You’ve spilt paint on your nice new carpet and your first thought is to panic.  Don’t all is not lost.  In this months blog, we are going to take you through the different ways on how to best remove paint stains from your carpets.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to clean paint stains lets start with some basics about the types of paint and how to dissolve them. This will depend on their ingredients.

  1. Most paints have three main components, which are: a pigment, a binder, and a solvent. Sometimes an additive is included to improve the paint’s qualities.
  2. The method and effort used to remove paint stains from your carpet will depend upon the solvent in the paint. There are two types of solvent, which are water and oil.
  3. If the paint is water-based you will be able to clean the mess with minimal effort. Unfortunately, if it is oil-based then you will need a thinner to dissolve the stain. It is not impossible to remove dried oil-based stains, but the process is time-consuming and more often than not a professional is required to help complete the removal.

Prep you will need to do before you start the cleaning process:

  1. First and foremost, wear protective gloves, safety glasses and a face mask when using harsh cleaning products or solvents.
  2. Before you try any method, check the method you are using is suitable for your carpet or rug. Always do a spot test with removal solutions for colour fastness in an inconspicuous area of your textile floor covering
  3. Never rub the surface, blot instead. This is to prevent further spreading of the stain, work your way from the outer edges to the centre of the affected area
  4. Don’t use a hoover to clean up liquid spillages.
  5. Be careful when you are using strong cleaning products on wool carpets
  6. Remember professional carpet cleaners have the right equipment and the expertise of how to deal with stubborn stains, including those caused by paint. It is always best to call in the professionals if you can.

How To Remove Different Paint Stains Out Of Your Carpet

Water-based paint stains

  1. If the paint is still fresh, just blot it with a paper towel, as mentioned above never scrub because you will make it worse
  2. If the paint stain is dry, mix hot water and a little bit of washing up liquid together, pour into a spray bottle and shake well. Mist the stained area and let the solution sit on the stain for a few  minutes to weaken the paint
  3. Once the paint has softened, use a dull knife to scrape off what is left of the stain, keep adding the solution while you scrape.
  4. If you find the paint is still dry, then consider using a handheld steamer while you scrape to loosen the paint from the carpet
  5. Blot the treated area with a clean cloth using the solution you have already made, then hoover the area to lift the fibres

When using a cloth or paper towel, whatever you decide to use ensure it is white as coloured cloths or towels can transfer the dye onto the carpet and make the stain worse.

If you are unsure whether the stain is water or oil-based, a good rule of thumb is if the instructions on the paint tin say to wash brushes when finished in warm water then the paint is water-based.

Oil-based paint stains

  1. Again, Dab the stain with a paper towel or cloth, which has been dampened in the thinning solvent for the paint. If this is not possible you can apply a small amount of turpentine to the affected area. Remember do not scrub
  2. If the oil-based stain is dry, apply steam to the stain to soften it, using a handheld steamer if possible. If you don’t have a steamer you can blot with a clean rag using a solvent such as acetone, nail varnish remover, WD 40. Acetone is highly flammable and can cause dizziness, therefore be incredibly careful and make sure you are wearing protective gloves, glasses, and a face mask.
  3. Gently break the dried paint using a needle or pin. Take your time, making sure you don’t damage the carpet fibres
  4. Blot and pick up the dried paint particles until the stain is removed
  5. Rinse the area using a solution of mild washing up liquid and lukewarm water
  6. Once dry, hoover the carpet to rejuvenate the carpet fibres

Some important points to remember

Turpentine is highly flammable and gives off highly toxic fumes in a fire.  It is advised to always store turpentine separately from oxidants like hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid etc.  Keep it in a well-ventilated space away from children

Dried on oil-based paints on carpets are tough to remove.  The paint may not fully disappear and applying solvents puts you at risk of damaging the carpet or rug even further. Solvents are really the only effective method to combat oil-based paints.


As you can see the removal of paint stains on your carpet, is possible but can be tedious and time If all else fails and you’ve tried everything you would just prefer not to have to tackle a paint stain yourself, then call in the professional.

They can treat the paint stain with specialist products that you cant find on the supermarket shelf.

As the most trusted professional carpet cleaners in Liverpool you can be sure your carpets and rugs are in safe hands with us.

Call Billy today for a non-obligation free quote and don’t forget we are so confident in the service give we offer a full money-back guarantee.