Paint on concrete floor or driveway is a disaster. Do not worry! Check out these tips on how to remove paint from concrete easily and effectively.
Table of Contents
- Why does Removing Paint from Concrete Need Special Treatment?
- What do You Need to Prepare before Removing Paint from Concrete?
- A Small Amount of Paint on Concrete
- A More Stubborn Stain
- Using Nonchemical Solutions
Why does Removing Paint from Concrete Need Special Treatment?
When you are doing a patio makeover, and accidentally spill the paint, you might gasp in surprise since you realize that another chore is waiting for you. Yes! You have to find a way of how to remove paint from concrete as the pesky stain will remain there although you have tried so hard to wipe it away. Concrete is porous. It means it absorbs liquid such as paint easily. The nature of concrete allows the paint to seep millimeters deep into its surface.
As a result, removing paint from concrete can be a daunting task because it entails a lot of energy and time. The amount of time you are going to spend to remove the paint from concrete depends on how large the area that you are going to work on is. But you can manage to do it if you keep being persistent.
What do You Need to Prepare before Removing Paint from Concrete?
Before starting, here are the materials and tools that you need to prepare.
• Broom or clean cotton rag
• Trisodium phosphate
• Long-handled brush
• Putty knife
• Chemical paint stripper
• Dusk mask
• Rubber gloves
• Pressure washer
• Clay powder or kitty litter (if the stain is pretty stubborn)
A Small Amount of Paint on Concrete
When working with paint, it is normal if you accidentally splash it on the floor. You might think that it is a small amount of it, so it is not a big deal. Then you realize that the paint is hard to remove. Do not worry! Use a little bit of your elbow grease, be patient, and follow these steps.
STEP 1: Clean It Up
The first thing you need to do before working with concrete, either reseal or remove paint from it, is clean it thoroughly. To do this thing, you need to sweep or wipe off it to remove loose dust, dirt, and debris. After that, wear your protective gear and dilute trisodium phosphate (TSP). TSP is a cleaning product that consists of 75% to 80% trisodium phosphate blending with 20-%to 25% sodium carbonate. It is dry and odorless.
Before using it, mix it with hot water thoroughly until you get a slightly cloudy solution. Since TSP is harmful if swallowed and can cause eye and skin irritation, be careful when working with it. Do not forget to use eye protection and rubber gloves when cleaning with it. Consider wearing long sleeves and long pants to protect the exposed skin from it.
When the TSP solution and your protective gear are ready, you can begin to clean the concrete up with a long-handled brush. If you cannot get TSP, you can use a solution of soap and water. Although it might not work as well as the TSP, it still does in a pinch. Once you have washed the surface thoroughly, rinse it, and let it dry for one or three hours before moving on to the next step.
STEP 2: Applying the Paint Stripper.
You might find that some of the paint begins to chip after the cleaning process done in the previous step. If that happens, peel it away using a putty knife. After that, apply the chemical paint stripper on to the area that you are going to work on. Make sure you are wearing a respirator or a dust mask, long sleeves, and a good pair of rubber gloves before applying the paint stripper because it can be harmful to you.
Remember to purchase the one designed for the type of paint that you are trying to ditch because it will not work if you use the wrong chemical paint stripper. If you are not sure which type of paint it is, using an oil-based paint stripper will be your best bet. Next, you can cover the concrete with a few layers of paint stripper. Leave it for six to eight hours to allow the chemical reaction to do its magic.
STEP 3: Scrub the Concrete and Remove the Stripper Residue.
Removing the paint stripper residue will require a lot of effort, especially if you are working with a large area. To make it easier, you had better use a pressure washer. You can get it from your local home center or borrow it from a neighbor. Set it at 3,000 psi and begin to blast away the paint stripper residue. If the stain remains there, do not let it discourage you and make you lose hope. You may need to repeat the second step twice or three times. So, hang in there! In case you are working with a smaller area, and you do not get the access to borrow a pressure washer, you can just use a wire scrub brush or a paint scraper.
A More Stubborn Stain
This is how to remove paint from concrete if you are dealing with a tougher one. To do this job, you will just need to do the same aforementioned steps and a little help from an absorbent material, such as finely ground clay powder or pulverized kitty litter. First, mix the paint stripper with the clay or kitty litter. Apply a layer of the mixture to the paint that you are trying to remove. Let it sit for about 20 minutes or several hours.
Scrape it off, and scrub it with a stiff brush, scouring powder, and water. Rinse it and keep scrubbing until the paint is gone. If you are working outside in a well-ventilated area, consider using the paint stripper with methylene chloride to make this process become much faster.
Using Nonchemical Solutions
If you are not into using chemical solutions that may be harmful, you can still have other options. It will entail more labor-intensive, though. Try using an orbital sander on a concrete surface of modest size. Another non-toxic option that you can use is a soda blaster. It is like a sandblaster. However, it shoots out sodium bicarbonate, known as baking soda, instead of sand. You will still need to wear a dust mask or respirator as it creates fine particles.
Now you know how to remove paint from concrete. What are you waiting for? Let’s get the job done!