Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

June, 2005

Removing Paint from Concrete

Q. A couple of employees spray painted some planters outside and a significant amount of paint was left on the concrete stoop where they spray painted. We tried cleaning with a paint removal product, followed by srcubbing the area with soap and water and none of this has helped. Is there a way to remove this unsightly mess? Thanks!

A. There are a number of chemical paint strippers on the market and I'm surprised that they didn't work for you. The most effective products contain methylene chloride, but because of its environmental hazards, some hardware stores might not carry stripper that incorporate this chemical. I suggest that you visit your local industrial paint store (not hardware store) and see what they can offer you.

If none of the chemical strippers work, you will need to have someone come in with an abrasive blasting machine. This will remove the paint and clean up the concrete. To prevent dry dust from flying in all directions you might consider abrasive blasting in a water slurry. Alternatively, look into the use of high pressure water blasting. This is very effective, but it does dump lots and lots of water around the working area. Last, but not least, some contractors use high pressure water with baking soda as the abrasive.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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