How To Remove Dried Paint From Carpet? A Comprehensive Guide

If you come to this article, you may have made some mistakes while revamping your home, particularly spilling drops of paint onto the carpet. Good thing that we are here to tell you how to remove dried paint from carpet.

Painting your home is fun, but it can be a bit challenging for us regular homeowners. When it comes to painting, oh boy, it can get messy. You like adding some creativity into your home, but at the same time, the thought of after-cleaning drains any joy you have for this exciting activity. 

That’s why today, not only are we bringing you our guide on how to handle such situations; we will also show you tricks and tips to prevent them from happening.


How to Remove Dried Paint From Carpet?

To remove the paint successfully, you need to identify what type of paint you are dealing with. If you forget to do so, we’re going to have an even bigger problem later, my friend. For that, we advise you to take a second look at that label. It’s better to be safe than be sorry!

Oil-Based Paint 200

Oil-based paint is quite hard to remove. As the name suggests, these types of paint contain oil in them. Be it natural or synthetic oil, paint belongs to this type is extremely durable, and it is impossible to remove them with water alone.

However, there’s always a method. Let us show you how to do this right. First, let’s get your tools out. For this type of paint, you’ll need:

  • A hand vacuum (or a regular vacuum is just as fine)
  • A steam cleaner
  • A knife or a paint scraper
  • A pin or a needle
  • Any paint remover: hydrogen peroxide or acetone
  • A light solution of water and dish soap

What you’re going to do is to scrape the dried paint off first using the knife. Once you get the outer layer, you’ll notice the residues that clump up the fabric. Now, use the pin (or the needle) to break the clumps without damaging the fiber of your carpet. Afterward, vacuum the chips that crumble on the surface.

Follow up, use the steam cleaner to loosen up the stubborn parts. Then soak a cloth into the paint remover of your choice. And, slightly, dab them onto the stained part.

For this step, we recommend you to use a white cloth to avoid further staining.

To finish up, steam the carpet again. But this time, you’ll use the water and dish soap solution, and that’s it, you have finally removed the dried paint from your carpet.

Now, if there’s still any stain left, consider trimming the top part with scissors, but do be careful not to cut too much of it, or your carpet will look bare.

Water-Based Paint 200

Water-based paint, also known as latex paint, can dry faster, but it is easier to remove than their oil counterpart. So, if this is what you have to deal with, consider yourself lucky because you’re going to finish in the blink of an eye. Here’s what you have to prepare:

  • A knife and a needle (But if you have a utility knife, it can be more convenient)
  • A vacuum
  • A light mixture of water and dish soap (or white vinegar is also good). Put that solution into a spray bottle.
  • A stiff brush, it can be a toothbrush or a big brush, depends on how large the problem area is.
  • Carpet cleaner (optional)

What you need to do first is to scrape off the outer layer with the knife. Just like with oil paint, you continue to break off the remaining clumps with a needle or any small object that has a pointed head. When you’re done, vacuum the paint chips.

With the bottle of mixture, you spray that onto the stained surface. You don’t have to soak the area completely. Remember, a little goes a long way. Now, leave that there for about 2 minutes, and it should be ready for our next step.

Using the brush, scrub the paint away. If you feel like the carpet is getting too dry and you can still see the paint color, feel free to spray more soaped water on it, and repeat the step. Depending on how badly the carpet is stained, this process may take a while.

Finally, you vacuum the carpet again, and to finish up, you can freshen the area with a carpet cleaner.

However, some water paints are more resilient than others. In their cases, following the steps above won’t do the trick. It would be best if you switch to the method for oil-based paint. Only this time, you skip the scraping part.

Tips To Avoid Paint Spills

It’s good to know how to remove the paint once it’s dried. But even better, you should know how to prevent it from happening in the first place. Trust us, this will save you plenty of time and energy.

Plastic Covers

Heavy-duty plastics are the go-to option when you need to repaint your home. You can purchase these giant covers at any paint or hardware stores. Spread them on the floor and secure them with tapes. If you want, you can move all the furniture aside and cover them with the plastics, too. 

Drop Cloths

Drop cloths are great substitutes for plastic covers. On the plus side, these guys can hold themselves without any tape to secure, convenient for any painter that has to move on a ladder.

On the downside, drop cloths can only keep the droplets away from your carpet but not a large spill, for that will soak right through the cloth.

Using Tapes 

If you want to paint the wall from top to bottom, you can remove the baseboard then tape it along the carpet line. This way, the tape line will keep any droplets from dripping down the carpet.

Homemade Drip Stopper 

Paint will drip no matter what you do. That’s just physics. The only way so you can minimize the droplets tripping down is to prevent them right from the start. We can do that by removing excess liquid before moving our brush.

Get a wire hanger, you will cut the bottom part of it. Then bend it so that it will rest on the rim of the paint can. Now, every time you dip your paintbrush, swipe it over the hanger to remove excess paint. By doing so, you can limit the possibility of paint dripping down.

Rubber Band

Finding the cloth hanger way requires too much work? Then the rubber band is perfect for you. It’s so easy, you can even do it with your eyes closed.

With a strong rubber band, wrap vertically around the can and that’s it, a paint can be equipped with an effective paint stopper.

Paint Can Catcher

Another way you can try is getting a paint catcher. You can buy this tool from any home improvement store. But if you’re on a tight budget, here’s what you can do.

Take a pie tin, make sure the size is big enough for the paint can bottom part. After you use the hot glue gun and put a circle of glue into the bottom of the tin, put the paint can in the circle, and now, your paint can is secured inside the glued rim.

With this device, you can paint without worrying any paint might drop onto your carpet. Plus, it requires very little effort.

Snap-on Lids

If you’re using a lot of paint and need to pour the paint into a tray can, it is preferable to get a snap lid. Pouring the can alone will lead to a big spill, whereas a snap lid, with its spout, will control the amount of paint pouring out.

Finding a snap lid is easy, they’re sold in many paint stores. You probably can even see them the first time buying paint. Not to mention, they’re also very cheap.

Reusable Cups 

Only need to touch up small areas? Well, this one is easy. Just get a cup or a mug, anything that you can hold with one hand. Pour paint into the cup, and that is your mini paint can.

Just make sure that the cup is big enough for the paint brush, and you should be fine.

Enjoy Painting!

And there you have it, a thorough guide on how to remove dried paint from carpet. Home renovating is so much work but it’s so fun. In order to have a great outcome, you just need to put your mind to it first. A little spilled paint shouldn’t intimidate you.

Instead, you can always ask for help and improve yourself. We hope this guide was helpful, as well as wishing you have lots of fun while painting!

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