How to Clean Spray Paint Out of Carpet

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Aerosol paint or spray paint allows you to add a quick, even layer of paint to almost any surface. Different spray paints have different uses. For example, a rust prevention spray paint works for outdoor use on patio furniture or swing sets. Decorative, general use spray paints breathe new life into indoor furniture. There are also enamel spray paints to give a protective gloss to wood and metal. Spray paints are a favorite of crafters and DIY aficionados. They're quick drying, have an oil base and don't require a primer. The best part is there are no brushes or rollers to clean up after you're finished. Even so, if you're not careful, paint can still make a mess. That's why it's best to take precautions before applying spray paint.

How to Clean Spray Paint Out of Carpet
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Preventing Spray Paint Overspray

Before using spray paint, you'll want to prep the area where you'll be spraying. It's best to use spray paint outside or in a well-ventilated area. Place small items in a box to prevent overspray, and use a tarp to protect the surrounding area. Spraying 6 to 8 inches away from the item will help to contain the paint to a single area.

Removing Spray Paint from the Carpet

It's not recommended to use spray paint near a carpeted area, but sometimes accidents happen. If you do get spray paint on the carpet, there are several methods to try to remove the stain. Most of these methods are appropriate for different types of carpet, but you might want to spot test a hidden area to make sure there won't be discoloration. Though spray paint dries quickly, these methods apply to both wet and dry paint.

Any common paint thinner can remove spray paint from your carpet. Place a small amount of paint thinner on a cloth or sponge and blot to lift away the stain. Don't rub the stain because that can cause smearing. Blotting will prevent the stain from spreading and allow you to get deeper into the carpet.

If you want to avoid a trip to the hardware store, there are items in your home that can remove oil-based paints. Dish detergent is mild and cuts through grease. To clean paint using dish soap, mix a teaspoon of soap with a quart of warm water. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with the solution and blot the carpet until the paint is gone. Blot the carpet with a thick towel to dry.

You can also use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to clean the stain. Pour a small amount onto a cloth and blot the stain until there's no more paint. When the paint is gone, blot with a clean cloth to rinse. Pat the area with a towel to dry.

Getting spray paint on your carpet doesn't mean it's ruined forever. If you act quickly, you can clean the stain using some products you have at home.


Deb Ng is a freelance writer and published author with over 17 years of experience in creating content for the web. Prior to her freelance career, she worked for over 12 years in traditional (print) publishing. In her spare time, Deb is an avid gardener who loves nothing more than bringing flowers and vegetables to life. She doesn't have as much time to spend outside as she'd like, however, because she's also assisting her husband with the DIY projects needed to complete their family home. See Deb's gardening and home improvement articles at LoveToKnow, Wisegeek, and Alloy.

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