Friday, February 20, 2009

Annette's Carpet Corner: Removing Acrylic Paint Stains recently posted aaaahhhh! about acrylic paint. More specifically: "Does anyone know how to get black acrylic paint off of a carpet, or am I screwed? It says it's a "stainmaster" carpet...but when I tried to clean it up, it made a smeary mess so i stopped... Anyone have any advice?"

What a perfect subject for this episode of Annette's Carpet Corner!

Here's what Annette recommends:

As with all stains, it's best to deal with the stain as quickly as possible.

According to the Wear-Dated Stain Removal Guide, for a paint [oil or latex] stain, it's best to:

+ Remove as much of the paint itself as possible by blotting with a white paper towel or scraping with a dull knife.

+ Apply isopropyl rubbing alcohol to a clean white cloth, white paper towel or cotton ball. If the spot extends deep into the pile, blot until it is removed or no color transfers to the cloth. Do not allow the alcohol to penetrate the backing, as it will destroy the latex bond. If the spot is on the surface only, rub in one direction at a time.If rubbing removes the spot, blot dry and stack several white paper towels over the damp area.

+ Place a brick or similarly weighted object on the towels to keep them in contact with the carpet. The towels will absorb any stain wicking up from the backing to the carpet surface.

+ Allow the carpet to dry, remove the brick and towels, and brush up the pile.

Please remember never use a circular motion to remove a carpet spot as this may destroy the texture!

We also checked the Carpet & Rug Institute's Spot Solver. It makes several important points:

+ That you might want to pretest any spot removal solution (for color transfer to the cloth or damage to the carpet) in an inconspicuous area. If a change occurs, select another solution [Spot Solver offers several stain removal solutions].

+ Don't rub, but do work from the outer edges of the spill to the center to prevent spreading. Be patient. Blot.

+ Consider calling a Professional Cleaner who will have the ability and equipment to apply more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn stains.

Annette also located this resource aptly titled How To Remove Paint From Carpet. Acrylic paint is water soluble when wet, but not when dry. The author suggests mixing some laundry detergent [Annette suggests 1/4 teaspoon of hand dish washing detergent like Dawn or Joy mixed with 1 quart of water].

She also cautions against mineral spirits, preferring isopropyl rubbing alcohol. She worries that mineral spirits might affect the carpet's stain blocking ingredients. [NOTE: Stainmaster's stain removal guide suggests dry cleaning fluid and a detergent solution.]

What I've learned from all this is that it's best to avoid paint on carpet at all costs. If unavoidable, act as quickly as possible. If you don't notice the paint stain until it's too late, it's probably best to call a professional.

However, should you want to tackle removing acrylic paint from carpet, you have options to explore.

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Painter Will said...

great article on your blog, i will keep readin for more info.

thanks, will

CB Whittemore said...

Thanks, Will!

Mechele said...

Thank you! Thank you! I was recreating a Navy photo that was damaged in a fire. I spilled Navy blue acrylic paint on the tan carpet in the bedroom of our RENTED apartment. I sprayed pretreatment and placed white paper towels on the spit until I could Google a solution to my delimma. Your suggestion worked perfectly. I don't think it I'll be noticeable when it is dried.

CB Whittemore said...

Yeah! I love hearing about happy resolutions. Thanks for visiting.

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