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My drunken roommate came home last night and knocked a whole can of paint all over the carpet. I just found it this morning, half-dry. I scooped most of it up, but there's still the bottom layer seeped into the carpet.

What's the best way to clean the paint off the carpet?

Update:

The top of the can says

Premium plus int satin enamel - Custom color match - Pastel base (7500)

That's pretty much it, except the color (A mix of Lamp black, yellow oxid, and thalo green).

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Oil or latex-based paint? I honestly doubt you will ever get it all out without destroying the carpet, but maybe someone else knows a trick that can help –  Steven Jul 4 '12 at 19:59
    
There's gotta be a way. I just moved in! –  John Leehey Jul 4 '12 at 20:08
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I'm pretty sure this will require replacing the carpet. If it was easy, they wouldn't make drop cloths. –  BMitch Jul 4 '12 at 20:12
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Since your roomie is a goof, have them buy a large bottle of Goof Off. Test in an inconspicuous spot on the carpet like a closet to be sure it won't damage it. Don't pour it on, instead dampen a rag with it and place over the stain for a while, then blot with a clean rag, repeat till stain gone. Won't be right away, but it will take a while. –  Gunner Jul 4 '12 at 20:29
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

So I bought some cheap carpet cleaner from the local grocery store and started dabbing. With a rag soaked in cold water (my roommate also used a sponge, which may actually work better), I made sure to keep the carpet area wet. I spent about 2 hours dabbing at the carpet, spraying the carpet cleaner every so often. After a couple of dabs, I could tell the rag wouldn't pick up any more of the wet paint, so I would carry it to the sink, wring it out, and start dabbing again.

This seemed to work, for the most part! The stain is hardly noticeable, and is still getting better as I continue to spray and dab when I have time. It may be a little more work than expected, but it's better than replacing the carpet.

Some tips:

  • Make sure the paint stays wet in the beginning. You want the rag to soak it up, and it won't absorb the paint if the paint is dry.
  • Try not to scrub too hard. When I tried scrubbing, the paint would spread outside of the original drop zone. Dabbing is better.
  • Don't leave a paint can on the carpet. Ever.
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It seems to me your mistake was who you chose to live with, not where you chose to live your paint can. –  ThePopMachine Jul 7 '12 at 4:57
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