The Spill Heard ‘Round the World

February 14, 2013

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That tragic story from two days ago, goes something like this:

On Greta’s last day of two-dom, we ran to the Benjamin Moore store in the morning (this was after she covered my entire lamp with my lotion from Hawaii) to pick up a quart of “Peony” and supplies to paint her closet. When we got home, we brought everything up to her room and Greta helped me clear out the rest of the clothes on the floor in her closet.  I ran down to the garage to get a drop cloth and a paint can opener and I heard a thud and then a laugh and another thud and I turned around and ran back up a half flight of stairs and down the hall to Greta’s room.

I was met with the horrific sight of deep pink paint spilled all over her carpet (cue scream), her baseboard, her vintage bed (cue tears) and new duvet (luckily it missed her gold dotted sheets and new throw!).  I found Greta hidden behind her curtains.  When I asked her (sternly) what happened, she said, “Mommy, I throw it. Oh no!”  The quart was nearly empty and quickly seeping into the carpet.  For three minutes I worked as fast as I could to sop up the excess paint with our shop vac and paper towels while simultaneously trying to keep Greta out of her room.  It was impossible. Greta wants to be where I am, doing what I’m doing–always.  But at this point, I was pretty fume-y and it was best–for both of us–if she was somewhere else.  I dropped her off at my neighbor’s (thanks Melissa!) and ran back home to read your suggestions of what to do on Facebookbesides cry and hyperventilate. Those things weren’t getting me anywhere.

There were so many good suggestions, but I had to stick with what I had on hand first. One person suggested to make sure to keep it wet.  Someone else suggested using dish soap and baking soda.  And after I called Chris, crying, he suggested calling a professional carpet cleaner.  We were dealing with light new-ish carpet and a deep base paint.  Luckily, one guy was able to come that day, but it would be a couple hours. He advised me to use no chemicals on the carpet but to keep it damp and dish soap was fine.  I work on the carpet for an hour and a half with very little improvement.  Finally I covered everything with damp paper towels and turned my attention to the bed that I had only quickly wiped down. The duvet was ruined.  But easily replaced for $30.

When the carpet guy got here, he worked on her floor for an additional hour and fifteen minutes and while it is drastically better–there is still evidence of pink paint. Especially next to the baseboard:

So where does that leave us?  The hopefully good news is that the Martha Stewart carpet we installed in Greta’s room has a lifetime stain warranty.  I say “hopefully” because I really don’t know what that means.  Does it cover pink paint?! Home Depot is sending a rep out to take a look at it and we’ll go from there.  Where does that leave us as far as a painted closet goes?  I bought a fresh can last night. ;) And now that you’ve seen the color, what do you think??

PS.  On Greta’s behavior on her very last day of being two, I loved Brandilyn’s comment on Instagram, “Well THAT explains her crazy day! In my family, the day before your birthday is your goof off day–your last day being that age! You get to act as crazy as you want.” Her first day of being three was drastically better.

PPS. Happy Valentine’s Day, from Chris.

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What do you think?

  1. Meredith says:

    I am catching up on your podcast and heard this story, and I felt like I had to comment because I know how to fix this! I was painting my first college apartment bedroom and I accidentally knocked half a quart of paint off the top of my ladder. It was a pretty similar mess as yours but with real paint. I called my (art teacher) mom in a panic and she told me to:

    1) Blot out as much as you can with paper towels
    2) Pour rubbing alcohol on it until the whole stain is pretty wet
    3) Put a few layers of paper towels down over the stain (or a rag/towel you don’t mind staining)
    4) Put a plastic bag (like a grocery bag) down over the paper towels
    5) Put something heavy on top of the plastic bag (I used a college chemistry textbook)
    6) Check it every couple of hours. You want to keep it damp/wet with alcohol until the stain is out. Replace the paper towels as they get soaked with paint. It will take a bunch of rounds of replacing paper towels and adding rubbing alcohol (I used two liters of rubbing alcohol)

    It works like a charm! No paint, no stain, just normal carpet.

  2. Michelle J. says:

    I’m looking into this Martha Stewart carpet for my house. Does anyone know what color the carpet is in these pictures?

  3. Lizzy says:

    Sorry if I missed an update but did the stain ever come out?!?? We are remodeling our 2nd floor and will be replacing the carpet on the stairs and two kids’ bedrooms. Hopefully we find something affordable and durable!

    • We had it professionally cleaned immediately after the accident, and it looked so much better, but there is a hint of pink still there. It doesn’t look like they are going to replace it. Apparently for the carpet to stay under its lifetime stain warranty, it has to be professionally cleaned every 6 months–and we have to have proof. Who does that?! So, :/

    • Lizzy says:

      Yeh, who does that?!? If someone actually got it professionally cleaned, they probably wouldn’t even need a stain warranty!
      I’ll keep that in mind when carpet shopping!
      (Stains aside – the room is gorgeous!)

  4. I had to comment because we were painting our house to sell 13 years ago when my toddler daughter did the EXACT SAME THING. I remember weeping while I tried (and failed) to clean slate blue paint out of tan carpet. We ended up throwing a carpet credit into the house deal. Good thing she was so adorable.

  5. Kim says:

    Best. birth control. ever. ;)

  6. Thank God for wood vinyl flooring…all of our mistakes come right up! AHH, that’s a lot of pink on the carpet :)

  7. Ugh, I feel you. I was painting my daughter’s room with a canvas drop cloth and I tipped the tray over and it bled thru the canvas cloth. I was able to get it out with a high quality microfiber cloth and water.

  8. I did something very similar at a relative’s house (My Aunt) no less when I was a kid, because I was old enough to remember it. I was warned not to take my drink on the white carpet but of course where there are kids, there are accidents. I didn’t realize until much later how Christ like her response to me actually was. She didn’t scream or yell, she simply said “oh you lost your drink, don’t worry, we will get you another one”. Her response taught me a profound lesson (as soon as I was old enough to realize it…and it took years LOL) about perspective and priorities, especially when responding to children. It seems you have followed that path of Christ like love and response as well, Miss Julia even in the midst of the frustration. Greta is a lucky little girl to have you for her mom and the paint color is DIVINE!

  9. Oh man, my heart sank when I saw that picture like I’m sure yours did when you walked in the room. Hopefully, everything works out and you can get it replaced with minimal hassle!

  10. Ouch this one hurts. Umm at least it didn’t land on the throw! And at least you didn’t buy a fancy rug and have that down too…ohh maybe you need a rug now to cover it up!

  11. I found your blog via apartment therapy and I love all of your projects! :) I feel your pain … I recently ran over a paint can in the garage with my car and it went everywhere, floor, wall, ceiling you name it, it had paint on it! I hope that your carpet is replaced hassle free!


  12. Bliss says:

    Yikes I had to get myself into ‘hey girl’ mode after the exploding pink paint episode! I’m surprised that came out as good as it did.

    Thanks for joining in on the party.


  13. Kim says:

    Love the pink, it will look great in the closet.

    So sorry to hear about the carpet. I doubt it will be covered under a stain warranty, but I hope I’m wrong. Those warranties are ridiculous. When we were buying carpet, I had to wait for someone so I started reading it, carpet had to be professionally clean every 18 months and all the stuff that would ruin our carpet wasn’t covered: non-food stains, food with dye stains, pet and human bodily function stains and more. It seems the only stains covered were basic dirt!

  14. Jessie says:

    You are such a good mom!! I can’t believe you were able to act so quickly; it looks so much better! And I LOVE those Valentines!! :)

  15. Anonymous says:

    I feel so bad for you about the carpet; however, as the mom of an 11 yr. old and 6 yr. old, I always try to remember that it isn’t the worst thing in the world as long as they are o.k. A lot of other parents, sadly, can’t say the same and only wish these types of things were their biggest problems. It always makes me feel better – well, at least it does after I clean up. HTH Love the color!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow how did she open that can?? Hopefully warranty covers it!

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. So sad about the carpet. Hopefully the warranty will cover it! LOVE that bachelor quote. SO funny!

  19. brandilyn says:

    your chris gosling valentines made me unattractively snort in laughter. love them. i’m glad you like goof off day and i’m glad her 3 is starting off better than 2 ended!

  20. Oh no! I really hope the carpet company honors this as part of the stain warranty!

  21. I’m a new Instagram follower and that whole pink paint thing made me hyperventilate and rethink ever having children. But she is really cute. :P

    Thanks for joining the Hey Girl madness. Loved the first one!

  22. Ughh I can’t believe that,I would have freaked! I wouldn’t be able to laugh about this one for awhile!

  23. twenty five years from now, you will squeeze grown-up Greta’s hand and wink at her when you tell HER this story again as she is struggling with her very own “soon-to-be” three year old who has made his or her own little mess. my mom still tells me the stories about when my brother and i thought it was a good idea to toss baby powder into the box fan and spray it all over the room or the day we “dyed” the dog with permanent magic markers. …oh, and by that time, you will have replaced the carpet. ;)

  24. It’s pretty awesome how much of that hot pink paint they could get out. Hopefully your warranty takes care of it, but if not…maybe a giant rug is in your future?

  25. Penny Stacey says:

    So did the lifetime stain warranty cover pink paint?

  26. Rebecca W. says:

    I cried for you when I saw this on Instagram. I spilled a half gallon of white paint on our 2 day old carpet on the stairs while trying to paint the rails. I was AMAZED at how far it could splatter. It went up and down the stairs and I swear it turned corners and hit things. Thankfully it is barely noticable on the carpet to anyone but us and most things wiped off easily except one good leather chair.

  27. Oh Greta! This really sucks. But I do really love the color!

  28. ….that day. Glad it’s behind us.

    That pink is rich and bright and fun. Super excited about this project!!

    The carpet guys big black shoes kinda made me laugh. Easily amused I guess. Hahaa.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Holy Moly! I have a three month old and I get nervous thinking about these possible moments in the future. I probably would have curled up in a corner to cry…props to you for acting swiftly!

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