When You realize that you have some spray paint on your concrete and you are searching for best practices on removing it, we wrote an interesting article describing 9 ways to remove spray paint from concrete.
- Graffiti paint Removal Gel
- Solvents (Paint removal, Mineral Spirit, Acetone)
- Power Washer
- Natural Ingredients (Baking soda and Vinegar)
- Soap and Water
- Angle Grinder
- Proffesional Paint Remover
How to remove spray paint from concrete?
Let’s dive deep and explain more in detail each removal process.
1. Graffiti Removal gel
Let’s start with the most efficient way. Graffiti removal gel, as the name implies, is designed to remove graffiti paint spray from a variety of surfaces.
To ensure that the gel works well with your paint, test it first on a hidden area before applying it to a stained or painted surface.
When applying follow these three simple steps:
- Apply Graffiti removal gel on the painted area.
- Once the gel is applied, you simply let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Wash it away with a pressure washer afterward.
Although the solvents will not remove graffiti on their own, they can be used to dilute and soften the paint before using a power washer to remove it. If you don’t have or don’t want to acquire specific products like the Graffiti Removal Gel listed above, different solvents can be effective as well.
The most effective solvents when removing paint from concrete are Paint thinner and Stripper.
How to remove spray paint on concrete with paint thinner and Stripper?
As mentioned above, Paint thinner and Stripper are two of the most popular solvents used when removing spray paint.
- Paint thinner or Stripper
- A brush or a rag
How to remove spray paint from concrete with Paint thinner and Stripper:
- Apply the solvent to a rag and wipe it down on the stained area.
- Repeat step 1 until you’ve gotten rid of all of the spray paint from the concrete.
- Clean up your work area once finished with the stains by wiping it down with water.
- Quick and efficient
- Not as effective on thick layers of paint
- Need to reapply frequently
- Harsh chemical
Other solvents that remove spray paint
There are some other types of solvents that remove paint like Acetone, Mineral spirit, and Turpentine that can be used as well.
Mineral spirit is a petroleum-based solvent that is very effective at softening oil and water-based paints.
Mineral spirit can be applied with a brush or a cloth to remove paint from your concrete floor. It’s also known as white spirits, naphta mineral solvent or Varsol.
Acetone is Another popular solvent for removing oil paints. It’s more effective on hard surfaces like wood and metal than on porous materials like concrete or plasterboard.
It can be applied with a rag or cotton buds to remove the paint from your concrete step.
NOTE: When using it, make sure you do not use anything that will leave a residue like newspaper, paper towels, or rags since they can react with acetone and leave a film on the surface you are trying to remove.
Using turpentine can dissolve oil-based paints and varnishes, however, this solution should be used with caution because it contains harsh chemicals and vapors that can damage your health.
If you want to use turpentine on your concrete surface, always protect yourself by wearing a glove and a respirator.
NOTE: Turpentine can dull the surface of your concrete surface if it is not used correctly. - Also turpentine can react with some types of paints and leave a film after it has been removed.
3. Using a power washer
A pressure washer can be an effective way to remove paint from concrete as it can strip away all layers of paint very quickly, without any scrubbing or pre-soaking.
NOTE: Power washers can damage the surface of your concrete if it's very old or porous.
4. Use natural ingredients when removing spray paint
You can remove spray paint from concrete using natural ingredients like baking soda and vinegar.
The obvious advantage of using these products instead of solvents is that they are not hazardous to your health. The downside is that it might take more time to remove the paint compared to using some chemicals.
Removing it with baking soda
To remove spray paint on concrete with baking soda, follow these three simple steps:
- Mix water and baking soda in a bowl.
- Spread the mixture over the paint you want to remove.
- Let it stay for 20 minutes.
- Scrub the area with a brush afterwards to remove paint particles or wash off using a powerwasher.
How to remove spray paint from concrete using vinegar?
Vinegar is a natural product that many people already have in their kitchen. It can also be an effective way to remove spray paint from concrete.
Follow these four steps to remove spray paint using vinegar:
- Take white vinegar and heat it on your stove so it becomes hot. This is important because the hot vinegar will break down the spray paint much easier.
- Take a cloth soaked in hot vinegar and scrub painted area.
- Let it stay for 10 minutes, or longer if needed.
- Scrub the area with a brush afterward to remove paint particles or wash off using a power washer.
5. Scrub it with soap and water
Soap and water are household items that we all have at home and can be at the same time quite effective way when removing spray paint from your concrete floors.
Because it is the most economical solution I recommend you start with it. And if you are not satisfied with the result, then try some of the other solvents and specialized products mentioned above.
Materials you will need
- A brush
- Liquid dish soap
- Sponge or rag
How to remove spray paint from concrete using water and soap?
- Mix a little bit of liquid dish soap in warm water. Then use your sponge or rag to apply it on the painted area. It’s important you cover as much as possible of the paint, not only the surface.
- Scrub the surface with your brush or sponge to break down the paint until you remove all of it.
- After you are done scrubbing in order to remove any remaining particles or traces of paint, wash off with water and let it dry completely. For best results use power washer.
Since almost everyone has this product at home it’s very cost-effective.
The downside of using just water and soap is that it can take a lot of time to completely remove all layers of paint – compared with some solvents which might remove the paint in a matter of minutes.
Sandblasters are used in the professional painting industry. You can rent them at places that specialize in renting out painting tools and equipment or buy something like on the picture above. The machine is quite difficult to use properly so you need to do some learning beforehand to avoid damaging the surfaces you are working on.
- The obvious advantage is that a sandblaster can remove paint from concrete very quickly, without any scrubbing or pre-soaking.
- Professional machines can be quite expensive to rent.
- Most sandblasters are very noisy.
- They can also be extremely cold because the material they use for blasting is made of sand. So you will need to wear some warm clothes before using them.
- This method generates a lot of dust so you need to have a suitable vacuum cleaner to clean up after you are done, which is an additional expense.
How to remove spray paint from concrete using a sandblaster?
The process of removing paint from concrete using a sandblaster is pretty simple.
- You start by preparing your workspace, make sure there’s enough open space for you to work.
- Then put on safety glasses and protective clothing like gloves, long sleeve shirt, shoes, pants and mask.
- You can start with spray painting the surface in order to find the most convenient angle for your sandblaster.
- Afterward, turn on the sandblaster and start removing paint in straight lines.
- Your goal is to remove all layers of paint, so it is important to make sure you use a brush or sponge when needed to remove the last traces of paint.
TSP substitute is a product used for cleaning hard surfaces. When it comes to removing paint from concrete, TSP substitute is very effective.
Materials you will need:
How to remove spray paint from concrete using TSP?
- Start by mixing TSP substitute with water in the bucket.
- Then use your Brush to apply it on the surface you are working on.
- Scrub off the paint and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- After that, rinse it off with water and let it dry completely.
- TSP substitute is a product that you can find at home or in most hardware stores. It’s highly effective and pretty much affordable for anyone.
- It can take some time to dissolve the spray paint from your surface.
- It is Toxic so you have to be very careful when using it and make sure there’s no skin contact.
8. Angle Grinder
An angle grinder is a tool commonly used during remodeling. Most people use it for grinding and polishing concrete but you can also use it to remove paint.
You will need:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Angle grinder
- Floating disk sanding pads (120)
- Protective gear (long sleeve shirt, thick pants and safety glasses)
How to remove spray paint from concrete using an angle grinder?
The process of removing paint from concrete with an angle grinder is pretty much the same as when you’re grinding or polishing concrete.
- You start by removing any loose material (like dust and dirt). You do this by using a vacuum cleaner.
- Then put on proper protective gear like gloves, thick pants and long sleeve shirt (to protect your skin).
- Next, use an angle grinder with 120-grit sanding pads to remove the paint. You need to be careful because this is quite powerful machine that can damage the surface you are working on if you don’t pay attention.
- USe Vacuum cleaner to remove the dust from your surface.
- An angle grinder is a tool that can be found in most hardware stores and they are a lot cheaper than a sandblaster.
- Using an angle grinder can be pretty dangerous and you need to be very careful while using it. To do this properly, you’ll need some experience.
- The problem with using an angle grinder is that it generates a lot of dust so you need to be prepared with a vacuum cleaner to clean up after you are done.
- This method also takes some time to remove all layers of paint from your surface.
9.Hire a Professional paint remover
This is a bit more expensive than the other methods, but if you want to remove paint quickly and with little effort it may be worth it.
They are professionals who have the proper equipment to remove paint from concrete quickly, easily, and without any mess.
This is a good method if you don’t want to damage your surface in any way or spend time on doing it yourself. These professionals are specialized in removing these kind of paints and will do all the work for you.
How fast can you remove paint from a concrete floor?
This really depends on the type of paint you used and the type of remover or solvent you applied.
But if you use a product that is specifically designed for removing paint from concrete, the process might take around 15-20 minutes per coat.
Can you remove spray paint from concrete Using WD-40?
Yes, you can. WD-40 works well with latex paint. It will help you soften it so you can easily remove it with water afterward.
Can you remove spray paint from concrete using sandpaper?
This can be very effective but it will also take a lot of time and patience. Use sandpaper that is around 120-grit and sand the paint until you reach the raw concrete or finish your floor with another method. Keep in mind that sanding isn’t always the most efficient way to remove paint from concrete.