Techniques for Removing Paint from Concrete

Concrete paint

Concrete paint stains can happen for a variety of reasons — when redecorating, when completing art projects, or even due to storage accidents. While it is usually best to remove concrete paint stains while they are fresh and have not dried, there are effective ways to get rid of dried stains as well.

In any case, professional concrete removal services are always available to ensure complete concrete paint removal.

Wet Paint Spills on Concrete

If you’ve had an accident with a large spill, one way to limit the damage is to place a newspaper around the perimeter of the stain and spread kitty litter on top of the spill. Although this method will not actually remove the stain, it will absorb some of the stain, will prevent the stain from spreading, and will give you enough time to collect the materials needed to remove the stain.

If you do not plan on hiring a concrete paint removal contractor, collect some paper towels, a pail, mild liquid dish soap, sponges, glycerin, and a plastic garbage bag.

First, using paper towels, blot the paint to absorb as much as possible. Be careful not to scrub the paint, as scrubbing will cause the paint to spread out and will force it into the concrete even more.

When most of the paint has been blotted in this manner, mix liquid dish soap with water in the pail, forming suds. Lightly begin sponging the paint residue, being sure to rinse the sponge frequently. Clean one section at a time, starting from the perimeter and moving into the center. (Beginning from the perimeter is best, since starting from the center will push the paint outwards.)

If you are worried that what is left of the paint might dry before it can be sponged away, you can lubricate it with a small amount of glycerin. Just dab the glycerin onto the paint with a paper towel or cotton balls.

Once you have removed most of the paint, wipe the surface with a clean, wet sponge to eradicate any residue. Then allow the concrete to dry thoroughly.

Removing Paint

Dried Paint Spills on Concrete

If your paint stain is completely dry, wipe away any loose debris. Then, using a putty knife or scraper, remove as much excess paint as possible. If residue remains, dampen a rag with non-flammable paint remover and place it on top of the stain.

When using commercial paint removers or any type of household substitutes (such as acetone), be sure to check the safety and handling guidelines recommended by the manufacturer and test the product in an inconspicuous spot.

Let the paint remover sit for 15-20 minutes. Remove the rag from the stain and begin working on it with a fresh sponge. Begin by softly sponging it with sudsy solution (a mixture of water and mild liquid dish soap). If needed, use a paper towel to get rid of extra dampness in the area and begin reapplying the paint remover/acetone onto the stain.

Once paint removal is complete, wipe off any residue that remains with a clean, wet sponge. Let the concrete floor dry.

Caution: Before you begin the cleaning process, test cleaning agents on an inconspicuous surface to see if they are suitable and to be sure they do not cause damage. Wear proper attire such as gloves and protective eyewear, and conduct the paint removal process in a well-ventilated area. Inhaling or ingesting cleaning agents is dangerous and can be fatal, especially for pets and children. If you do not have the correct materials, always consider contacting a reputable concrete paint removal service.