How to Get Paint Out of Carpet (Complete Guide)

Imagine this: you’re moving to a new apartment, and you want to express your style and make your home a place you love by painting the walls. While this might be a fun do-it-yourself project, spilling paint on your lovely carpet is anything but fun. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew how to get paint out of carpet? Well, you’re in luck. Buckle your seat belt because those paint stains are going bye-bye. We have the ultimate tips and tricks on removing paint from carpet for you. Let’s get things underway. Shall we?

How to Get Paint Out of Carpet

First of all, before we explain how to remove paint from carpet, let’s set some things straight. Below are some tips you should consider when dealing with paint spills and drips on the carpet.

Take Immediate Action

The sooner you act, the better.

Determine the Type of Paint You’re Dealing With

There’s not a single removal method that works on all types of paint. While some are easy to remove, others require more challenging approaches. Let’s take a look at the types of paint:

  • oil-based paints
  • acrylic paints
  • latex paints

If you find some spilled paint on your carpet, first, identify its type. Start by reading the paint label. In general, water-based paints (like latex and acrylic) are used for painting walls, while doors and windows, for example, are usually painted with oil-based ones. If you still have doubts, prepare a mixture of warm water and detergent, dip a cloth in it and wash a small area of the wall, then dry it with a dry cloth afterward. 

Next, take a cotton ball, pour some rubbing alcohol on it, and wipe it over the same section. If the paint is water-based, it’ll come off. If it doesn’t come off quickly, you’re dealing with an oil-based paint. This article offers tips for cleaning all of the types of paints above.

Test the Cleaning Agents You Intend to Use

By and large, paint colors might ruin your carpet forever, and we suggest you prepare yourself in advance. For example, when it comes to knowing how to get black paint out of carpet, first you need to buy suitable cleaning supplies. Test the cleaning agent on an area of the carpet that is out of sight, and avoid using strong cleaning products.

Protect Yourself With Suitable Protective Equipment

Better to be safe than sorry. So, safety first! Always be cautious when removing a paint stain from carpet to avoid hurting yourself, and always keep a reliable first aid kit at hand. Some cleaning agents release hazardous fumes, and if you’re not well protected, you might burn your skin or end up with irritated eyes.

You should always wear:

  • gloves
  • a face mask
  • safety glasses

And last but not least, always make sure that the room is well ventilated.

Learn How to Get Paint off Carpet Without Ruining It for Good

Products for removing paint, such as acetone, alcohol, or paint thinner, can remove the color of the carpet. We’ve already mentioned above how to test the cleaning agent if you want to remove paint from a carpet yourself. Avoid damaging the underside of the carpet by applying as little of the paint remover as possible, and don’t apply it directly to the carpet. Moreover, when working with cleaning products, use a white rag. By doing this, you’ll prevent the color of the rag from transferring to the carpet. Finally, it should be noted that if you also happened to get some paint on your favorite comforter set, you may be able to use some of these methods to save it.

Get the Right Cleaning Supplies

Finally, always make sure you are fully stocked with potent cleaning supplies that can help you clean paint from your carpet in no time. Here’s a list of some essential items, most of which you probably already have in your home (for instance, every versatile at-home gel nail kit is likely to include acetone):

  • clean white rags and paper towels
  • gentle detergent or dish soap
  • putty knife
  • cold/lukewarm/hot water
  • acetone
  • all-purpose paint carpet cleaner
  • scrub brush

How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Carpet

Items you’ll need:

  • cloth, rag, towel, or paper towels
  • scrub brush
  • putty knife
  • needle-nose pliers
  • detergent or dish soap
  • a citrus-based cleaner, acetone, or a nail polish remover that contains acetone or isopropyl alcohol 
  • vacuum cleaner
  • face mask and gloves

Here’s how to get dried acrylic paint out of carpet: start by scraping off the dried acrylic paint with a scrub brush. Once you’re done, you’ll need the needle-nose pliers to break down the dried paint. Next, scrape the leftovers using a putty knife. When dealing with wet paint, blot the fresh stain with a damp cloth or rag. If the stain is small, you can use paper towels instead. 

Next, carefully dab the stained area with a slightly wet rag. Since acrylic paint is water-soluble, you can loosen it up by adding a small amount of detergent or dish soap to the rag and patting the stain. You can blot as many times as necessary. If you are still trying to figure out how to remove acrylic paint from carpet even after giving this method a go, you’ll need one of the cleaners listed above. Moisten the rag with one of these cleaning agents and break down the paint by dabbing. Next, blot the area one more time with dish soap or detergent. You can repeat this process until the stain is entirely removed. 

After you’re done, leave the carpet to dry and vacuum as usual. If the detergent or dish soap doesn’t get the job done, use a carpet cleaner since it’s stronger than acetone-based solutions. Next, take a brush and gently scrub the treated area. Spray some cleaner on it and leave it for about five minutes. Finally, take a wet vacuum cleaner and dry up the area.

Safety measures: If you’re getting paint off carpet with acetone, be careful not to inhale the fumes. For that purpose, you should always wear a face mask (gloves are also recommended). In addition, the room where you’re working must be adequately ventilated. Also, try not to use too much acetone on your carpet because you may end up disintegrating the latex bond.

How to Get Latex Paint Out of Carpet

Items you’ll need:

  • absorbent cloth, rag, towel, or paper towels
  • steam iron
  • putty knife
  • needle-nose pliers
  • brush
  • mild dish soap
  • vinegar
  • vacuum cleaner
  • spray bottle
  • lukewarm/hot water

To get wet paint out of carpet, start by removing the excess paint using a putty knife. Once you’re done, gently dab the stain with a clean, absorbent cloth. Don’t rub or scrub because that will result in pushing the wet paint into the carpet fibers. Next, mix the dish soap with lukewarm water in a spray bottle and spray the stain. Let it sit for approximately five minutes. Next, blot the treated area once more with the cloth dipped in the cleaning mixture. 

Repeat the process until there’s no paint left to transfer to the cloth. If you’re dealing with a stubborn stain, use vinegar instead of the cleaning mixture. Next, take paper towels or another clean cloth and wipe the moisture. Leave the treated area to air dry and vacuum it thoroughly afterward.

How to Get Dried Latex Paint Out of Carpet

Items you’ll need:

  • the products above for cleaning wet latex paint

Start by scraping off the dried paint with a putty knife. If you’re dealing with large chunks, use the needle-nose pliers. Same as acrylic, latex paint is also water-soluble. Mix hot water and dish soap and apply the mixture to saturate the area. You can also use a more powerful cleaning agent, such as vinegar or acetone-based remover. Next, scrape any loose paint with the putty knife. 

If you have to clean a large amount of dried paint, add a solvent and brush the area with a brush to loosen the paint. Next, take a steam iron and hold it over the affected area to loosen any stubborn stains. Remove the leftovers with the putty knife and blot with a clean towel. Finally, dry up the area with a vacuum cleaner.

How to Get Oil Paint Out of Carpet

Items you’ll need:

  • cloth, rag, towel, or paper towels
  • steam iron
  • putty knife
  • needle-nose pliers
  • turpentine
  • dishwashing detergent
  • steam cleaner
  • vacuum cleaner
  • gloves and face mask
  • cold water

Here’s how to get oilbased paint out of carpet: start by scraping off the fresh paint with a putty knife. Don’t scrub or rub. Alternatively, if you’re removing dried oil-based paint, use a steam cleaner to soften the paint. In case of large chunks of dried paint, break them off with the needle-nose pliers. Next, pour some paint thinner on a towel and dab the area. Be cautious because most solvents contain acetone, turpentine, and white spirit. 

After applying the paint thinner, blot the treated area with a clean towel. Mix 15 ml of dishwashing detergent with 450 ml of cold water. Avoid applying the mixture directly to the stain. Instead, dampen a clean towel with the mixture and dab it onto the carpet. Next, take paper towels or another clean towel and dry the area. Once it’s thoroughly dried, vacuum the carpet.

Safety measures: If you’re getting paint out of carpet using turpentine, protect yourself by wearing suitable gloves and a face mask. Inhaling toxic fumes from turpentine is dangerous. Also, any contact with the skin may cause irritations. Finally, don’t store this fluid together with oxidants.

How Do You Get Paint Out of Carpet if Other Methods Fail

If you don’t get the desired results by applying the methods described above, you can always hire professional carpet cleaning experts to get the job done. While this may not be the preferred approach, it is still much better than having to replace your carpet.


What gets paint out of carpet?

If you end up with paint on carpet, there are many methods you can apply. To choose the most suitable cleaning method, first, you should identify the type of paint you want to clean. Then, once you’ve chosen the method, we advise that you start removing the paint immediately. The sooner you take action, the better.

Will Dawn get paint out of carpet?

It depends on the type of paint, but in general, yes. Unlike the standard dish detergents, Dawn contains a powerful ingredient — a small amount of petroleum. This cleaning product can successfully reduce the surface tension of a liquid when it’s dissolved, and it’s very efficient for getting rid of grease. However, be extremely careful when working with Dawn since it’s considered toxic. It contains methylisothiazolinone, and it can cause skin irritation, so make sure you wear suitable safety equipment. Also, the area where you’re working must be adequately ventilated.

How do you use vinegar to remove paint from carpet?

Vinegar is good for dealing with stubborn stains. Take a clean cloth, pour vinegar on it, and gently blot the area. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing to prevent damaging the carpet fibers. Once you’re done, wipe the treated spot with a clean cloth and leave it to air dry. Finally, vacuum it thoroughly.

Finishing Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning how to get paint out of carpet by reading our article. Now, you don’t have to be afraid that you’d ruin your favorite carpets. Start browsing for unique painting ideas and express your creativity. Have fun!

After teaching and translating German and English for ten years, Emilija decided to dedicate herself to her new passion—writing. She’s always up for new challenges and often tends to break out of established patterns since she believes creativity takes courage. Emilija is a foodie who loves to spend time in the mountains with her dog. She also enjoys reading Scandinavian crime fiction and learning about Norse mythology, as well as binge-watching shows on Netflix.