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How To Clean Up Paint Spills on Carpet, Hardwood, or Laminate

Sometimes it happens. As careful and as cautious as we may be, accidents happen and paint spills. There’s no use crying over spilled paint, so here’s how to properly clean up a paint spill.

How to Clean Up Paint Spills on Carpet, Hardwood, or Laminate

How To Clean Up Spilled Paint


Materials For Cleaning Up Paint Spills:Materials For Cleaning Up Paint Spills

  • Rag
  • Scraper
  • Paint thinner
  • Warm water
  • Dish detergent
  • Sponge or mop



Step 1: Assess the situation

  • The clean up is going to depend on what was spilled and where. What kind of paint, how big is the spill, and on what kind of surface.
  • If the spill is very small, often just wiping it up quickly with a wet rag will take care of the problem. You don’t need any fancy paint clean up products.
  • Oil-based paint clean up is going to be different from latex paint clean-up, but we can help you with both.
  • With latex- or water-based paint, warm water and soap will usually do the trick.
  • Oil-based paints can be trickier to clean, and you may need to bring out some paint thinner or mineral spirits.

Step 2: Make the liquid a solid

  • Spilled Paint on LaminateFor a big spill, help make the liquid a solid by dumping a lot of salt or cat litter on top of the paint.
  • Give it a few minutes to absorb, then scrap it up and put the mixture into a container.
  • Only use this method if the spill is on a hard surface (for example, if you spilled paint on concrete). Do not use this technique if you spilled paint on carpet! The salt or cat litter mixture will make it even harder to get the carpet clean.
  • For carpet, try soaking up the excess paint with an old towel that you can throw out later.

Step 3: Clean up paint

  • If the paint spilled on concrete, and the remaining paint has hardened, you can try scraping up as much paint flecks as you can
  • Mix warm water with dish detergent or use another gentle cleanser.
  • Mop or scrub with a sponge until clean.  If its in cracks or porous surfaces use a wire brush do the scrubbing for you.
  • For carpet paint spills, you may need a stronger cleaning agent or spot remover.
  • You can also try using paint thinner on the carpet, although this may end up changing the colour of the material, and it would be best to try other options first.
  • If the carpet is a commercial grade, you may be able to use stronger chemicals or solutions.  You may even be able to use a wire brush.  But the key here is to try a small area and see how it removes, and be careful to look out for it is just making the situation worse.  If it comes off – great!  If not, then you need to try something a bit stronger.

Step 4: Disposal of spilled paint

  • Allow the paint that you’ve collected as well as your cleaning materials to dry completely before disposing of them, this could take up to a few days.
  • Waste disposal guidelines vary throughout Toronto and the GTA, double check with your local waste disposal agency for proper disposal procedures.


  • Make sure to respond quickly. If paint dries it will become much harder to clean up.
  • Ventilate the area, especially if using a paint thinner.
  • Stay calm. With spilled paint it’s easy to make a bad situation worse, spreading the spill rather thanSpilled Paint Tips containing or it. Staying calm and working step by step is the best way to handle a spill.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Always take the time to carefully prepare your work space before starting to paint, covering all the floors, furniture, and fixtures with drop cloths or plastic.

Prone to paint spills? At Home Painters Toronto we have 25 years of experience in painting the interiors and exteriors of Toronto homes and businesses, and we’re happy to help. In all that time, yes, we’ve learned how to clean paint spills.

Avoid a paint spill clean up and ruined carpet, and call us to today at

416 494 9095 or email us at Brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a FREE quote. Professional painting contractors are just a phone call or a click away to help with your next home reno project. Still want to do it yourself? Check out the more awesome tips and tricks on our blog, or our collection of renovation tips on our Pinterest page.

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.