Can You Paint Over Carpet Glue?

Have you removed your carpet only to find out that there is a lot of glue left behind? If you're not planning to add more carpet or hardwood flooring, you probably wonder if you can paint over the glue residue. After careful research, we came up with the best possible answer to this question. Find the results below. 

While it can be tempting and may seem harmless, painting over carpet glue is not recommended. Instead, you should thoroughly remove the glue before moving forward. Leaving it intact has consequences for the paint, including lack of adhesion and dark spots. 

Although this is probably not what you wanted to hear, there are ways to remove carpet glue. Keep reading to learn more about the negative effects of painting over carpet glue, how to remove it, and more.

A floor fitter when applying adhesive on the floor, Can You Paint Over Carpet Glue?

Can You Paint Over Carpet Glue?

Don't be tempted to take the easy way out when painting floors that have had the carpet removed. Painting over carpet glue has several adverse effects, making it counterproductive. Put in the extra time and effort into removing carpet glue before painting your floor. 

White paint on wooden boards

Paint Adhesion

If you leave old carpet glue on the floor, the paint will have a hard time adhering. Once it dries, it likely won't last very long, peeling and clumping with daily use. 

Close up of peeled paint on humid wall

Glue Peeling

Even if you manage to get the paint to adhere to the floor, the underlying glue will not hold up to foot traffic. The glue will begin to peel below the surface of the paint, which will eventually damage the paint as well. 

Dark Spots

When painting over old carpet glue, the glue will cause dark spots in your paint, giving your floor an undesirable look. Instead of saving time, skipping the removal process could result in you having to redo the entire area, removing both the paint and the glue the next time around. 

How to Remove Carpet Glue

There are a few different ways to remove carpet glue. However, if you are worried about toxic fumes, it may be best to remove the glue using hot water or steam first. 

Woman cleaning floor steam cleaning

If you have a reciprocating saw, it will make the removal process much easier. Otherwise, you will have to manually scrape the glue from the floor. You'll need a special tool to attach to the saw. 

You can find a reciprocating saw on Amazon.

Amazon also sells the scraping attachment.

A long-handled scraper is another good tool you can purchase on Amazon.

Make sure you sweep up the glue you're able to remove with the saw. If you have some carpet glue that still did not budge, it's time to rent or buy a steam cleaner. The heat will cause the adhesive to release. Another option is boiling water. However, if using this method, wear proper boots and other gear to keep from getting scalded. 

Saturate the floor with boiling water, letting it soak for about 10 minutes or until water is cool. Now it's time to scrape the remaining glue from the floor. Once finished, use a towel or sponge to sop up the water. Make sure to wipe up all the glue as well. 

Check out this steam cleaner on Amazon.

Glue Removal Products

If the above methods did not work, or you prefer to use removal products, the following are our recommendations:

Goo Gone Pro-Power Professional Strength 

If you want a safe product to use on your floors, clothes, carpets, and more, Goo Gone is the way to go. The professional strength formula is great for tackling stubborn adhesive residues. To use this product, pour an excessive dose on the area to be treated. Let it soak for roughly five to ten minutes.

Once time has elapsed, scrape the glue with either your putty knife or reciprocating saw. Wipe away the mess and clean with warm, soapy water. If all glue is not gone with the first application, repeat the process as needed. 

You can purchase Goo Gone Pro-Power on Amazon.

Super Remover Adhesive Stripper

Super Remover is a product that can handle even the toughest of carpet glues. It does not contain methylene chloride, NMP, or any other dangerous chemicals. Super Remover is safe to use on wood, concrete, and metal surfaces.

Apply directly to the adhesive, allowing time for the glue to soften. Do not let the stripper dry. Remove the residue with your scraping tool and clean with either water or denatured alcohol. 

You can find Super Remover on Amazon.

Sentinel 626 Carpet Adhesive Remover

Below is a YouTube video that shows a contractor using Sentinel 626 Adhesive Remover to get old carpet glue from a concrete floor. It is a water-based product that can be used on a wide range of floors and does not emit an odor.

You can purchase Sentinel 626 Carpet Adhesive Remover from Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions

White note paper with what's next on yellow background

Can You Sand Off Carpet Glue?

You can definitely try sanding as a method for removing carpet glue. However, it's probably not a good idea to do this manually as it will be a long, tiring process. Instead, purchase or rent a buffing or sanding machine. 

This floor sander on Amazon will make sanding the floor easy.

If you prefer to use a small sander, take a look at this one on Amazon.

However, it will be more tedious for large areas. 

Will WD-40 Remove Carpet Glue?

You can use WD-40 to remove carpet glue. However, if you have a large area to treat, it could take a while. You will need to do small sections at a time. Spray WD-40 on the affected area, letting it soak for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Using a scrubber, remove the excess carpet glue. Be careful because the solution can cause damage to the floor if left on for too long. 

Will Vinegar Remove Carpet Glue?

Vinegar is not as strong as chemical adhesive removers. If you plan to use it, you will need to first remove as much of the carpet glue as possible. Once most of it is gone, you can mix one part vinegar with one part hot water, pouring it over your floor. Let it soak for several minutes before scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. 

Cleaning the tiles

Will Paint Thinner Remove Carpet Glue?

In most cases, especially with tar-based adhesives, paint thinner will remove carpet glue. However, paint thinner emits very strong odors that can be harmful when inhaled and damage your skin. Therefore, make sure to wear proper protective gear. You can learn more about how to remove carpet glue by reading this post from our blog.

What is the Best Carpet Glue Remover?

After searching YouTube for the product most contractors use, we found that Sentinel 626 Carpet Adhesive Remover is the best and most recommended product by flooring contractors. It makes removal easy and does not let off toxic fumes. 

Do I have to Remove Old Carpet Glue?

Removing old carpet glue is essential before painting a floor or laying down new carpet. The old glue will damage the paint and prevent it from adhering to the floor. If the paint does manage to stick, the glue will create unappealing dark spots that will eventually peel and damage the overlying paint. In the same sense, it will also act as a barrier when trying to glue down new carpet. 

Can You Paint Over Carpet Glue on a Cement Floor?

Painting over carpet glue on a cement floor or any other surface is not advised. We understand how frustrating is it to scrub and toil when trying to remove stubborn adhesive. However, you should at least remove as much of the carpet glue as possible before painting. 

Once you have removed all you can, you can paint over the remainder. Before doing so, make sure you clean the area, removing as much debris as possible with a broom and mop. After mopping, wait for several hours before applying paint. 

A warehouse being renovated

Can I Paint Over Adhesive Residue?

As long as you have removed as much as possible by following the methods listed above, you can paint over adhesive residue. However, this should only be a last resort if you absolutely cannot scrape the remaining adhesive residue from the floor. 


Old carpet glue can be a hassle to remove; however, you should not paint over this residue. Doing so will create problems with both adhesion and peeling. Some techniques will make the removal process easier and less frustrating. 

If you have not yet taken up the carpet, this article on our blog will help. Don't forget to check us out for all your housing project needs. 

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