How To Get Dried Paint Out of Carpet — Expert-Approved Tricks That Won't Ruin Your Floors

Spilled paint doesn't have to mean a whole new carpet - give these expert tips a go next time there's a paint disaster

a bedroom with a patterned carpet
(Image credit: Stacy Zarin Goldberg. Design: Hendrick Interiors)

Spilling paint on the carpet can feel like the worst kind of DIY accident. Carpets can be expensive to replace which is why knowing how to clean them and clear up any accidental spills is game-changing. This task can, however, start to seem a little overwhelming when there are so many possible solutions out there. 

When it comes to how to paint a room, the best thing you can do is protect your carpet properly in the first place, but accidents, of course, happen. So what do you do to rescue your floors? I spoke to a painting expert to get the low-down on what really works and it turns out that speed is of the essence when it comes to cleaning up your carpet chaos.

'If you accidentally spill paint on your carpet, it's important to act fast!' says Chuck Reger of Five Star Painting. Use these expert tips if you find yourself with a paint splattered carpet on your hands.

What Should I Use to Get Paint out of Carpets?

multi colored blue and red rug on a grey living room floor

(Image credit: Nanimarquina)

The best products to use to clean up your carpet depends on the type of paint that has been spilled — different paint finishes may need different approaches. A carpet steamer is often the go-to product as it dampens dried paint to then lift it out of the carpet but this isn't a tool that everybody has lying around.

'For spills with latex paint, quickly use a mix of mild dish soap and water,' says Chuck. Use the soapy mix to gently blot the paint which loosens it up, helping it to lift out of the carpet more easily. 'It’s crucial to blot instead of scrubbing the area as it can move the paint deeper into the carpet fibers,' he adds.

If your paint spillage is oil-based, it's best to go for mineral spirits according to Chuck. 'These substances can effectively break down oil-based paint for easier removal,' he says. 'Once the paint has been removed with the paint thinner, use soap and water to finish.

Do a Spot Test

A terracotta scheme

(Image credit: Crucial Trading)

Damaging your carpet in the clean-up process is a concern for lots of people. To avoid any panic, Chuck says: 'it's a good idea to test any cleaning solution on a small hidden part of your carpet before using it on the stained area'. This is an easy way of checking that the cleaning product you're using won't cause any long-term damage to your carpet.

If you do decide to try out one of your favorite paint techniques on your walls at home then think about adding some good protection to the room before you get started so that any accidental spillages that do occur don't have too disastrous an impact. 'To keep things clean during painting, try using materials like cardboard, canvas, or plastic to cover your floors,' says Chuck.

Three Buys To Help You Clear Up And Prevent Spillages

Imogen Williams
Trainee writer

Imogen is a freelance writer and student on the Magazine Journalism master's degree at City, University of London following her Modern Languages degree at The University of Exeter. She has written for lifestyle and popular culture magazines as well as wellness and sports magazines. She has a long-standing interest in interior design and London architecture and is a firm believer in the power of bold wallpaper.