How to Get Paint Off Your Carpet

It happens. You are happily repainting your bedroom or living area and suddenly a big blob of paint falls off the roller or brush. Of course, you will have already covered the carpet carefully with a paint sheet or tarp, but somehow the paint still seems to get on the carpet through some tiny hole.  According to carpet cleaning is in order, but don’t clean the carpet as you would for ordinary dirt or spill.

Many people use water-based paint for their home these days because it is so easy to put on and clean up. And it is just as durable as oil based paint. But it is almost impossible to get out of the carpet, whether it has long or short fibres.  If you press that paint into the carpet with a cloth or kitchen paper towel, the colour will seep right through the fibres into the backing and never come out, meaning you’ll require a carpet repair patch for the damaged carpet.

Instead, use a damp cloth in each hand and hold the affected fibres at the base, below the paint blob, then gradually draw your fingers upwards so the excess paint is squeezed off the top of the fibres. Do this over and over with fresh towels or cloths until all the paint is removed. You need to do it immediately because if the paint dries even a bit, it will be almost impossible to get it out.

If this happens, the only recourse is to cut the affected fibres off with sharp scissors once the paint is completely dry.  This is actually quite a good way to save having to buy new carpet, especially if your carpet has longish fibres. It won’t be possible with a loop pile carpet since the fibres have not been cut.  But cut pile and especially twist pile carpets can be treated to a haircut and it will hardly be noticeable.

When you are repainting a room it is usually the edges of the carpet that get paint on them because it is difficult to cut in when you get to the very bottom of the wall.  Making sure the tarp is tucked right down without pressing against the wall is difficult, but it can be done.  However, the good news is that if you do get paint on the carpet here it will hardly be seen because it will mostly be covered over with furniture. And if it is not, you may be able to add a small table to your decor just there.

Another paint removal trick for dry paint is to soften it with warm water and detergent, then scrape it off with a knife or a pin. You can also try products like Goo Gone or white vinegar with hot water to get rid of kid’s paint stains.