A bit (okay, maybe a lot) of dark blue Citadel paint was spilled on the carpet about a month ago. Since the first Google result actually provided bad advice, I decided to post some instructions for how to reliably remove hobby paint from a carpet.
First, you’ll need the following supplies: a roll of paper towels, a sponge, a container that can hold a quart or more of water, corn starch, and a multipurpose foaming household cleaner (see below). If are painting above a carpeted surface, GO GET THOSE SUPPLIES NOW. We largely lucked out by having those supplies on hand. We used Greased Lightning general purpose kitchen cleaner, but I would imagine that any cleaner that cleans via a foaming would work equally well.
- Don’t panic
- Fetch the supplies listed above. Fill the container approximately halfway with water
- Using the paper towels, pinch the paint upwards. Use a new section of paper towel each time. Try not to push the paint laterally, this will just make the affected area much larger
- Spray the cleaner on the affected area and wait a few seconds
- Using the sponge, scrub the affected area. Rinse the paint-and-cleaner soaked sponge in the bucket of water frequently
- You may need to reapply the cleaner several times until the paint in the affected area is mostly removed from the carpet pile. The padding/backing of the carpet will likely still be stained, creating a shadow effect.
- Dump the water and replace with fresh water. Might as well rinse the sponge as well
- Load the sponge up with water and scrub affected area
- Fold the towel over 2-3 times and place on top of the affected area. Walk on top of the towel for 30+ seconds
- Liberally apply corn starch to damp area
- Wait at least 4 hours, if not longer. The corn starch should be tinted the color of the paint (good luck if using off-white paint)
- Vacuum up corn starch.
At this point the paint should be barely noticeable. Don’t worry too much if you can still see an outline of the paint; your problem is that the surrounding non-painted area was lightened by the aggressive cleaning. Both the area affected by paint and its surroundings will darken over time with ordinary foot traffic, blending the two together nicely.
Don’t forget to use a drop cloth next time.