Remove Acrylic Paint Carpet Stain - How to

How to Get Acrylic Paint off Carpet

Four Methods:

Deal with the stain as soon as possible – preferably, when it’s still fresh and wet. The stain will be more difficult, if not impossible to lift once dried. However, almost all stains can be removed if they are cleaned within several days. Start with the mildest method first, and only move on to harsher techniques if necessary. These techniques require the use of a steam vacuum or wet/dry vacuum. If you don’t have one, you can purchase or rent one.


Removing Excess Paint

  1. Scrape up excess fresh paint.Scrape the paint gently with a spoon or a dull knife. Wipe the spoon or knife with a rag in between scrapes if you’re dealing with a large spill.
  2. Remove excess dried paint.Brush the stain with a soft brush, such as a toothbrush. Use a vacuum attachment or dustpan to collect the pieces of dried paint. Loosen big chunks of paint carefully with needle-nose pliers.
    • Make sure you’re brushing at the top of the carpet fibers, horizontally, not driving paint downwards.
    • If you’re having trouble breaking up a dry stain, use a putty knife and a citrus cleaner such as Goo Gone.
  3. Blot any wet paint.Use gentle blotting motions with dry paper towels or an absorbent cloth. Tap around the edges of the stain first. Continue blotting until you’ve absorbed as much of the wet paint as you can.
    • Starting at the outside edges of the stain will help you to contain the spill.
    • Make sure you are blotting and not rubbing in the paint. You don’t want to push it deeper into the fibers of the carpet.

Using Soapy Water and Vinegar

  1. Make a soap solution.Mix in one teaspoon of liquid soap for every one cup of warm water. Use a bucket for the solution, or fill a spray bottle. Choose a mild soap such as Dawn.
  2. Apply the solution to the stain.Spray the solution onto the stain. Alternately, soak a sponge in the solution and dab it onto the stain. Work the solution into the carpeting with a brush.Blot the area with an absorbent cloth. Lift the solution with a steam vacuum attachment.
    • Use a brush that is stiff, but not so harsh that it can damage the carpet fibers.
    • Repeat this step until you’ve lifted as much of the stain as you can.
  3. Blot the stain with a vinegar solution.Mix one part white vinegar for every ten parts water. Moisten a sponge in the solution and dab the carpet with the sponge. Tamp an absorbent towel on the area. Then use a sponge with cold water only on the area. Blot dry with a cloth.
    • Test this on an inconspicuous area of carpeting first. Some carpet materials and dyes may react to acetic acid.

Blotting with Alcohol and Glycerin

  1. Apply rubbing alcohol.Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a dry cloth or paper towel. Blot the stain with the cloth. Use a steam vacuum attachment to clean the area.
  2. Use glycerin.Apply glycerin to dry paper towels. Blot the stain until paint stops coming up.Let glycerin sit on the area for a few hours.
  3. Follow up with soap or acetone.Blot the area well with a gentle solution of liquid soap.Alternately, blot the area with acetone and follow up with steam vacuuming.

Using Acetone and Spot Cleaner

  1. Test an area of the carpet.Pour a little bit of acetone on it. Spray spot cleaner, such as 409, next to that. Let it sit for six minutes. Clean the area with a steam vacuum attachment. See if the acetone or spot cleaner caused any damage to the carpeting.
    • Use a carpet sample or extra piece of your carpeting, if you have it. Otherwise, find a concealed area of carpeting, such as inside of a closet.
    • Some carpet fibers and dyes may be sensitive to chemical cleaners.
  2. Lift the paint with acetone.Dampen a cloth with acetone, or use an eyedropper to apply acetone directly onto the stain.Blot the stain with the cloth. Move to a clean area of the cloth when it becomes soiled with paint.
    • This process may make the stain appear worse before it gets better. Don’t worry! The acetone is lifting the paint to the surface of the carpeting for removal.
    • Wear gloves and a mask when using acetone. Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and running a fan if needed.
    • Don’t pour acetone directly from its container onto the carpeting, or it’ll leak down into the padding.
  3. Work in spot remover with a toothbrush.Spray the stain with a spot remover such as 409 cleaner. Use a toothbrush in side-to-side and circular motions to work up a cleansing foam in the carpeting. Allow the foam to sit for five to six minutes.
  4. Clean the area with a steam vacuum.Prepare the water tank of your steam vacuum according to the appliance’s instructions. Run the vacuum and use an attachment. Cleanse the portion of the carpet with the stain and stain remover foam.
    • Repeat this entire method until you achieve satisfactory results.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Is red cadmium light acrylic paint permanent?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Mostly yes, but try the rubbing alcohol/cotton ball blotting to remove most of it.
  • Question
    How can I remove it without making any sound?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    To effectively remove acrylic paint from carpeting without making any sound won't be possible. You'll need to run a steam vacuum or wet/dry vacuum.
  • Question
    What are my options if I do not own a steam cleaner or wet/dry vacuum?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can rent steam cleaners from some major grocery chain stores. Some building supply stores may rent wet/dry vacuums as well.
Unanswered Questions
  • Can I use any type of vinegar to get acrylic paint off of a carpet?
  • What is an alternative to a steam cleaner if I can't afford that?
  • Is black acrylic paint permanent?
  • If I spilled water mixed paint on my carpet, will it be easier to remove than straight paint?
  • Do you have any other suggestions if the ones in the article don't work?
Ask a Question
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  • Use blotting cloths that you’re willing to throw away, so you don’t have to worry about removing a lot of paint from your cloths afterwards.


  • Removing paint from carpeting is difficult and time-consuming. If you have a very large spill, or you have expensive carpeting that you’re worried about, you may want to contact a professional carpet cleaning service instead.

Things You'll Need

Removing Excess Paint

  • Toothbrush
  • Vacuum or dustpan
  • Citrus cleaner
  • Putty knife
  • Spoon
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Paper towels

Using Soapy Water and Vinegar

  • Liquid soap
  • White vinegar
  • Bucket or spray bottle
  • Brush
  • Cloth
  • Sponge

Blotting with Alcohol and Glycerin

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cloth
  • Paper towel
  • Glycerin

Using Acetone or Spot Cleaner

  • Acetone
  • Spot cleaner
  • Cloth
  • Eyedropper
  • Gloves
  • Toothbrush

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