The Best Way to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Carpet


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December 21, 2019
Zoe Hunt
Carpet with big blue stain from acrylic paint

Just as I was about to step back to admire my freshly painted DIY mountain wall mural, chaos happened. I stepped back and knocked over my full can of watercolor paint… and of course, it was the darkest blue we had.

As I jumped around trying to prevent my paint-soaked foot from touching the carpet, I hit another can of watery paint.

At least I put a tarp down I thought…until I realized the tarp was cloth. Every second that I stood paralyzed, having no idea how to clean the mess up, the paint soaked deeper and deeper into the carpet.

I finally got the tarps pulled up and the results were in. The carpet (in our brand-new house) was ruined. A huge dark blue stain covered the floor and several smaller stains filled the whole room.

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I jumped into action and started googling. I found several remedies to try and try and try. But finally, I found the best option. One that removed the majority of the stain with significantly less effort than my other options: Folex. (no this is not an ad, I’ve learned from experience that this is the best option and I want to make sure you know it too!)

Did it work?? Not 100%, but it looks significantly better! We’ve asked people to find the places that we spilled the blue paint and no one has been able to find it yet. I sure can see it some days though. I guess that’s proof that we’re often harder on ourselves.

before and after - blue acrylic paint stain

How to get acrylic paint out of carpet 

Folex! Have you ever used Folex? It’s a miracle-worker.

We grabbed it three days after our blue paint fiasco and it still worked wonders on the carpet. And don’t worry–we tried Folex first on a few other stains we ended up making, so we know it works as the first solution too!

1. Blot your carpet with a paper towel to get some of the surface paint off. Do not rub! Blot only. Don’t worry about getting a lot of it off, this is just to remove a bit of the surface paint before moving on.

2. Spray Folex on the spot.

3. Rub the Folex into the carpet using your finger tips.

4. Dap your spot with a paper towel.

5. Repeat, repeat, and repeat some more until you are content with your results. If you want to rub the Folex in a little bit more, you can also use a toothbrush to help brush it in.

But, beware if using a toothbrush. Excess scrubbing can cause your carpet to look a little worn.

Alternative ways to get acrylic paint out of carpet 

Still want to work on your carpet to get more paint out? We tried every remedy in the book, so here are a list of options that helped us get out some more color. We had the most success with Folex, but these options helped too.

A quick word of caution: don’t spend hours trying to get the paint out. It’s likely never going to be 100% back to normal and the more you work it, the more you disturb the fibers in your carpet, making it look more worn. Sometimes the spot will be less noticeable with a tint of color than it would be with distressed fibers.

1. Rubbing alcohol + a tooth brush. We poured some rubbing alcohol on the stain and scrubbed it with a toothbrush before blotting it with a paper towel to get out a lot of paint.

2. Nail polish remover. Pour nail polish removed on the stain, agitate it with your fingers, and then blot with a paper towel. You can also try pouring the nail polish remover on the paper towel and then blotting. This was the method that got more color out at the end when everything else had stopped pulling out color.

3. Steam cleaner. We tried this initially on the big blue stain and then finished up our carpet cleaning with the steam cleaner as well. I had high expectations at how much it was going to get out, and I was definitely disappointed. Sure, it got out a decent amount of paint (and cleaned our carpets), but out of all of the things we tried, I think the steam cleaner removed the least amount of color.

how to get acrylic paint out of carpet

There you have it! If you happen to get acrylic paint on your carpet, try not to stress too much. Sure it’ll take a little bit of work, but you’ll be able to get the majority of the color out.

As I mentioned before, best results are from Folex, so start with that if at all possible! The other options will help a little bit, but Folex will get out the most with the least amount of scrubbing and rounds of repetition.

A quick note about the results: they will depend on the time of day and lighting. Some days I can’t even find our blue spot in our carpet, while other days it seems like it got more blue overnight. So check back on your results over the next few days and keep working at it if the color seems to be brighter than it was before.

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  1. Tory Yoder says:

    FOLEX is fantastic!!! I tried it initially on some “mystery stains” that came with my place when I moved in. No idea what they were or how old but FOLEX got them out. I have since used it on every cleaning job that required carpet cleaning. It has never let me down. Just FYI you can also buy it in the larger size to use in carpet cleaners. Exact same formula, same fantastic results!!!

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      Isn’t it amazing??? That is GREAT to know! I’m going to give it a shot next time I break out the carpet cleaner. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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