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Concrete Steps on How To Remove Paint From Concrete

Nobody wants stains on their home’s concrete surfaces. Be it our concrete driveways, garage floor, interior floors or walls, we want these surfaces as neat-looking and stain-free as possible. There are instances, however, when these concrete surfaces are blemished by accidental spills. One of the most stubborn stains that a home owner can have on his or her concrete surface is paint.

Remove Paint From Concrete
by artgoeshere under CC BY-SA
Remove Paint From Concrete

 

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Most people think that paint spills are impossible to remove from concrete surfaces. After all, we apply paint on surfaces with the expectation that they will last for years. However, there are a lot of methods which can be used to remove paint from concrete. They are very easy to use which is good news for do-it-yourself enthusiasts. While these processes for getting paint off concrete may involve several steps and may sometimes be time-consuming, they are very easy to follow, especially with the right products and a little perseverance.

Some paints, particularly latex paint, are even pretty easy to remove. Latex does not bond well to concrete, so paints made of this substance are considered to be the most convenient to strip off from concrete surfaces. Simply using a pressure washer on the concrete surface can solve your question of how to remove paint from concrete. The latex paint conveniently lifts, bubbles and peels from the surface in no time.

Another problem with removing paint from concrete that can be solved without much effort is that involving small paint spots or paint splatter. These little blemishes are fairly easy to remove from concrete surfaces, regardless of the type of paint used. Be it latex paint, oil paint or even the stubborn epoxy paint, splatters can be addressed in a breeze.

To remove paint splatters from a concrete surface, use a rag and soak it in paint thinner. This substance is effective in stripping off paint, but it must be used in a well ventilated area to make sure that it will not pose threat to your health. Lay the rag soaked in paint thinner over the small drops of paint. Let it sit there for three to four hours. After waiting for this length of time, remove the rag from the stained areas. You may now scrape the paint away from the concrete surface because the spots will have become softened. If necessary, use a wire brush to loosen the remaining paint and reapply the paint thinner. To make sure that there is no more paint thinner residues, rinse the area thoroughly with soap and water.

Using Paint Strippers To Remove Paint From Concrete

The most popular technique employed for removing paint from concrete is the use of commercially sold chemical strippers. These products work well on almost all kinds of paints, including the water resistant ones. A wide variety of these stripping agents are available in home supplies stores. Some come in gel forms, which can be applied directly on the stained concrete surface. There are even non-toxic varieties such as soy-based paint strippers.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove paint from concrete using paint strippers.

1. Clean the concrete surface with the use of a broom or a shop vacuum. Make sure that all dirt and debris are removed from the concrete surface. If necessary, use a scraper or brush to remove any loose paint.
2. Apply the paint stripper on the concrete surface. Remember to choose the appropriate type of product for your purpose. Also, carefully read the manufacturer’s instruction and follow all safety directions.
3. Leave the paint stripper on the concrete surface for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. Some paint strippers only require minutes to set, while others need as much as eight hours to work on the paint.
4. After allowing the paint stripper to set, use a wire scrub brush or a scraper to strip the loosened paint off the concrete surface. A pressure washer can also be used for outdoor concrete surfaces like patios and driveways. If necessary, use a floor grinder or a sandblaster for hard-to-remove paint on outdoor surfaces.
5. Apply the paint stripper for a second or third time if needed to thoroughly remove the paint from the concrete surface.
6. Clean the concrete surface with water to get rid of traces of the paint stripper.


Using A Shot Blaster To Remove Paint From Concrete

To get rid of hard-to-remove paint from concrete surfaces, shot blasting equipment can also be used. This equipment is a bit pricey, but some local home improvement stores make them available for rent. This device throws out tiny metal beads under high pressure on the stained spot to help remove the paint. It also has a vacuum attachment, which can be used to clean up the released beads, as well as the paint debris.

When using a shot blaster to remove paint from a concrete surface, be careful not to strip off any concrete. This equipment has the tendency to damage the surface of the concrete when used in a wrong way, so make sure that you move it on the concrete at the right pace. Remember that a shot blaster is only recommended for use for stubborn paint stains, and must not also be utilized for concrete that is already cracked or chipped since it may just worsen the damage.

Removing Epoxy Paint From Concrete

An epoxy paint is the most difficult paint to remove from a concrete floor, patio or other concrete surface. There are several methods that are quite effective, some are more difficult and complicated than others, but all are effective.

When removing epoxy paint from concrete surfaces: Wear protective goggles, respirator, gloves, protective shoes and long pants. Work in a well ventilated area. Do not removal paint with children and pets present.

Use a sand blaster or shot blaster to remove the epoxy paint from the concrete. Sand blasters can be rented at hardware stores and home improvement stores. You can also rent a floor sander and use that to remove the epoxy. Be sure you tell the rental company what kind of sanding you are going to do so they can provide you with the proper sanding disks. You do not want to use a hardwood floor sander on epoxy.

OR

Mix diatomaceous earth with paint stripper to form a slightly watery paste.
Apply the mixture to the floor in smaller more manageable sections, approximately 3′ x 3’.
Allow the mixture to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Use a plastic putty knife to scrape the old paint away.
Wash the area well with detergent and water. Use a stiff broom to scrub the concrete surface.
Rinse thoroughly.
Reapply the paste if any paint remains.

OR

Use an acid based etching product or a floor grinder to strip the epoxy paint off of the concrete. If you use an acid etching solution or a floor grinder, the concrete will need to be repainted or sealed as soon as possible. Etch or grind the surface of the garage floor in smaller more manageable sections. Floor grinders can be rented from hardware stores and home improvement stores.

Acid based etching products are dangerous to work with and are best left in the hands of an experienced person. If you are not familiar with working with acids leave this option off of your list.

When your concrete floor is accidentally stained with paint, you fear that the mark will be permanent. However, the fact is most paints can be removed if you use the right techniques.

Paint removal from a concrete surface is undoubtedly a challenging task. It is slightly easier if the paint stains are still fresh. In such cases, you can try to clean up water based paint by soaking it in water for some time and then scrub it with harsh detergent and a hard bristled brush. If it is an oil based paint, then you can apply solvents like turpentine or acetone on it to dissolve the paint. However, removing dried paint from concrete requires a lot of effort and is time-consuming too as the paint has already entered into the porous surface of the concrete. Therefore, you have to use special techniques to pull out the paint accumulated in those pores.

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