Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

December, 2004

Paint Removal From Garage Floor

Q. There is white paint on the entire surface of my garage floor. I would like to put on a new surface since the white paint looks so bad. How do I remove the paint from the concrete floor? It has been there for about 10 years.

It sounds as if the paint is in good condition, in other words it is not flaking or peeling. If this is the case, there really is no need to remove all of the existing paint. The old paint can be used as a basecoat if it is well intact. Use a pressure washer with a good strong detergent to remove any loose paint, and to clean the surface.

The paints that are typically used are somewhat glossy, dull the finish with a de-glossing product such as a paint etch or TSP or equivalent, you can also use a wire brush to scuff the surface. Feather sand any sharp edges that may have occurred from any peeling of the old paint, and re-clean the surface again using a good strong detergent to be certain to remove any grease or oil that may be present, rinse well and allow the surface sufficient time to dry before applying a new coating.

If this is not practical, then you can either chemically strip the paint by using a paint stripper, or you can use an abrasive blast machine or wire brush wheel to remove the old paint. (I dont recommend using the paint stripper due to chemical exposure).

Consult with your local paint supplier, they may rent out the pressure washers, and will be able to make specific product and application recommendations for your project.

When preparing any surface for the application of paints or coatings, be certain to take precautions to protect against breathing in any air borne dust particles or debris that may be created by the prep work.

Paint Removers are like an acid and may cause chemical burns to the skin!

Please be aware that Coatings, Solvents and Paint Removers are chemicals and therefore you should always pay attention to proper handling procedures and be prepared to wear protective clothing, such as respirators, gloves, coveralls, etc. For further information on the health and safety requirements for the coatings, solvents and other chemical products that you intend to use, we strongly advised you to contact your local coatings and chemicals supplier. If possible, go the extra step and look for this information on the website of the product vendor.


Jim Burke

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