It has happened to every homeowner: Party guests are gone and you discover an ugly wine or food stain or a cigarette burn on your carpet, usually right in the middle of the room.
When carpet cleaners and stain removers fail, your only option may be to patch in a new piece. If you have a cut pile carpet (i.e. a shag, plush or other cut loop product) here is what to do:
First, if you do not have a matching scrap around the house, check your closet carpet for a large enough piece you can cut out from the back.
Next, find a “straight edge” (e.g. metal yardstick, metal dust pan, cookie sheet). Place the edge within an inch of the stain and make a cut all the way through the backing with a utility knife. Do this on four sides around the stain to form a rectangle. Pull out the damaged piece of carpet but leave the padding.
Use the damaged piece as a template to cut a fresh piece the same size from your good scrap. Use carpet tape, hot-melt glue or clear silicone sealant to secure the piece into place. Take care to position the “grain” of the new piece to match the existing carpet.
Manually brush the fibers around the perimeter to “mesh” with the surrounding carpet. The color difference will disappear over time as the new piece wears in.
Gary Abrams is a general contractor who has written on home improvement topics for The Times since 1989. Questions and comments can be sent to P.O. Box 711, Thousand Oaks, CA 91319. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.