How To Get Dried Paint Out Of Carpet ( Oil & Water Based)


It’s time to give your home a fresh lick of paint and bring it back to life. After all, there is nothing more depressing than mucky and chipped paint. 

You thought you had covered all of the floors in each room before you started, but as you are cleaning up you notice that you have missed a spot. 

Or maybe, you’re trying to get rid of old paint that was never removed from the previous owners. Now the carpet is ruined. 

So what do you do? Hiring professionals to remove the stain is an option, but definitely not a cost-efficient one. 

Fortunately, there are methods of removing both oil-based and water paint stains from carpets that can be achieved without investing more of your hard-earned cash into the home. 

Prepare to learn the secrets of how to get dried paint out of carpet.

Oil-Based vs. Water-Based: How Can I Tell?

The chemical makeup of paints, like whether it is oil-based or water-based, can impact how the colour adheres to the surface and how it wears and tears over time. The first step to removing the stain is to determine what type of paint was used on the surface. 

If you had just painted the room, this can be figured out by looking at the can you purchased. If you are trying to remove a stain from a previous homeowner, there are methods of determining which type of paint has been used.

  • Old Cans – If you have just purchased the home, scout the garage, basement, or shed to see if there are any leftover cans of paint. By finding the can that was used, you can easily determine the type of paint that had been used on the wall surface and will help you figure out which methods of paint stain removal work best. 
  • Alcohol Test – So, you couldn’t find the previous used can of paint. Fortunately, this method can help determine what was used on your walls. 
  • First, you want to start off by taking a rag dumped in warm water and a light detergent and clean over an area of the wall, then dry over the spot with a dry, clean towel. 
  • Next, take either a cotton ball or another rag that has been soaked with rubbing alcohol and wipe over the surface. 
  • If the paint comes off, water-based paint has been used. If no paint comes off, then an oil-based paint has been used.

Removing Oil-Based Stains

If you want to learn how to get paint out of the carpet when the culprit is an oil-based paint, then look no further. Dried paint removal from carpet has never been simpler with our two handy methods for wet and dry stains.

1 Method One: Wet Stains

What You Will Need:

  • Spatula
  • Sponge
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Cleaning pad

Step One: Start by taking a spatula or a similar object and carefully extracting the paint from the carpet fibres. Of course, this will not remove all of the paint from the area, so grab a clean sponge and blot at the paint stain until enough of it has been removed. 

Rubbing the area can lead to the paint stain spreading, or seeping further into the carpet fibres, causing clean up to become more difficult.

Dabbing paint from carpet

Step Two: Next, you will need isopropyl alcohol. Start by testing another area of the carpet that is less visible to make sure the alcohol does not cause damage to the fibres. 

If the fibres break loose, then this method is not appropriate for removing the stain. Only one to two drops should determine if this method works best. If no damage is done, you may proceed with this method.

Step Three: After you spot test the carpet, take a clean cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol and dab the paint stain with it. As you are doing this, use slight pressure on the area. Do this for several seconds, until the paint has been removed. 

If the paint stain hasn’t been completely removed, your next step is to apply a dry cleaning solvent to an absorbent pad and apply it onto the stain. You will also want to test this on another area of carpet to determine if it will cause damage. 

If it doesn’t, apply the absorbent pad saturated with the cleaning solvent to the stain and place a heavy object on top of it for about thirty minutes. 

After the thirty minutes are up, and there’s still leftover residue, apply more solvent to the pad and dab at the area until you are able to remove it. 

Step Four: Finally, rinse the carpet with water to remove any remaining residue and then dry the area with a clean microfibre cloth.

2 Method Two: Dry Stains

What You Will Need:

  • Steam cleaner
  • Pin or needle

Start by steaming the area where the dried paint is with your steam cleaner. The steam will help the paint to soften, causing cleanup to be easier and will lower the risk of pulling out any carpet fibres in the process. It will also help you to remove as much paint as possible. 

Next, take a pin or needle and simultaneously pick at the dried paint stain to try to break it up. Continue this until the stain has been removed completely. While doing this, be gentle so you are not left with any bald spots after you get the paint out of carpet.

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Removing Water-Based Stains

Paint remover for carpet is usually filled with chemicals, but if you have a water-based paint it can be as simple as a spray bottle and a clean cloth – no joke. Dried paint stans won’t be a problem for you once you use this paint remover on carpet.

1 Method One: Wet Stains

What You Will Need:

  • Hot water
  • Bowl (for the water)
  • Microfibre cloths

Fortunately, because water-based paints contain water as a solution to the mixture, you do not need any extra chemicals to remove the paint stain from your carpet. Plus, if the area you are trying to clean up hasn’t completely dried, you do not need to pre-treat the area before removing the stain.

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Step One: The first step to removing the stain is to saturate a clean microfibre cloth with hot water and wring out the excess liquid. 

Step Two: Start by blotting at the area where the paint is. Rubbing the area can cause the paint to spread, and seep further into the carpet fibres, causing cleanup to become more difficult. 

When you’re dabbing at the area, make sure your cloth and carpet remain damp. Periodically rinse the towel to ensure you are not redistributing the paint back into the carpet. You will want to get as much paint as possible out during this step. 

Step Three: Repeat this process until the paint stain has been completely removed from the carpet fibres. Make sure you get as much paint as possible out of the carpet.

Step Four: Grab a fresh, clean cloth saturated with warm water and scrub the area and let it air dry for a few hours. Using a vacuum, or your fingers can help fluff the area of carpet back to its original state after it has dried

2 Method Two: Dry Stains

What You Will Need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Hot water
  • Microfibre cloths

Step One: Start by filling a spray bottle with hot water and saturating the area where the paint has dried. The hot water will help the paint soften, making removal easier. Leave the area to soak for about 20 minutes before proceeding. 

Step Two: Saturate a towel with hot water and wring out the excess water. Dried paint can be a pain, so make sure the water is piping hot. 

Step Three: Start by blotting the area where the paint has been spilt. Rubbing the area can cause the paint to spread, and seep further into the carpet fibres, which will make the cleaning process much harder. 

When you’re dabbing at the area, make sure your cloth and carpet remain damp. Rinse the cloth regularly ensure you are not redistributing the paint back into the carpet and are instead removing the stains. 

Step Four: Repeat this process until you have been able to get the paint out of carpet completely. Or at least remove as much as possible so that the process can be repeated. 

Step Five: Grab a fresh, clean cloth that has been saturated with warm water and scrub the area. Then, let it air dry for a few hours. You can use a vacuum cleaner to fluff the area of carpet back to its original state after it has dried. 


Isopropyl alcohol damaged my carpet, what do I do now?

If the above method provided caused any damage to your carpet, try mixing hot water with dish detergent and apply it to the area where the oil-based paint resides. 

The dish soap will allow the water to penetrate the oil and remove the remaining paint. This method may take several tries to get rid of the stain completely.

Will White Vinegar Remove Paint from Carpet?

White vinegar can remove paint from a carpet, but it is less effective than the methods we have listed above. Instead, it is much better at getting paint off window frames and glass, as well as other hard surfaces. It’s not particularly well suited to carpet cleaning.

Can Baking SodaRemove Dried Paint Stains from Carpet?

No, baking soda cannot remove dried paint stains from carpet. Even with wet stains, the paint is often too dense for the baking soda to collect efficiently as it mats the carpet fibres and causes them to clog. Instead, you should use the above methods to get rid of the stains effectively.

What Will Remove Dried Latex Paint?

Latex paint can be a real pain, but the good news is that it’s possible to remove it. If you are struggling to remove stubborn areas of latex paint, simply take some rubbing alcohol and apply it to the area before giving it a good scrub – much like the method we used for oil-based paint.

You’ll find that latex paint comes off in no time at all.

To Conclude

Paint stains aren’t the end of the world, and can easily be removed through the steps provided above. While using these methods, it is also important to be mindful on how much force is used, and what you are using on your carpet. 

The last thing you want is for the value on your home to decrease because of improper stain removal techniques damaging your property. 

Using our guide on how to get dried paint out of carpet is sure to lead to success for oil and water-based culprits alike. Protection Status