Spilling paint on your Aubusson or Persian carpet can seem like the end of the world, but hold your horses. Your carpet isn’t destroyed — unless you spilled acid on it. If so, good luck with a life of no-what-did-i-do!
But if a corner of your carpet has been drenched by paint, you can get it out. It’s just a race against time.
Ready to run the fastest marathon of your life? Let’s go through some carpet-restoring advice to help you reach the finish line before your carpet sighs its last breath!
5 Steps for Removing Paint From Your Carpet
Paint may be the last thing you want on your carpet, but removing it isn’t as hard as you think. Let’s check out some excellent advice for lifting paint from your carpet:
1. Identify the Type of Paint You Spilled
That’s easy. Just check what the bucket of paint says at the back. You can usually find the paint type on either the front of the bucket or in the description on the back. If you’re unsure, ask Google.
If you spilled water-based paint, mix soap and warm water in a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle. You’ll need it in a moment. But if you spilled oil-based paint, grab some paint thinner, naphtha, acetone, or hydrogen peroxide from your garage. Also, don’t panic.
2. Mop Up the Stain as Much as Possible
We’ve all seen how water soaks into a cloth until it can’t spread anymore. That’ll happen to your carpet if you let the paint run. So, use a microfiber towel, sponge, rags, or paper towels to soak up as much paint as possible until your carpet feels less wet.
Also, use a spoon, spatula, or a dull butter knife to scrape the excess paint. Try not to spread it.
3. Spray Some Soap or Thinner on the Carpet
After soaking as much paint as humanly possible, spritz some soapy water on the stain until the area is moist. Work your way from the edges toward the center, dabbing the area until the paper towels come out dry.
Repeat the procedure until the carpet is free of the stain. You’ll reach that point when there are no paint stains on your paper towel or sponge. Once you’ve reached that point, put a dry towel over the area and let it absorb the remaining moisture.
If you spilled water-based paint, stop right here. But if you got outmaneuvered by oil-based paint, march on.
4. Dab with Paint Thinner
Don’t pour the lacquer paint thinner directly onto your carpet. It may discolor carpets made from acrylic yarns. Instead, conduct a patch test by pouring a small amount on a cotton cloth and dabbing the carpet for a few seconds.
If nothing happens, blot the stain until you can’t smell or feel the greasiness of the oil paint anymore. Once you’re done, let the area rest for a few minutes or until the paint thinner smell vanishes.
5. Vacuum the Area Until It’s Dry
Once the carpet has air-dried, grab your vacuum and run it gently over the area. Check for any discoloration or torn fibers every few minutes. Once the carpet fibers are lifted, you’re done.
What If Your Paint Stain Dried Before You Could Clean It?
There’s a fix for dried paint stains, but you might not get the clean carpet you expect. You may even have to trim the top of the carpet if the paint was left for more than a few weeks. But horror stories aside, let’s learn how to lift a dried paint stain:
1. Scrape Away the Dried Paint
Using a butter knife, an old credit card, or a stiff silicone spatula, gently scrape away the dried paint. Use a vacuum to lift all the flakes of dry paint.
2. Blot the Area with Paint Thinner
Once you’ve lifted the dried paint as much as possible, dab some paint thinner on a white cotton cloth and blot the stain, moving from the outside in.
3. Scrub the Area with a 1:1 Soap and Water Mix
Mix soap and water in a 1:1 ratio — you can even use vinegar or baking soda diluted in water. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the stained area until the top layer is clean. Now, carefully rinse the area using a wet cotton cloth or microfiber towel.
4. Vacuum to Restore the Pile
Once the carpet has air-dried, use your vacuum to fluff up the fibers and remove any leftover bits of paint. That’s it!
The Bottom Line
If you’re tired of looking at your spring-snow walls and want them to mimic the hue of the Amazon forest, make drop cloths or tarps your best friends. Why? Because paint specks can travel for at least a few feet before falling.
So, always secure a tarp over your carpet using tape or weights to prevent it from slipping. That’s the only way to make sure your carpets will remain paint-free.
But if you want to avoid the risk of carpet staining altogether, take a step back from duty and hire painting contractors who know the ins and outs of painting and watch them go at it. After that, the ball is in your coat.