How To Get Paint Out Of The Carpet (Remove Stains Easily)

Removing paint spills and splatters can be tricky, but there is no need to panic. With the right tools, you can remove the paint quickly and painlessly – knowing how to get paint out of carpets is the first step.  

Read on to discover our tips and tricks.

Things to Know Before Removing Paint from Carpet  

Identify if the Paint is still Wet or Dry

When you encounter a spill, it is vital to know whether it is wet or bone dry; this will inform your actions moving forward.

Remember not to panic, and maybe touch it gently if unsure. 

Type of Paint Spilled

The type of paint in question will also inform how you remove it. 

  • Water-Based or Latex Paint 
    Water-based paint, also known as latex paint, has little odor and dries faster than oil-based paint. These types of paints are often used in big projects like wall painting and home renovations. Because it is water-based, it is often easier to remove from carpets than other types.  
  • Acrylic-based paint 
    Acrylic paint is made by placing pigments and coloring in an emulsion of acrylic polymer. Thankfully, acrylic paint is often water-soluble, making it easier to remove from carpets and other materials. However, acrylic paint dries fast and is highly water-resistant when dry, which can pose a challenge for cleaning spills. 
  • Oil Based Paint 
    Oil-based paint is made of either natural or synthetic oils and pigments. This type of paint is highly durable and resistant to moisture, making it harder to remove than water or acrylic paints. You will often use oil-based paint when painting smaller projects, such as trims, doors, and windows. 

Prevent Long Term Damage

Be wary of the chemicals you may use when removing paint, as they can bleach or damage your carpet.

Before using chemicals like paint thinner or nail polish remover, we recommend doing a spot test in an inconspicuous location on the rug and using as little as possible.

If using harsh chemicals, always wear protective clothing and properly ventilate your space during use. 

How To Get Paint Out Of The Carpet

Removing Wet Paint Spills Before They Dry 

Here is our guide for how to get wet paint out of carpets: 

For Water-Based or Latex Paint, Acrylic-Based Paint 

  1. 1
    Lift the excess with a spoon, putty knife, or other flat object and put it in can or container. 
  2. 2
    Mop up as much of the paint as possible with thick paper towels or white cloths, making sure to dab and not scrub. 
  3. 3
    Pour a small amount of hot water onto the area and wait a few moments. 
  4. 4
    Add a small drop of dish soap and gently work into a lather. 
  5. 5
    Dab and blot gently, starting from the outside in. 
  6. 6
    Keep going until the paint dissolves, soaking up the excess water with paper towels or clean white cloths. 
  7. 7
    Once the paint is gone, dab with dry towels. 
  8. 8
    Vacuum the area thoroughly. 

For Oil-based paint 

  1. 1
    Use a spoon or putty knife to lift the excess paint. Be careful not to scrub the carpet or push the paint into the fibers. 
  2. 2
    Blot the paint with paper towels or clean white cloths. 
  3. 3
    Open the windows and put on protective gear. 
  4. 4
    Wet the towels or cloths with a bit of paint thinner or turpentine and keep blotting.  
  5. 5
    Once the paint is gone, add soapy water to the area and scrub to clean. 
  6. 6
    Sponge and blot the area with dry paper towels and sponges. 
  7. 7
    Vacuum the area thoroughly. 

How To Remove Dry Paint Stains From Carpets

Here are our guides for how to get dried paint out of carpets: 

Removing Dried Water-Based/Latex/Acrylic & Chalk-Based Paint 

  1. 1
    Scrape off as much as possible with a utility or putty knife. Needle the smaller paint chunks as much as possible without damaging the carpet. 
  2. 2
    Saturate the affected area with water and vacuum with a wet/dry vacuum. 
  3. 3
    Repeat above as many times as necessary. 
  4. 4
    Mix one cup of water with half a teaspoon of dish soap or white vinegar in a spray bottle. 
  5. 5
    Spray the area and leave for maximum of two minutes. 
  6. 6
    Work up a lather using a stiff brush. 
  7. 7
    Dab and blot the area with clean cloths until the paint is gone. 
  8. 8
    Cut off the carpet tips if necessary. 
  9. 9
    Vacuum the area. 
  10. 10
    Shampoo the carpet if necessary. 

Removing Dried Oil-Based Paint 

  1. 1
    Remove the dried paint chunks with a utility knife or needle-nose pliers. Break up smaller parts with a needle. 
  2. 2
    Vacuum the carpet to remove loose paint and steam the area. 
  3. 3
    Clean the area with an upright or handheld carpet cleaner and solution. 
  4. 4
    Wet a cleaning cloth with a small amount of paint remover and blot the area until the paint dissolves. 
  5. 5
    You can use 100 percent acetone or hydrogen peroxide to remove the paint this way. However, we recommend doing a spot test as hydrogen peroxide and acetone could damage your carpet. 
  6. 6
    Shampoo the carpet once the paint is gone. 
  7. 7
    Trim the carpet fibers to remove paint-covered tips if necessary. 
  8. 8
    Go over the area with a vacuum. 

If you have an expensive carpet or find that none of the above works for you, we recommend contacting your local carpet cleaning specialist for tips or a quote. 

Tips To Avoid Paint Spills On Carpet  

Knowing how to clean the paint is all well and good, but how can you prevent paint spills from happening in the future? We recommend doing some or all of the following during your paint job: 

  • Cover the floor in plastic sheets 
  • Cover the floor with drop cloths 
  • Tape along the edge of the carpet using masking tape 
  • Use or make a paintbrush drip stopper 
  • Use or create a paint can catcher 
  • Use snap-on lids while pouring the paint back into the can 
  • Use reusable or disposable cups for minor touch-ups 
oil paint on plate

Paint and Carpet FAQs

Will baking soda get paint out of carpet? 

According to Crayola, baking soda can be used to remove powder paint. Some say that mixing baking soda with a small amount of vinegar can remove paint from the carpetHowever, we recommend trying our methods above first. Do a spot check before using this method. 

What is the most difficult stain to remove on carpet? 

That depends on the type of spill, your carpet type, and a variety of other factors. Most people consider coffee, juices like Kool-Aid, blood, and pet stains to be some of the more troublesome stains to remove. 

Where to find protective gear and floor protection? 

We recommend searching for protective gear such as goggles, overclothes, gloves, and drop cloths on Amazon. You can find bundles and individual items for low prices, and speedy delivery is always convenient. 


When a paint spill occurs, do not panic – you now know how to clean paint out of carpets. Follow our steps above and remember not to scrub, and the paint should come away in no time.

As all circumstances are different, we recommend contacting a specialist if you still have issues after following our directions.