the area using a steam vacuum.

How to get oil-based paint out of carpet?

How to get oil based paint out of carpet clining

Oil-based paint is otherwise known as enamel paint. It is usually made up of either a synthetic or natural oil-based solvent. This alkyd solvent is mixed with mineral turpentine which is responsible for the viscosity or thickness of the paint.

Paint Scraping

Fresh oil paint should be scraped off using flat and tough metal implements such as putty knives. This is because they are able to reach down under the paint stain and remove large chunks of it from the carpet.

Oil-based paint should however not be scrubbed lest it goes deeper into the carpet. Any scraped off paint should be put into a nearby container. Carpet steamers may also be utilised when looking to soften dry oil-based paint stains.

Cloth Blotting

Blotting of oil-based paint should be done until the cloth ceases to remove any paint residue. Those who do this must however do it as gently as possible so as not to scrub in the paint deeper into the carpet.

White cloth is generally recommended for this exercise. This is because they are usually known for not passing any foreign dye onto the carpet which is more than we can say for coloured cloth.

Turpentine Addition

Turpentine is normally added onto a blotting cloth when looking to bring out the paint stain from the inner fibres of the carpet. Its application can more or less guarantee the removal of the majority of the paint without scrubbing.

Cleaning out Discoloration

Some discoloration of the carpet fibres may still remain despite the removal of the actual stain via turpentine. A solution of cold water and a dishwashing detergent may come in handy in such situations.

A clean white cloth should be used to dab the solution on the discoloured areas. Paper towels can also be utilised afterwards in cases where some solution residue needs to be absorbed.

How to get water-based paint out of carpet?

Water-based paints are water soluble paints that become water resistant upon drying. They are now to contain water-dissolved filler, pigment and binder plastic particles.

The following are the advisable steps to follow when looking to remove this paint from your carpet:

Cloth Blotting

Blotting out water-based paint carpet spillages with a cloth is certain to absorb a large amount of the paint residue.

This is because of the rather mild nature of water-based paint when compared to either acrylic or oil-based paint.
The blotting should however be done gently so as to prevent the paint from going deeper into the carpet.

Cleaning the spillage

A mixture of lukewarm water and dishwashing detergent is recommended for this exercise. A white rag should be used to apply the solution onto the carpet from the outside-in.

White rags are used in order to avoid foreign dyes from getting onto the carpet as may be the case with coloured cloths. Hot water should be used instead of lukewarm water when dealing with a dried paint stain.

Vacuum Cleaning

This should be done immediately after blotting the paint out with a detergent solution. This is because it normally cleans out the dislodged chunks of paint as well as the residual detergent solution.

A wet vacuum is what is mostly recommended since it is tailored to clean out liquids. Carpet steamers can also help if the paint stain is too hard to remove.

How to get dry paint out of carpet?

Dried paint often requires a little scraping before it is removed. A pair of pliers or a putty knife may be used to do this when dealing with water-based paints. Oi and acrylic-based paints may however require steamers in such scenarios.

Saturation should also be incorporated while scraping so as to limit any damage on the carpet. Water-based oil spillages should be saturated with a detergent solution while their acrylic and oil counterparts should be saturated with mild acetone.

Professional advice may be sought from interior painting experts if the dry paint proves to be too much to handle.


Rubbing alcohol removes paint from a carpet by breaking down the paint’s resins.

The good carpet stain remover is the one that is able to remove the paint residue without damaging the carpet permanently.

Yes, it does. White spirit is mostly known for removing oil-based paint stains from a carpet. It should however be tested on a hidden and inconspicuous carpet area first.

FAQ’s paint out of carpet

Timothy Munene
Author: Timothy Munene - Timothy is a freelance writer and an online entrepreneur.