Home Renovation: Should You Remove Carpets or Paint First?


Whether you should paint before carpet removal is somehow a similar question to whether the egg or the chicken first. Painting before removing your carpet does have its advantages while removing the carpet before painting also has its pros. Both renovating projects are the most effective changes home, and deciding on the order is one of the most challenging questions. Let’s have a closer look at each procedure’s advantages and disadvantages to help you make the best decision.

Painting before removing the old carpet

Truth be told, you’re not planning for a carpet removal if it was still in good condition. As your carpet has seen its best days, it won’t matter if it’ll receive any paint spills or drops. Maybe you are the most careful and skilled painter in the world, but spills simply do happen to anyone. Thus, you wouldn’t have to worry about any paint ending up on your old carpet. You can simply paint your walls from top to bottom without any worries. Your home will already look as good as new before you line it with a shiny new carpet or hardwood floor.

However, once you’ve painted your walls and remove your carpet afterward, all the collected dust and dirt comes up. It could easily ruin your splendid paint job, and you’d have to start all over again. Moreover, you could accidentally scratch your freshly painted walls as you tear up your old carpet. As a result, you may have to do touch-ups. And once the new floor is in place, most likely you require touch-ups, too.

Therefore we have a considerable advantage of paint before removing the carpet, but also two huge disadvantages.


Carpet removal before painting

Removing the old carpet before painting might be a little more sensible. The dust from your old carpet won’t scuff your walls, and you’re left with a bare floor fill. It leaves your room or even your entire home in a complete vestal state that is nothing but a blank canvas. You wouldn’t have to worry too much about paint spills either, since it’s just the floor fill. But you’ll have to be careful about large paint spills that could make your floor fill uneven and thus pose a problem to your new flooring. If you’re a little cautious about paint spills, nothing speaks against painting after removing your old carpet. It’s best since you can also paint the baseboards to the very bottom you’d never reach while your old carpet is still there.

However, there are some downsides. As soon you put your new carpet in place, you may have to touch up damage to the walls resulting from installing the new carpet. Installing a new carpet involves tools that are placed against your walls to stretch the carpet. The carpet experts who install it often have heavy tools attached to their belts as well. They may bump against your wall with them.

Consequently, you could end up having to paint the walls all over again, and your paint job was futile. If a painter took care of the walls, he would do the touch-ups for free. But don’t expect the carpet removal guys to take care of touch-ups. They are experts for carpets and not for painting walls. Also, keep in mind that the painter may have a busy schedule that may not allow him to drop over right after the carpet guys left.

Since we’ve looked at painting options before or after removing the old carpet, what if you painted after you installed your new flooring?



Painting after putting in the new flooring

Quite a few experts prefer painting after the new floor has been installed. Firstly, no touch-ups would be required to cover damages to the wall that happened while removing or installing the new flooring. And that’s also why most carpet removal experts insist on doing their part of the job first. They don’t have to worry about possible damages to the wall since that will be done after they left anyway. They neither have to collaborate with another trade or with an unhappy you because they accidentally damaged your freshly painted walls. If you decided on hardwood flooring instead of a new carpet, it’s also better to paint after installing it. As you have to sand the hardwood flooring, you’ll have to worry about that mess sticking to freshly painted walls.

On the downside, once the flooring has been installed, whichever you may go for, you’ll have to be extremely careful about paint spills. You don’t want to ruin your new flooring before you could start enjoying it. Fortunately, there is tarp, foil, and tape to protect your new flooring from any paint spills. It’s part of the painting job to be mindful of the floor, whether it’s new or not. You, or respectively your painter, may not be able to paint up to the baseboards’ bottom. Though they gently pull the trim forward, and you’ll never see that your wall hasn’t been painted to its very depths.


Final thoughts.

It most likely depends on your personal preferences, how you’d like to complete your renovation project and how to coordinate with the respective trades. Another important factor is also the kind of flooring to consider installing once the old carpet has been removed. If you do it yourself, you’ll be more versatile since you can usually get paint sooner than new flooring. You may have to order a new carpet or a hardwood floor first, and it may also take a few weeks until it arrives. In the meantime, you can calmly plan a carpet removal and decide whether you’d like to do the painting first. If you’re careful enough, like anyone who paints walls, it might be best to paint the walls at the very end of your project.

Compare listings