How To Remove Oil-based Paint from Carpet (How-to guide)

When it comes to painting, one of the first and most important steps is to prep the area. This includes protecting carpets and floors and walls and furniture…basically everything except the surface that is going to be painted.

There is a reason why it’s so important to cover up things so that they don’t get paint on them, and it’s because paint can ruin things and be super hard to remove!

However, like with everything in life, accidents can happen. Maybe you were carrying the bucket of paint to another room, or you accidentally dropped the wet paintbrush, or maybe you were a bit careless and didn’t cover the carpet before starting to paint.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that you now have a stain of oil-based paint on the carpet, and you desperately need to remove it. We’ve got you covered.

How to remove oil-based paint from a carpet:

Luckily, although you should avoid ever staining your carpet with paint, it is not the end of the world if you do. There are indeed different ways in which you can remove the oil-based paint stain from the carpet, and hopefully, it should go back to looking as good as new.

Let’s get into it!

If the paint stain is wet:

When it comes to removing a paint stain, the sooner you act the better. So if the paint stain is fresh and still wet, you have a better chance of removing it without any damage to the carpet, and without having to do anything excessively complicated.

If you’ve just dropped oil-based paint on the carpet, do the following:

  1. Dab at the stain of paint with a wet paper towel. It’s super important that you dab, and not rub. If you rub at the paint it will just get pushed further into the fabric of the carpet, not to mention that it will also spread into a wider stain. So avoid rubbing at all costs! Dab with the wet cloth, so that the cloth absorbs as much of the wet paint as possible.
  2. Once you have finished dabbing at the paint, hopefully, most of it will have been absorbed by the wet cloth. However, it is likely that a stain of paint will remain on the carpet. (Oil-based paint is considered to be one of the hardest paints to remove from carpet, so it wasn’t likely that you could simply solve the problem by dabbing with a wet cloth!)
  3. Next, use a paint-removing product to dab at the stain, so that it’s lifted from the carpet fabric. If you don’t want to buy a specific oil-based paint removing product, you can use either mineral spirit or turpentine.
  4. Use as many bits of cloth as you need, applying the product so that it slowly lifts away from the entirety of the stain. Keep dabbing and wiping until the carpet is clean once more.
  5. Once the stain is gone, make sure to clean your carpet and add any products you want to ensure it is well-maintained and protected.

If the paint stain is dry:

If the paint stain has been there a while and has already dried, removing it will be a little more complicated as the oil-based paint will have hardened onto the carpet fabric. Nevertheless, there are still a few things you can do to get the carpet back in top shape:

  1. Start by using a steamer. Yup, a steamer. It sounds odd, but a steamer will apply both heat and moisture to the stain at the same time, helping it soften up so that it is easier to work with and remove. Do this by applying the steam directly onto the stain, but not too close!
  2. Once the stain has softened up a bit, use a needle or pin to pick at it so that it begins to break apart. However, when picking at the paint, be careful not to pick at the fibers of the carpet and the padding beneath, as this could cause some significant damage!
  3. Once you have removed as much of the paint as possible, and only a thin layer of the stain remains, apply some stain removing product. Alternatively, you could apply mineral spirit or turpentine.
  4. Apply the product by dabbing it on and gently rubbing. Use as many bits of cloth as needed and as much product as required.
  5. You can also use a sponge to apply warm water and concentrated liquid carpet shampoo, as this will further help lift the most stubborn bits of the paint stain.
  6. Once the stain has been fully removed, wash the carpet with suitable products and let it dry completely. Make sure it is well-maintained and taken care of, and avoid spilling any more paint!

If you follow the steps we’ve indicated, you should have a pretty good chance of removing the oil-based paint stain. However, as oil-based paints are the hardest to remove from carpet, you might not be lucky enough to remove them fully.

If this is the case, you might have to get in touch with a professional, so that your carpet can be professionally treated and cleaned, so that it’s back to looking brand new.

Tips to avoid staining your carpet with oil-based paint:

As we’ve mentioned, oil-based paints are usually the hardest ones to remove from the carpet, and in many cases, it requires professional intervention to get your carpet back in good shape. So the best solution is to outright avoid staining your carpet in the first place!

  • Maybe use another type of paint when working close to carpets, if you have the option.
  • Make sure to cover the carpet with sheets and pieces of newspaper! Alternatively, you could also use a plastic covering or similar, to make sure no paint reaches the carpet at all.
  • Always be extra careful. There’s a saying for this, better safe than sorry!

That’s all we can suggest for avoiding oil-based paint stains on your carpet, a lot of care, and a lot of protecting the surface!

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