How to Get Paint out of Carpet

Whether wet or dry, gloss or emulsion, paint on the carpet is a disaster. But it can be easily remedied using the right technique, correct tools, and some know-how from Speedy.

Ideally, try to remove the paint when still wet. This will be the easiest method. However, if it has dried, it isn’t the end of the world.

Below are some tips on how to get paint out of the carpet, whether it was spilt or trodden through the house. Next time, covering carpets with cloth or plastic sheeting and using an airless paint sprayer can help reduce spill risks, but it’s good to know what to do should the worst happen.


Removing Paint from the Carpet

The first thing to know is the type of paint you used. Water-based paint and oil-based paint are both made up of different components and react differently with their chosen surface.

Any paint used on walls, ceilings and other large areas is usually water-based. Anything used on smaller areas, such as door frames and skirting boards, is often oil based as they’re more durable and easier to wipe clean.

Check the paint tin for more details on the components of your paint, and to see whether it is oil or water based.

You should also know that most paint removal cleaners are really abrasive, to break down the paint components. So, always test on a discreet small section of carpet first. You don’t want to risk damaging the carpet in the process.

Paint removal tips:

  • Test any product on a small section of carpet first
  • Use a clean white rag to blot the product onto the paint
  • Never use a coloured rag; this will transfer the dye
  • Never apply the product straight to the carpet or paint stain
  • Use as little of the product as possible.

Ensure you wear PPE, including gloves, masks, and eye protection, when using abrasives which can remove paint. Rooms should always be well-ventilated.

Start by removing any excess paint from the carpet if it is a new spillage. Use a spoon or plastic knife. Don’t spread the stain or push any further into the carpet. You might want to avoid putting this paint back into your paint tin if there’s a risk of small hairs and fluff in it.

Once the bulk of the paint is removed, use a carpet cleaner to clean the area and remove any excess product from the carpet. Use carpet shampoo, which will also remove any chemical smells.



How to remove Gloss Paint from Carpet

You will need:


Gloss paint will most often be oil-based. Check your tin though, as some water-based options are now available.

You want to try and remove as much of the paint as possible using a plastic putty knife, ensuring you don’t spread the paint.

Gloss paint is often very pigmented, so it will take a few goes to fully remove any colour and paint. Use a paint remover and soak a clean white rag in the remover. Then, gently blot to try and loosen the stain slowly. Remember to spot-test first.

You’ll have to repeat this a few times. Then soak a separate clean rag with cold water and soak the carpet to remove leftover cleaner and paint residue.

Go over the area with a carpet cleaner, and then vacuum when dry.


How to get emulsion paint out of carpet

You will need:

  • Plastic putty knife
  • Clean rags
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Bowl
  • Kitchen paper
  • Steam cleaner


An emulsion is a water-based paint, and much easier to remove than gloss. You still need to be really careful to not spread the paint, though.

As usual, remove as much of the excess wet paint with a scraper first. Mix some dish soap and warm water in a bowl and soak a clean cloth or rag. Wet the paint stain with the cloth until the paint starts to dissolve.

Repeat as needed. Blot dry with paper towel to remove excess water, then leave to air dry.

If the stain isn’t budging, use a steam cleaner to loosen the paint pigment, and repeat the blotting.

This also applies to latex paint, which is also water-based.


How to get acrylic paint out of carpet

You will need:

  • Plastic putty knife
  • Clean rags
  • Paint remover


Acrylic paint is often used in art, rather than painting a house. They are water-based, so as with emulsions, you can use soapy water too.

Use a plastic knife as normal to get the excess paint off the carpet. But acrylic paint can become resistant to water when it is drying, which means you might need something stronger.

  • 10 parts cold water and 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray, then blot the area with a dry cloth. Repeat until the stain is faded. Let it air dry completely
  • Soak a rag in rubbing alcohol and blot. Leave for 20 minutes before using a dry cloth to soak up the stain
  • Blot with an acetone-soaked rag. Leave to soak in for 5 minutes before using a separate cloth soaked in cold water to remove. Leave to air dry


Remember to test these solutions on an inconspicuous area of your carpet first.


How to get dried paint off the carpet

You will need:


If the paint has dried already, it is vital to first remove any paint which can be peeled away. Use a plastic scraper for this. Then, vacuum any dried paint chips or loose sections.

You’re then going to want to soften the paint. A floor steam cleaner will do the best job at this. The steam will make the paint easier to remove without damaging the carpet.

Make a bowl of soapy water, and blot into the carpet using a clean cloth. Then use a separate cloth soaked in cold water to remove the residue.

If this doesn’t work, rubbing alcohol dabbed onto the stain on a cloth and left for 20 minutes, before being dabbed with a cold cloth, could help, before repeating with soapy water.


How to deodorise your carpet

Is the carpet left smelling like cleaning products, paint, or dish soap? Not to worry. Once the stain is gone, you can deodorise as normal.

A steam cleaner is a great way to not only hygienically clean your carpet but can also leave a really nice smell behind. A carpet cleaner can also bring up any leftover product remaining in the carpet, which will help with the smell too.

Baking soda sprinkled on the area, left overnight, and then vacuumed up will also help with deodorisation.




You can hire a range of carpet cleaners from Speedy whenever and wherever needed, so whether it is paint, mud, or pet stains, you can get the smell and the stain out of your carpet in moments.

Read our guide on how to get certain stains out of your carpet, from wine to coffee and makeup. You can also read our guide on the differences between carpet cleaners and steam cleaners, to know which you need.

You’ll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need right here. Why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account online or visit us instore for all your tool hire needs.

Speedy has more than 200 local service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. It has never been easier to hire the tools and equipment you need.


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