How to get paint out of carpet

Had a DIY disaster? Here's how to get paint out of carpet. And quick...

How to paint on new plaster
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Need to know how to get paint out of carpet? Given the amount of time we're all spending at home, getting on with a little bit of DIY seems like a great idea.

At least it did, back when you prided yourself on your 'steady hand' and decided to start painting without laying down anything to protect the floor. Now you've got paint in the carpet, have spent the last 45 minutes verbally berating yourself and need to know – as a matter of some urgency – how to get paint out of the carpet before your other half notices.

Fear not, friends. We're here with all the tricks of the trade in a bid to help you right this wrong and make it through lockdown unscathed. The first step? Identify what kind of paint you're dealing with. We've detailed how to get gloss paint (which is oil based), emulsion paint (which is water based) and dried paint out of carpet, below.

Once you're out of the woods, why not read more of our tips on how to clean carpet.

How to get gloss paint out of carpet

The first thing you should do is try to manually remove as much of the paint as possible using a scraper, or a similar tool. Between each scoop, remember to wipe your tool completely before repeating the process. Be mindful that you're trying to lift the paint out of the carpet, as opposed to spreading it further.

Next, take a paper towel and gently – again, taking care not to spread the paint further – try to blot away as much of the paint as you can.

When this is done, you'll need to move on to using white spirit in a bid to lift the stain. As gloss is generally oil based, you'll need to use a solvent in order to remove it effectively. Dampen a clean cloth, or piece of kitchen roll, with the white spirit solution and gently blot the affected area. This should loosen the paint and make it easier to lift away. You'll likely need a lot of cloth, or kitchen roll, for this as you'll need to take care not to spread the paint further once it becomes saturated with paint.

Once you've removed the paint using white spirit, use a simple soap and water to clean up the carpet. You can also use baking soda to reduce the smell of white spirit.

How to get emulsion paint out of carpet

The first thing you should do is try to manually remove as much of the paint as possible using a scraper, or a similar tool (a spoon or kitchen spatula will do). Be mindful that you're trying to lift the paint out of the carpet, as opposed to spreading it further. If you don't have this kind of tool to hand, you could use kitchen roll to blot away as much of the paint as possible.

As emulsion is water based, it shouldn't be too difficult to remove it from carpet using a simple soap detergent and plenty of water. This can be applied using a clean cloth, or kitchen roll. But, remember, your aim is for the cloth to soak up the paint, so it may need replacing pretty regularly.

If you feel that there's more that could be done, you could also try using a steamer to lift the paint out of the carpet. We've written a guide to the best steam cleaners to ensure you're getting the best value for money.

How to get dried paint out of carpet

Let your paint dry into the carpet while you panicked (and furiously googled) how to remove it? Or only just noticed that someone (aka the kids) spilt paint on the carpet and conveniently forgot to tell you? Never fear, Real Homes are here. 

As a first step, we'd recommend using a steam cleaner – you'll find the best models above – to lift as much of the stain as possible from the carpet. Next, we'd recommend blotting at the stain with white spirit in a bid to loosen the paint from the carpet. You'll want to continually replace the fabric you're dabbing the white spirit to prevent it spreading further.

You could also take to your carpet with a pair of scissors – much less scary than it sounds – and attempt to trim the paint on the tips of the carpet fibres.

And if all else fails? Reshuffle your room so that a piece of furniture sits on top of it. If it's in the middle of the room, a coffee table or foot stool could be your new best friend.