Often times, my “finishing” room is my living room.  I’d love to have a space that I could set out all my paint and stain projects to work on and dry that was solely for that purpose but I don’t.  I always protect my space with plastic sheets or cardboard but accidents are bound to happen.  I just keep telling myself that I will be replacing my carpet soon. I’ve been saying that for at least two years…

Anyway, what spurred this post was one of those accidents.  I spilled stain – ebony stain – on my light-colored carpet.  I wasn’t even staining!  When I’ve got a lot of projects at once, it’s not uncommon for me to have them all strung out across the floor.  As I was walking through, I accidentally kicked over the can of stain.  No big deal.  I closed it last time I used it.  When I went back to pick it up…yup…a small puddle of stain was on the floor.  Let me tell you this now and listen very carefully – RESIST ALL URGES TO RUB THE STAIN!!!!  I will be the tester of your “in the midst of crisis” theory.  It only makes it so much worse.  In the midst of my panic, I took a picture and shared it with some friends because I always have to share my bonehead moments.  Here’s what we were dealing with.  Please forgive the terrible pictures.  It wasn’t really the moment to try to take perfectly poised photos.

Yeah.  It started out much smaller until I tried to sop it up.  Don’t do that!  Just as soon as I had sent the picture, I received a response with a possible method to get the stain up.  Luckily, the solution was something I keep on hand.  Acetone.

Acetone is super handy to have around the shop.  It’s a great solvent and, as the can states, is super fast drying.  I use it to clean iron pipes, brushes, and, most frequently, my hands after staining.  The instructions said to wear rubber gloves and carefully blot the stain with acetone on a clean rag.  I forwent the gloves but I did try the dabbing method.  It was getting me nowhere.  I poured the acetone directly on it in small batches.  It was black stain, people! I was desperate!  Now guess what.  IT WORKED!!

It’s not perfect by any means but it’s a whole heck of a lot better than a big black spot on my carpet.  And hey, I’ll be replacing it soon. 😉

If you should ever find yourself in this position, there are several different ways to try to clean it.  A quick search showed methods from vinegar and dish soap to WD-40.  Whatever method you chose, test a small spot first.  My suggestion is to not let yourself get here in the first place, though.  Ha!  Pick up your stain cans!  Make sure they are completely closed!

One very important thing for you to remember is that acetone is flammable.  Be careful when using it.  To help avoid risk of fire, make sure to handle your acetone soaked rag properly.  I highly suggest taking it outside and setting it somewhere safe to completely dry out.

I hope this never happens to you but, if it does, I hope this helps.

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