Household Cleaning Tips: Removing Oil Paint From Carpet/Upholstery

Use these easy instructions to remove stubborn oil paint stains from carpets and upholstery. Included are two excellent methods for successful stain removal.

Anyone who works with oil-based paint on a regular basis eventually has the misfortune of accidental spillage. A leaking tub or container of paint can be a disaster. Removing it from carpeting or upholstery can be difficult, but it's not an impossible feat to achieve.

First of all, keep in mind that oil-based paint and water do not mix. Never attempt to clean oil-based paint from carpeting with a carpet-cleaning machine that uses water. Also, paints that have dried on carpeting or other material are just about impossible to get out. If you happen to get oil paint on carpeting or upholstery, you're more likely to successfully remove it if you tend to the spill immediately.

Right after the spill occurs, blot up as much paint as possible using clean absorbent paper toweling. Gently blot the area with clean paper towels until they can no longer absorb the stain. Never rub or wipe a stain. Doing so will grind the paint into the fibers, making the stain impossible to remove.

After blotting up as much paint as possible, find several clean, dry rags. Use white rags so you can see your progress in removing the stain from the material. Apply a small amount of paint thinner or turpentine to the first rag. Blot the stain gently, being careful not to grind it into the fibers or deeper into the pile. Use clean rags to continue this process until the stain is gone.

After the stain has been lifted using turpentine or paint thinner, clean the area using a carpet or upholstery-cleaning product of your choice. Allow it to dry, and vacuum the area.

Remember to always use caution when working with paint thinner or turpentine. Provide adequate ventilation, and always use gloves when using it for stain removal purposes. Paint thinner and turpentine can irritate or burn the skin. If it does come in contact with exposed skin, immediately wash with soap and water.

After the material has dried, there may be a lingering odor from the solvent. If the scent of turpentine or paint thinner remains, apply a moderate amount of baking soda to the area. Let it sit on the material for an hour, and thoroughly vacuum it up. Go over the area with a spray-on odor neutralizer. This should eliminate any lingering scent left by the solvent. If an odor remains after the neutralizer has dried, repeat the process.

You may want consider trying another method of extracting oil paint from carpeting or upholstery. After blotting up as much paint as possible with clean paper towels, sprinkle a generous amount of white flour over the stain. Gently brush the flour into the fibers of the carpeting. The flour will act as an absorbent sponge to extract the stain. It may not be necessary to apply a solvent after using the flour. Allow the flour to absorb the stain for a few hours, and vacuum it up. If some of the stain remains, apply more flour to the area and brush it in. Allow the flour to absorb the stain for a few more hours, and vacuum the area.

If any of the stain remains, apply turpentine or paint thinner to a clean rag, and gently blot the spot. Repeat this process until the stain is removed. Follow the same procedure for odor elimination as instructed above.

© High Speed Ventures 2011