A few months back I was getting my house repainted. As is required, I had covered all the furniture and carpets with either plastic sheets or cloth. Yet somehow bits of gloss paint managed to spill on the living room carpet. Unfortunately, I failed to notice this until the paint job was completed. By then the gloss paint had hardened and embedded itself into the carpet fibres.
At that point, I had no clue as to how I could get it removed. The carpet was an expensive one and I didn’t want to take a chance. So, I got in touch with a professional carpet cleaning service. Now the thing with gloss paint or any other oil-based paint is that if it’s not dealt with immediately, it’s almost impossible to completely remove it off the carpet. Faint traces of it continues to remain. And that’s exactly what happened with my carpet. The carpet cleaning service gave it their best shot, but a faint paint stain still remains. In the morning, when sunlight falls on it, it’s visible. At other times of the day, I don’t really notice it.
When I got the carpet back from the cleaning service I was quite disappointed, so I did a lot of research online to find possible fixes for it. That’s when I learnt a number of techniques to clean or remove gloss paint stain from a carpet. I tried some of them on my carpet and managed to make the stain even fainter. But if I had known these methods earlier and if I had noticed the gloss paint on the carpet earlier, I think I would have been able to fix almost completely.
I need to mention here that there are different types of paints. Gloss paint and other oil-based paints are by far the hardest to remove and clean. Whereas, water-based paints are very easy to remove and the steps involved are quite simple. The same goes for acrylic paints.
Scoop up and Blot as Much Paint as Possible
This is where urgency becomes important. You need to gear into action as soon as paint falls or spills on the carpet.
- You will need a putty knife, which has a wide and blunt head. Alternatively, you can also use a discarded credit card or an old library membership card. Basically, anything that’s wide and blunt so that you can scoop up the paint and not damage or slice the carpet in the process.
- Slide the putty knife under the paint and scoop up some of it. Use a rag to wipe off the putty knife before repeating the process. Do not try to scrape off the paint, because you will end up spreading the paint to other parts of the carpet.
- Repeat this process a few times till no more of the paint can be scooped up.
- Next, use a white cotton cloth or thick white paper towels to blot as much of the paint as possible. You will have to use multiple pieces of cloth or paper towels for this. Move to the next step, when no more paint is blotting.
For Dried up Paint
- The previous method only works if the paint is still fresh. If, however, it has dried up, you can place a white cotton cloth over the dried up paint and run an iron over it to melt the paint after which you can scoop it up.
- The other option to tackle dried up paint is to freeze and then chip it away.
- You will need a clear plastic bag and some ice cubes. Pour the ice cubes in the bag and hold it against the dried up paint till it freezes. Then use a butter knife to carefully chip away as much of the paint as possible. This will make your job easier while cleaning the paint stain, as a part of the paint has already been removed.
Use White Spirit to Remove the Stain
White spirit or mineral turpentine is a great solvent and ideal cleaning agent for gloss paint. Make sure that you’re wearing a pair of kitchen gloves during this part of the procedure.
- Take another piece of white cotton cloth and wet an end of it with white spirit.
- With this cloth, dab on the stain and gently press it. This will loosen the paint’s grip on the carpet fibres and enable you to remove it.
- When the part of the cloth wetted with white spirit gets saturated with paint, turn the cloth around and wet a different end.
- Continue dabbing the white spirit on the stain and blotting the paint till all of it is removed.
Clean the Stain with Soap Solution
The turpentine will take care of most of the paint, but a few traces may be left. Plus, the turpentine itself will still be on the stained area. So, you need to clean these next.
- Mix a couple of drops of liquid dishwashing soap in a large bowl of cold water.
- Soak a white cotton cloth in this solution and then with a gentle pressing motion clean any remaining traces of the paint.
- Next, use white paper towels to blot any excess water.
- Repeat the process if required.
- Finally, place a bunch of paper towels over the formerly stained area and place a baking tray on it to soak up any remaining moisture and dry out the carpet.
Baking Soda Removes White Spirit Odour
There’s a chance that white spirit or mineral turpentine will leave behind some odour on the carpet. It’s quite easy to remove this.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the formerly stained area of the carpet.
- Let it be for at least a couple of hours.
- Then use a vacuum cleaner to clean up all of the baking soda and along with it any residual odour.
- Some carpets, especially those made of natural fibres such as wool and silk, might require special cleaning techniques. Consult the recommended care manual provided by the manufacturer before trying any DIY methods.
- Test all cleaning techniques on a small hidden portion of the carpet before trying it on the actual stain.
- Be careful while using solvents like white spirit or mineral turpentine.
As I stated earlier in the article, gloss can be extremely tough to get out of the carpet if left uncleaned for too long. Now that you know what to do in case you get some gloss on your carpet, you can keep these tips handy when you’re about to get a paint job done at home.