Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2003

Removing Glue from Concrete Floor

Q. We have a concrete floor that was previously tiled, the tiles have been removed, but the surface is rough and remnants of the glue remain on the concrete. I think it was rubber glue. We wish to paint this surface. Can you please advise me of preparation and the correct paint products.

A. Try using methylene chloride paint remover that you can purchase from your local paint store, but I can't be sure that it will work.

The advantage of methylene chloride is that you can apply it using a trowel and wait for the glue to lift off from the concrete. But by the time you have lifted the glue you will have a very large mess to deal with. Use a scraper to scrape off all the loosened glue.

When you have removed as much of the glue as possible, I suggest that you thoroughly wash the floor with copious amounts of water to remove all remaining traces of the paint remover.

Allow the concrete to thoroughly dry and then use an acrylic latex floor paint.

Another alternative is to experiment with a range of solvents that you can purchase from an industrial paint store. You might need to experiment with each solvents until you find the one that works three best.

I hope this will work for you, but if I were doing the job I would first experiment on a very a small section of floor before I would go ahead and do the entire job. Without seeing the glue, the concrete, etc., I'm giving you my best estimate of what might work.

Health and Safety
Please be aware that coatings and solvents 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., and always be sure that your work area is well ventilated.

For further information on the health and safety requirements for the coatings and solvents you wish to use we strongly advised you to contact your local coating supplier and obtain a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). If possible, go the extra step and look for this information on the website of the product vendor.

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