How to Remove Watercolor Paint from Carpet

Whether you are an artist in the middle of a serious crafts activity, undertaking a full-scale fulfilling house makeover, or working on your favorite DIY project, you’ll likely end up with some paint on the carpet.

When this happens, your carpet will lose its attractiveness.

But you need not worry or throw away your carpet. With just a few basic tools and materials in your home, you can clear the paint from your carpet and restore its beauty. With the tricks and tips in this article, your carpet will look as good as new after erasing the stain.

The good news is that you won’t need expensive tools or chemicals. Almost everything you need to remove the stains is probably already in your home. These methods will help you remove even the toughest watercolor paint stains. And they can work on any fabric, not just your carpet.

In addition, some of these methods can remove both oil-based paint stains and water-based paint stains.

Remove Watercolor Paint from Carpet


Before removing the paint stain from your carpet, you need to remove as much paint as possible by scooping it off. This is the only way you can get the best result.

Use any tool you have to remove the excess paint. For example, you can use a spoon or a dull knife to remove as much paint as possible. If the paint has dried, you can use a material like a paper towel to wipe it away until you are left with only the tough stains.

You can then use the methods discussed in this article to remove those tough stains.

Types of Watercolor Paint Stain

Watercolors differ in their characteristics, with some being opaque while others are transparent. Some also stain while others granulate. Staining watercolors are challenging to remove from materials once they dry up.

Once that happens, it becomes challenging to remove them unless special techniques or chemicals are used. Heavily staining watercolors aren’t the same as lightly staining watercolors because their stains are more difficult to remove.

When using a highly staining watercolor, you need to be extra careful not to allow it to spill onto your carpet. It’s because the pigments in highly staining watercolors are extremely small, explaining why they get deeper into the paper or fiber.

This is not the case with granulating or non-staining watercolors with bigger pigments that prevent them from going deeper into the fabric or paper. There are two types of watercolor paint stain: wet watercolor paint stain and dry watercolor paint stain.

Wet Watercolor Paint Stain

Whatever the type of paint you are dealing with, it’s a little easier to remove the paint stain when the paint is still wet. As already mentioned, when the paint is still wet, you can scoop it using a spoon and remove it using a blunt knife.

However, doing this will not remove all the paint. Quick action will ensure the stain is easier to remove rather than waiting and giving it time to penetrate deeper into the carpet and dry.

Dry Watercolor Paint Stain

A dry watercolor paint stain is a little difficult to remove compared to a wet paint stain. When the stain dries, it sticks more to the fabric. But that doesn’t mean you can remove it.

Using the step below, you can remove watercolor paint from your carpet, whether it’s wet or dry. So you need not worry about removing watercolor stains from your carpet. Instead, we’ll guide you on how you can do this without any trouble.

Easy Ways to Remove Watercolor Paint from Carpet

Here are the methods you can use to remove watercolor paint from your carpet.

Method 1: Hand washing

If your carpet is made of a light hand washable material, this should be your first line of action. Some fabrics don’t allow watercolors to stick firmly onto them, meaning you can simply wash the stain away using water.

It may even suffice only to wash the affected area if the carpet is too large to wash. Of course, if you are dealing with a persistent stain, then this method may not work. But it’s good to try washing first and see if some stains will remain. If that’s the case, you can try the other methods discussed in this article.

Method 2: Club Soda and Warm Water

Club soda works miracles on many water-soluble colors and stains. So when you are an artist or DIYer who likes working with watercolors, you should keep some club soda at home, preferably at room temperature.

Club soda won’t damage your carpet’s backing. You can drizzle some club soda directly on the stain and leave for some time. Just be cautious not to soak your caret in club soda.

In some cases, you might find it necessary to rinse the club soda with warm water, but in some, the carpet will be clean without the need to rinse it. Club soda is normally used to rinse other cleaning detergents because it doesn’t leave any residues. Club soda works well, and it is an affordable option for removing watercolor stains from carpets.

Method 3: Apply Laundry Detergent

Another easy way to remove watercolor or acrylic paint stain from carpets is to use a laundry detergent. Nearly 90 percent of watercolor stains can be washed off using any laundry detergent. This is because watercolors aren’t persistent on fabrics like other paints.

Before you apply the detergent:

  • Remove any dried paint using a blunt knife or anything that can scrape off the paint.
  • Use a brush to sweep away the dried watercolor paint so you can only remain with the paint that’s stuck on the carpet. You can then dampen the stain using warm water before adding a small amount of the laundry detergent.
  • Rub the carpet gently so the detergent can pick the stain. When satisfied that the stain has been removed, you can use warm water to rinse the carpet.
  • If some stain remains, you can repeat the process until your carpet is stain-free.

Method 4: Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove tough stains on carpets. Mix three tablespoons of warm water with one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (use 3% H2O2).

The water-hydrogen peroxide mixture is great for removing watercolor paint stains. Hydrogen peroxide is available in your local drug or grocery store.

Apply it directly onto the stain, rub the carpet carefully, then rinse with warm water. However, remember that hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, so you should use it only if your carpet has very light colors.

Also, do not use hydrogen peroxide, whose concentration is higher than recommended.

Method 5: Try Ammonia Solution

Ammonia solution is another excellent agent for removing watercolor paint stains from carpets. But just like hydrogen peroxide, ammonia solution also acts as a bleaching agent because it’s moderately alkaline.

So you need not use a highly concentrated ammonia solution; neither should you use ammonia solution on dark colors, but only on very light ones. To get the right ammonia solution or remove watercolor paint stain:

Mix a quarter cup of ammonia solution with one cup of water. You can buy ammonia solutions from your local drug or grocery store.

After using ammonia solution on your carpet, don’t let it stay for long. Finally, Rinse it with water.

Method 6: Take Help of Vinegar

White vinegar is another excellent agent for removing watercolor paint stains from carpets. Vinegar is acidic, explaining why it can remove stains from fabric.

Mix a quarter cup of vinegar with one cup of warm water. Apply the mixture directly to the stain, allow it to stay for some time, then rinse with warm water. Vinegar is also available in local groceries or drug stores.

Method 7: Using Hair Spray

You might not know it, but hair spray is another great hack to remove stains from fabric. When the paint is dried, scrub it first using a blunt object, then apply hair spray to the stain. The hair spray will break down the dry watercolor paint to come out easily.

After applying hair spray, allow it to stay for a few minutes to break down the stain. You can then use a washcloth or brush to rub the stain gently.

Finally, use a white cloth or fresh paper towels to clean the area before rinsing with lukewarm water, not hot water.

Method 8: Using Shaving Cream

It’s not only the hair spray that can remove watercolor paint from fabric; shaving cream can do the same. Put some shaving cream in a small spray bottle, then spray it on the stain.

A shaving cream that foams are the best for this purpose. Ensure you use shaving cream and not a gel.

You should apply the cream to the stain then allow it to stay for about five minutes; you can then use a toothbrush to rub the cream into the fabric and wait for another five minutes.

The paint will come out of the material. Finally, use warm water to rinse the cream off.

Using Turpentine and Paint Thinner

Paint thinner is another great carpet cleaner. If you want to remove watercolor stains from the carpet using this product, you can start by removing any excess liquids and excess paint, so you remain only with the tough ones.

Before using paint thinner or turpentine, wear appropriate safety goggles, gloves, and clothing. Place turpentine or paint thinner directly on the stain, then scrub it using a brush. Let the thinner soak overnight, then rinse it with water.


Q: l Will vinegar remove paint from the carpet?

Yes. Vinegar is a great product for removing paints from carpet and other fabric. However, Vinegar is a weak acid and is, therefore, a bleaching agent. Use it only if your carpet has a very light color. Also, don’t let it stay for long on your carpet.

Q: How does rubbing alcohol remove paint?

To remove paint from the carpet:

1. Add a few drops of rubbing alcohol on the stained area, then use a toothbrush to rub it in.

2. Rinse the alcohol with warm water.

3. Repeat the same process until all the stains are removed. This method will work best if the paint is still wet.

Q: Does WD-40 remove paint from the carpet?

Yes. Whether wet or dried, you can use WD-40 to remove paint from your carpet. But, first, you need to scrub the affected area with WD-40, and the stain will soften and come off.

Q: How do you remove dried watercolor stains?

Since the dried watercolor stain is difficult to remove using water, you can use cleaning agents like club soda, laundry detergent, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia solution, white vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, or hair spray.

Final Words

As you can see, removing watercolor paint from your carpet doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming. In fact, the materials you need to remove the stains could be right in your kitchen right now.

If not, you can easily obtain them from your local grocery or drug store. It won’t take you a long time to remove the stain. All it takes is to prepare the cleaning solution, apply it on the stain, rub it, then rinse.

You can use the same solutions to clean other common household spills. If the stain removal methods don’t work on your stubborn stains, you can call a carpet cleaning expert to do the job. The expert can use a safe dry-cleaning solvent to remove the stain.

Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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