No matter how many drop cloths you use to protect the carpet, you may still encounter paint drips or spills while painting. They may occur when the drop cloth has shifted, or when you are in the process of relocating your supplies. Regardless, it is a frustrating, but not hopeless, dilemma. Here are several tricks you can use to get paint our of carpet. Whether it’s wet paint or dry, these methods have a very good success rate.
How to remove paint from carpet that is still wet
If you notice the paint spill right away, you can begin acting immediately. This is always beneficial because it helps limit the depth in which the paint embeds into the carpet fibers. Here’s what you want to do to get wet paint out of carpet:
1. Get a roll of paper towels and a trash can.
2. Begin soaking up as much wet paint as possible. Don’t dab the carpet. Simply allow the paper to absorb the paint and discard the paper towel. Continue this process until there is only a light coating covering the surface of the carpet. Resist the urge to try to rub the stain.
3. Allow the remaining paint to dry overnight. I know, this sounds insane, but it will be much easier to remove once it dries. You’ve already removed the majority of the paint, which is the most important step.
4. The next day, begin the process to remove dried paint. (See below)
How to remove dried paint
First thing’s first! Start by scraping away the paint with a razor blade or knife. Flakes of paint will easily pull away from the fibers. Continue until nothing else can be removed. Next, choose from any of the methods below to remove paint from carpet. Each one works great, it is a simple matter of preference.
Option 1 – Nail polish remover
1. Dip a soft bristled brush into nail polish remover and press the brush into the carpet. The bristles will help lift away the paint, while the nail polish remover will help remove the coloration. Be sure to rinse the brush after each application. Note – The nail polish remover can be diluted with soda water, if desired.
2. Dip the brush in cool water and scrub the carpeting in a circular motion. Dab the moisture away with a soft dry cloth and repeat.
3. When you have finished removing the paint out of carpet, vacuum the area and treat any trace stains with a spray stain remover.
Option 2 – OxiClean
1. An oxygenated stain remover, such as OxiClean, is very effective at getting paint out of carpet. The spray isn’t as harsh as the powder and won’t require mixing. Spray the carpet with OxiClean and allow it to set for approximately 20 – 30 minutes.
2. Use a soft bristled brush to scrub at the paint stain. As you scrub, remove the moisture with a soft (white) dry cloth.
3. Get a new clean soft (white) cloth and saturate it with warm water. Blot the stain over and over, turning the cloth over as you go. What you are doing here is trying to transfer the stain onto the cloth. When the cloth is no longer clean, exchange it with a dry soft cloth. Continue until paint no longer transfers.
4. Vacuum and treat the area with a stain remover for carpets, such as Spot Shot.
Option 3 – WD-40
1. WD-40 is a spray lubricant used for many applications, and is exceptionally good at breaking down paint. Spray the carpet with WD-40 and work it into the fibers with a clean (white) rag. Allow it to sit for 20 – 30 minutes.
2. Use a new clean soft (white) cloth and vigorously scrub the area. You’ll begin to see the paint loosen and transfer onto the cloth. Flip the cloth around and continue scrubbing with the clean side.
3. Use a soft bristled brush and press it into the carpet. The bristles of the brush will help lift away the paint, while the WD-40 will continue to loosen it.
4. Vacuum the carpet and clean the remaining reside away with a mild detergent and warm water. If a greasy residue remains, treat it with a stain remover approved for carpeting.
More from Jennifer Wagner:
How to Patch Damaged Carpet
Beginner’s Guide: How to Paint a Room
How to Get Wax Out of Carpet
Source: Personal knowledge and experience