Steps for Removing Dry Paint from a Carpet

Img Source - Burnett Painting

The floors are one of the dirtiest areas in the house, from the common dirt and muddy steps to spilled beverages and pet hairs. Then add splattered and dried paint to the mixture; there will be a great cleaning job to be done.

While it can be easy to clean everyday dirt, pet dander, and spilled beverages, spilled and dried paints on the carpet can be dreadful. Discover the step-by-step procedure of how to get dry paint out of a carpet.

Types of Paints and Their Properties

Cleaning carpets don’t have to be an arduous task, even if it is dried stubborn color pigments on the fibers. The secret is to use the right method and a carpet cleaner for this job. This post outlines some of the workable steps that will ensure homeowners do not strain while cleaning their carpets either from wet or dried paint.

However, to clearly understand these steps, it is imperative that we know the types of paints and their properties for clear insight into how to go about cleaning paints from the carpet. There are different types of paints based on the materials used to make them. But all of them are generated from two common base materials; oil-based and water-based.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paints contain white lead as their base and are usually applied in three layers, including primer, undercoat, and finish coat. These paints get glossy and mat finishes, and they are affordable and durable. 

Oil paints are known for their ease of application, and they are usually used in windows, doors, walls, and metal surfaces. Remember, these paints are not ideal for the humid environment because they take time to dry. Also, add pigments and linseed oil before applying these paints.

Since they take time to dry, oil-based paints are moisture-resistant and durable hence making them hard to clean. 

Water-Based Paints

Also known as latex paints, these are types of paints that have water as their base. They dry fast compared to oil-based paints, have a slight odor, and are easier to clean from rugs and carpets when either dry or wet.

For around fifty years, oil-based paints were the primary paint used by engineers and painters around the world. However, today, water-based paints have evolved in quality and effectiveness to the extent of taking the place of oil-based Paints as the industry preference. 

Due to their quick drying time, water-based paints are ideal for interior walls. It makes it easier for painters to complete two or more coats in a day. Furthermore, their low VOCs, low odors, and easy cleanup make them the painters’ and professionals’ best choices.

Also, water-based paints are preferred for their durability on exterior surfaces in various surfaces. They are docile, and their colors last longer than oil-based paints.

How to Get Dry Paints From a Carpet

Before getting into the steps of how to get dry paint out of a carpet, it is best to know the tools and materials used for this task. Below are some of the requirements to get the job done successfully:

  • Needle-nose pliers.
  • Scissors.
  • Wet/dry vacuum.
  • 32 ounces water.
  • ¼ teaspoon vinegar or dish-washing detergent.
  • Stiff brush.
  • Spray bottle.
  • Cloth.
  • Steam cleaner.
  • Knife.
  • Paint thinner, acetone, or hydrogen peroxide.

Having known these requirements, let’s see the steps in the following section.

Clear the Path

Before embarking on any other procedure, take a table knife and scrape off any loose, peeling bits of paint. The knife should be sharp enough to accomplish this job, but not extremely sharp that it can cut or damage carpet fibers. 

Soak the Area

Mix a little amount of dish soap in a small basin of hot water and pour the mixture onto the stained part; allow the soapy water to sink and soak the stained spot and turn the dried paint into a solvent. This will allow the dried particles to loosen.

Use Steam Power

In case the soapy mixture in hot water didn’t succeed in turning the dried paint into a solvent, the other alternative is to apply steam to the area. This can be achieved through the use of a clothing iron set to the steam configuration or a hand-held steamer. Remember to place a wet cloth between the iron and carpet if these tools are not accessible to avoid burning the carpet fibers.

Scrape and Blot

After the dried particles have softened, return back to the gentle scraping of the loose stains bit by bit, says BobVila. If deemed necessary, blot the area with the stained paint using dry paper towels or a moistened rag (more info). This should ensure all or small spilled paints are cleared without damaging the carpet fibers.

Fold the cloth regularly when blotting to allow the use of a new place of the towel. If the spillage persists, it is advisable to repeat the procedure once more.

While most homeowners have had success in their quest of how to get dry paint out of a carpet using these steps, there are times when they can fail to clear all the spillage. In this case, it is advisable to get the services of a professional cleaner to take over since they have advanced knowledge in such tasks.

After all the stains are gone, wash the cloth in warm water and rinse clean the carpet to ensure all the stain residues are removed. Let the carpet air dry or pat the spot with a dry clean cloth. 


Regardless of how careful we can be, there will always be a chance, however small, of paint spillage in the carpet if it is not removed during painting. Though it happens even to the experts and can ruin the carpet, it should be a cause of worry.

Remember to follow the steps discussed herein, which include knowing the type of paint used, clearing the path, soaking the area, using steam if the step doesn’t become successful, then scraping and blotting the spot. 

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