Can You Paint Carpet? (How To Guide For All Types)

Can you paint carpet? You certainly can! If you've always wanted to know how to go about painting carpet, we've got everything you need, from a step-by-step guide to tips and tricks and more.  

Carpets mainly exist within the home, and if you’re not a fan of the current carpet you have, it’s always a good idea to have it painted instead of replaced. While replacing your carpet is a massive job that would cost a good amount of money, painting your carpet costs far less and is something you can do on your own.  

You can also have fun deciding on how you'd like to go about painting your carpet. You can opt for a simple design, or even something more modern. Of course, if you'd like patterns within your carpet, you're more than welcome to do so as well.  

Can You Paint Carpet?

Can You Paint Indoor Carpet? 

A variety of paint can be used to paint your carpet - whether that be latex paints and fabric softener or chalk paints. Spray-on upholstery paint is also a good way to keep your carpet soft. You should, however, avoid acrylic or oil-based paints as they will make your carpet crunchy.  

No matter which paint you choose to go for, the good thing about spray paint is the fact that you can easily access hard-to-reach places in comparison to regular paint. Depending on how you've painted your carpet, paint jobs can also last for about a year or up to five years and more.  

Can You Paint Outdoor Carpet? 

If you've got an outdoor carpet, you can also paint it the same way as an indoor carpet - just make sure that you're using outdoor paint instead, as it'll help ensure that your outdoor carpet is able to withstand various weather conditions.  

Can You Paint RV Carpet Ceiling?  

With regards to painting an RV carpet ceiling on a motorhome, it's not recommended to do so. If you have to, however, make sure that you’ve given your ceiling a good wash first.  

Can You Paint Car Carpets? 

For car carpets, you can refresh worn carpets with auto carpet paint. While you can use automotive carpet dye, auto carpet paint is a great alternative. Not only is it cost-effective, but it’s easy to use and will bring the interior of your car back to life in no time at all.  

Can You Paint Boat Carpet?  

Similar to car carpets, you can most definitely paint boat carpets or dye them to restore the carpet color. Dyeing carpet in boats is exceptionally simple and is a much more cost-effective option than replacing the carpet altogether.  

Can You Paint Carpeted Stairs? 

Need to paint your carpeted stairs? No worries, you can most definitely do it! It's not the easiest job, and there's a good amount of prep required, but it can most certainly be done.  

How To Paint Carpet Step By Step 

When it comes to painting your carpet, it’s important to make sure that you’re opting for spray-on upholstery paint and avoiding acrylic or oil-based paints. You’ll also want to choose a suitable paint color.  

Preparing Your Carpet For Painting  

  • 1
    Properly wash the carpet beforehand to make sure that you've got your carpet's current colors.  
  • 2
    Test the paint to be applied to the carpet. While rare, there are certain carpets where the paint does not adhere to it.  
  • 3
    Vacuum your carpet and make sure that it’s free from dust or debris.  

Materials, tools, and supplies you’ll need:  

  • Your paint  
  • Protective painter’s plastic or if you don’t have that, old newspapers or old bedsheets would suffice.  
  • A face mask or covering for you to use while you’re painting  
  • Painter’s tape and a tape measure  
  • A rag  
  • If you'd like to add a design to your carpet, you can also get stencils, cardboard, and a pair of scissors.  
white paint

Painting Your Carpet 

  • 1
    Prepare   
    Go ahead and remove all of the furniture from the room and tape newspaper around the perimeter of the room. Make sure that you’ve vacuumed and cleaned your carpet (ensuring that it’s dry) before proceeding.  
  • 2
    Select  
    Pick the paint that you would like and ensure that you're opting for upholstery paint. While you can also use a paintbrush and paint, you won’t achieve the same consistency with spray paint.  
  • 3
    Measure   
    Make sure that you're mapping out the design that you would like to create with a tape measure, and tape out areas that you don't plan on painting. Feel free to create a plan that best works for you here.  
  • 4
    Tape   
    After you've measured everything, place the tape firmly onto the carpet. Use two strips of tape for extra coverage, and you're more than welcome to use another paint cover and brown paper to ensure that the spray does not go along the strip.  
  • 5
    Paint   
    When you're painting, make sure that you're spraying the paint flat and steadily. Hold it at least 2.5 to 5 inches away from the carpet and do it slowly. Some areas may require a second coat, and you can repeat until you're satisfied with the coverage.  
  • 6
    Dry   
    Once you’ve finished painting your carpet, test it after an hour to see if it’s dry before removing the tapes.  
  • 7
    Patterns  
    If you'd like to create patterns, you can do so at this stage. You can also add another new color to your design.  
  • 8
    Final Dry  
    After you've finished adding all of your patterns, allow the carpet to dry for at least eight hours. If possible, you’d want to let it dry overnight.  
living room

Tips & Tricks 

If it's your first time painting your carpet, you'll want to take the following into consideration: 

  • Wear a mask  
    Make sure that you're wearing a face mask or covering around the lower half of your face. Ensure that you're also painting in a well-ventilated area to minimize exposure to paint fumes.  
  • Protect your furniture and walls  
    Tape the surrounding walls and furniture with tape and newspaper to protect the surfaces in your room.  
  • Choosing your paint 
    You can use chalk paint with a fabric softener to paint, and you can also use latex paint if you prefer. If you use any of these paints, coats will need to be applied four times. While the carpet may be stiff at first, it will soften with more coats.  
  • Allowing the paint to stick 
    For the paint to stick onto the carpet, spray-on upholstery paint is your best bet. It also allows for even coverage - which is always a nice bonus!  

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does paint last on carpets? 

It can last anywhere from a year to longer - depending on the paint you've chosen, how you've gone about painting your carpet, and how much foot traffic the carpet sees.  


How long does it take for paint to dry on carpets? 

Wait about 8 to 10 hours before walking on the carpet. However, depending on the climate and humidity, it could take up to 12 or even 24 hours.  


Can you dye carpet black? 

Yes, you can dye your carpet black with dark black hair dye or black fabric dyes. These will soak into the carpet and change its overall color. 


Conclusion

As seen from the above, painting carpet is exceptionally easy. While it does take a good amount of effort, you’re saving on cost and get to have fun experimenting with various colors and designs.  


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