You might think that getting paint off concrete is near to impossible. Well, to be honest, you have every reason to think that. As concrete is a porous substance, this means that it will immediately absorb paint due to its ease of penetration. Therefore, removing paint from such a situation can prove to be a challenge and very time consuming, but contrary to popular belief, it is not completely undoable.
Depending on how big the damaged area is, all you need are the right methods and tools, and a little bit of perseverance.
The following methods should help you get rid of even the worst paint spots on your garage or driveway:
What you will need:
- Broom or a vacuum
- Scraper (optional)
- Scrub brush
- Paint stripper
- Soft cloths
- Take a broom and clean the concrete.
It is a good idea to start by removing any debris or dirt from the surface. You can either make use of a broom or a vacuum to do this. This will make the process easier. Try using a brush or better yet, a scraper to scrape off as much of the loose paint possible.
- Get the best paint stripper.
It is better to opt for professional help if mineral spirits and turpentine does not do the job. Most paint manufacturers produce products to remove paint. When nothing else works, contact the paint manufacturers in order to find the best paint stripper to best help remove the paint from the concrete.
Depending on the paint type, it can be either based on oil or water, there are dedicated paint removers for it. If you are not sure what type of paint it is, use a remover that is dedicated to oil-based painting.
- Apply in the affected area.After getting the desired paint stripper, apply it over the affected area as per the directions that were given by the manufacturers.
- Let the stripper set.
Allow the paint remover to do its job by leaving it as it is for a few hours. Depending on how bad the affected area is, you should let it sit anywhere from a few minutes to eight hours.
- Scrub the affected area.
After letting the paint remover do its work on the area, take a wired scrub brush or use a scraper and scrub at the loosened paint on the spot. This will help to remove the maximum of the damage. Continue doing this until no more of the paint comes off by the brush.
- Wash thoroughly with a hose.
Use a hose to wash down the remaining stubborn paint residue after most of the paint is removed. For concrete surfaces outdoors such as patios and driveways, you can use a pressure washer.
- Repeat as necessary.It is completely natural if it does not come off completely on the first try. Once the concrete is dry, repeat the process until the desired result is achieved.
- Clean the concrete surface.
Use a hose to clean the remaining paint stripper from the surface of the concrete thoroughly.
What you will need:
- Blasting unit (pot blaster)
- Special sodium bicarbonate
If the paint covers a large area of the concrete surface then soda blasting is definitely one that you should consider. It will be more effective than a normal paint stripper solution.
When sodium bicarbonate is applied against a surface under pressured air, it is known as soda blasting. This non-destructive process is commonly used for paint stripping and graffiti removal amongst other things.
You will need a blast generator, high pressured compressed air, a blast hose, and a blast nozzle, which is normally made of tungsten carbide. You should find a blasting unit available for rent at your local hardware store.
The material is a formulated version of sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda. But the baking soda that we are so familiar with and can find in the grocery store is too fine for this use. You should also be able to find the proper powder needed from the same place that you rent the blasting unit from. In case that is not possible, the powder can also be ordered online.
Upon doing this, the soda blasting will disintegrate any material on the surface on impact without damaging the underlying layer and is more environmentally friendly.
- After preparing the blaster, aim it from a distance of at least one foot and a half away from the affected area.
- Spray it evenly across so as not to miss any paint spots.
- Make sure you are wearing a respirator while doing this and do not let any chemicals get on the plants. The blasting chemical has a high level of pH soda and it can be very harmful if it comes in contact with nearby bushes and flowers.
Note: A sandblaster will not be able to carry out this process with soda. Therefore, a proper soda blaster is needed to be used with sodium bicarbonate.
What you will need:
- Finley ground clay
- Paint Stripper
- Stiff brush
- Scouring powder
- Prepare to make your own absorbent paint remover.Make sure you are in an area which has ample of air passing through and you are wearing a respirator. It is very crucial that the space is well-ventilated. If this is the case, you can utilize a paint stripper containing methylene chloride. This would make things a lot easier, not to mention it will speed up the process. You would also require an absorbent material and finely ground clay is the most effective for this situation.
- Mix both the stripper and your absorbent material together.
Mix the paint remover and the ground clay into a paste. The clay to stripper ratio will depend on the thickness of the stripper. It should not take a lot of the clay if the stripper you are using has a thick consistency. The absorbent material would help soak and lift the paint off the concrete surface, which will make the paint easier to be scraped off later on.
- Spread the paste over the affected area and allow it to sit.
Spread an even layer of the superabsorbent paint stripper over the paint stains and allow it time to do its work. It may take anywhere from just 20 minutes to several hours. This wholly depends on how strong of a paint stripper you are using. If you are using one that contains methylene chloride then this should not take too long.
In this step, add a layer of paint thinner over the mixture after every few hours so that your ingredients stay active.
- Scrape off the mixture.
Adding the paint thinner does wonder, and it especially comes in handy for this step. It will help lift the paint off of the surface of the concrete and into the mixture. So when you go in with a scraper or a wire scrub brush, most of the paint should easily come off when you try to scrape off the mixture.
If there is still some paint spot remaining, add another layer of the absorbent mixture and the paint thinner and repeat the steps above.
- Scrub the affected area.
Take some scouring powder and spritz it over the paint spot along with some water. Then take your stiff brush and rub hard on the spot to get the more stubborn stains off. After a while, rinse off the scouring powder and continue scrubbing the area with the brush to remove the remaining paint particles.
You can repeat this process if necessary.
If the above methods do not work, and if you have a lot of paint to remove, consider hiring a professional blaster. This can also be more cost-effective.