10 Ways on How to Get Wet Paint Out of Carpet


Spilled paint on the carpet is an unfortunate by-product of painting. Ideally, it won’t happen. When you are using professional painters, these accidents rarely happen due to their high level of expertise. You’ll be pleased with their expertise in painting your property.

Despite our best efforts, spilled paint will still happen sometimes. If you have carpet stains setting in, wet paint is easier to remove than when it’s dried. Wet paint removes, dry paint doesn’t. To do this, sprinkle some water on the paint and keep the area damp. A carpet damp with paint for a few hours isn’t going to create any damage, hopefully.

Here are ten ways on how to get wet paint out of carpet:

1. Don’t let paint dry on the carpet

How to get wet paint out of carpet is not easy – near impossible, in fact. Do not let it dry if you can help it, unless you want to be sat there with rubbing alcohol, detergent, and a knife trying to get dried paint removed.

You are also more likely to permanently damage your carpet fibers trying to get rid of dry paint which is not what anyone wants.

2. Address freshly spilled paint quickly

If a big can of paint were to spill on your carpet, it’s going to be a tough clean. The first step is scooping as much of it as you can back into the paint bucket. Be careful not to press paint downwards into the carpet, however.

Hopefully, spilling a whole bucket never happens. If there’s a sizeable amount, before moving onto the next step, scoop as much of it as you can.

3. Use a wet & dry vac on wet paint

If there’s an excessive amount of paint, employing a wet and dry vac can be a major asset. Unfortunately, the process of a wet and dry vac can take up to two hours to complete. Alternatives on this list are far more attractive to most people, for this reason.

A wet and dry vac takes time to dump its contents and you will have to pour water repeatedly over the paint. Absorbing it into the vacuum, once the water is clear, you know your wet paint is gone.

4. Use wet paper towels

If paint on a carpet is still wet, use a wet paper towel to blot the spot until it’s all absorbed and removed. Do not do any scrubbing. Do not use a rag.

Disposable paper towel is best and repeated blotching is the right way to do it. When you scrub, you risk pushing the paint further down into the carpeting which will only lead to further issues trying to get it all off.

5. Dry paint leftovers

If you don’t catch wet paint quick enough, some of it may dry and prove difficult to remove. Though this won’t always be the case, if it is, combine hot water with a little bit of dish detergent.

Lay down the solution on top of the paint and let it sit for a few minutes. It will soften anything that’s hardened and you’ll be able to gently remove it afterwards with a paper towel.

6. Spot testing

If you choose to use a solution of some kind to address a paint stain left over after wet paint’s removed, ensure to spot test it on a non-visible portion of the carpet.

In case there’s an unexpected chemical reaction or if it causes any damage, testing it on a spot no one will see is recommended.

7. Clean paint stains

After you remove wet paint, sometimes the damage has been done and there’s a stain left behind. For water-based paints and latex paint, using a combination of hot-water-and-dish-detergent and a steamer is enough to gently pull out those colors.

If it’s an oil-based paint, a steamer can soften the stain. Apply steam directly to the area. Use a paper towel to gently remove the leftover paint, ensuring none of the carpet fibers are damaged.

8. Use paint removal solutions

There are a number of homemade paint removal solutions that can be used to get rid of paint stains. One part vinegar to ten parts water can work, as does using rubbing alcohol as an alternative. Some people trying to remove dry paint have used WD-40 successfully.

A paste created from baking soda and water has also been shown to work. Fortunately, with wet paint, these sort of solutions aren’t necessary. It doesn’t hurt to know your options though, in case anything’s left over or if a stain appears.

9. Don’t use bleach

Avoid using bleach or nail polish remover. Nail polish remover contains a colorless, flammable liquid known as ‘acetone’. Like bleach, acetone has the same bleaching effect. Leave these solutions on for too long and you ruin your carpet.

This isn’t damage you can come back from, either. Choose a less intense solution, even if the stain or paint looks like it’s going to take a lot to remove. It’s better to take more time in getting paint out of a carpet than leaving permanent damage.

10. Call a professional

If you don’t have the supplies you need or don’t have the time to get wet paint out of carpet, calling a professional might be your best bet. If you have to wait to go get supplies or for a professional to show up, do everything you can to keep the paint wet.