How to remove paint from concrete

Removing paint from concrete is a time-consuming endeavor, but a determined DIYer is certainly up to the task. Here’s how to get it done right.

By Bob Vila | Updated Aug 9, 2021 4:52 PM

How to remove paint from concrete

Concrete is porous, which means that it readily absorbs liquids like paint. With this ease of penetration, paint can seep millimeters deep into a concrete surface. As a result, it can be a challenge to figure out how to remove paint from concrete, but it can certainly be done. How long does it take? That depends on the size of the area you’re dealing with. But it’s safe to expect that you won’t be knocking this out before lunch. Think of removing paint from concrete as an ongoing process, not as an item for your weekend to-do list.

Project Summary

  1. Clean the concrete surface thoroughly and let dry.
  2. Scrape peeled or chipped paint.
  3. Apply paint stripper and wait.
  4. Remove paint stripper residue.
  5. Reapply paint stripper as necessary.

For full instructions, continue reading below….

  • Broom
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Long-handled brush
  • Putty knife
  • Chemical paint stripper
  • Dust mask
  • See full list «
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Pressure washer
  • Kitty litter

STEP 1: Clean the concrete surface thoroughly and let dry.

When you set out to remove paint from concrete, the first thing to do is clean the surface of the concrete thoroughly. Prepare a solution of soap and water, or better yet, diluted trisodium phosphate (TSP)—in which case, be sure to wear gloves. (If you’ve never cleaned with TSP before, read this.) Meanwhile, sweep or wipe off the concrete, removing as much loose dust, dirt, and debris as possible. Now proceed to work the soapy water or TSP into the concrete by means of a long-handled brush. Rinse the area afterward, allowing one to three hours for the surface to dry.

How to remove paint from concrete

STEP 2: Scrape peeled or chipped areas and apply paint stripper.

If some of the paint has already begun to chip or peel, scrape it away with a putty knife. Having done so, get ready to apply the chemical paint stripper. You need to use one designed for the type of paint you’re trying to remove. In other words, use oil-based paint stripper on a surface coated by oil-based paint. Not sure which type of paint is on the concrete? If you’re uncertain, your best bet is to opt for an oil-based paint stripper.

Once you’ve covered the concrete with a generous layer of paint stripper, let it sit for six to eight hours. During that time, a chemical reaction will take place, the magical result of which is the removal of paint. Remember that if you’re working with paint stripper, it’s imperative that you wear the appropriate protective gear: a respirator (or at minimum, a dust mask), long sleeves, and good pair of rubber gloves.

STEP 3: Remove paint stripper residue.

For this stage of the job, so long as you’re working on a compact concrete patch, you can probably get by with a wire scrub brush or a paint scraper. On a larger surface, to make things much more manageable, it’s recommended that you rent a pressure washer from your local home center (or borrow one from a neighbor).

Having set the pressure washer at 3,000 psi, go ahead and blast away the paint stripper residue. Soon enough, you will see whether or not it will be necessary to repeat Step 2. It’s not unreasonable to anticipate having to apply and then wash away multiple applications of paint stripper.

Paint Spills

What if you spill a gallon of paint on the garage floor, or accidentally leave a thick splatter of bright orange paint on the driveway? To clean it up, you would follow the same basic steps outlined above, with one important exception. Instead of applying a layer of paint stripper alone to the concrete, you would apply a paste made from the stripper and a super absorbent material, such as finely ground clay powder or pulverized kitty litter.

Nonchemical Solutions

There are alternatives to using a paint stripper, but they’re all more labor-intensive. For instance, on a concrete surface of modest size, you can opt to use an orbital sander. Likewise, a floor buffer can get the job done on a larger scale. But perhaps the most effective nontoxic option is a soda blaster, a tool very much like a sandblaster, except that instead of sand, it shoots out sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). You can most likely rent one—and buy the baking soda in bulk—at your local home center. Because all of the above options create fine particles, a dust mask or respirator is a must to remove paint from concrete, especially if you’re working indoors.

Combined with the right sealer, concrete is able to successfully withstand UV and water damage, wear and tear associated with long-term use, abrasions, freeze-thaw cycles, and exposure to the elements.

A penetrating sealer for your concrete can give it long-lasting protection by altering its chemical makeup, reducing the need for reapplication. However, if concrete has been paired with a surface sealer, it will need to be reapplied occasionally based on the type of sealer used. Epoxies, for example, can last a lot longer than acrylics (or water-based sealers).

Unless you’ve applied a penetrating reactive sealer, you will eventually need to know how to remove old sealer from concrete prior to a reapplication.

Thankfully, this is an easy process which can be completed in just a few short steps. Let’s take a deeper look at the steps required to remove a concrete sealer.

How to remove concrete sealer from floors

Before applying a new sealer, it’s very important that you make sure the old one is completely gone. This is because any old sealer left on the surface of your concrete can impede the effectiveness of the newly applied sealant, preventing proper adhesion to the concrete surface.

The removal of old concrete sealer can be done in one of two ways: mechanical or chemical. The mechanical way involves using some kind of tool to physically grind, sand, or blast away the sealer.

This method can be noisy and damaging to the concrete. There can be significant scratching or damage sustained during the process of mechanically removing sealer.

How to remove sealer from concrete floors with chemicals

The other method to remove sealer from a concrete floor or patio, or to remove concrete sealer of any type, is chemically. You have some variety of choice when it comes to which products you want to use.

You may have heard that it is possible to use muriatic acid to etch your concrete surface. Unfortunately, muriatic acid is often used because it’s less expensive than professional products. However, using muriatic acid is not a wise idea because it can actually cause damage to the concrete surface and to people, pets and plants.

What is the best product for removing concrete sealer?

Cure & Seal Remover from PROSOCO is a professional-grade product that’s specially formulated for concrete sealer removal.

This product prepares your exterior flatwork or concrete floors for applying colorant, polishing, grinding, or whatever else you plan to do after you’ve removed all the old sealer. It’s able to remove even the toughest high-solids cures and seals from driveways, floors, patios, and many other types of concrete.

It is compliant with all known VOC regulations and works quickly without affecting the color of your concrete. It’s also low-odor, water-rinsable, and contains materials which are readily biodegradable.

Remove concrete sealer with a quality product

If you’re working with a concrete sealer that’s merely topical, at some point you’ll need to strip it away completely before you reapply a fresh coat. Products like PROSOCO’s Cure & Seal Remover penetrate deeply to completely remove all remnants of the old sealer, giving your new coat of sealer a fresh and clean surface to which it can adhere.

If you want to be able to add any kind of finish to your concrete, such as a translucent decorative finish, you’ll need a product that allows for this. A penetrating sealer like PROSOCO’s Consolideck LS will make a concrete floor more resistant to damage from water and surface abrasions. Sealing a concrete floor will also make it harder, less dusty and easier to maintain.

How to remove paint from concrete

Painting concrete surfaces requires more skill, tools, and time than throwing a coat on drywall. Here’s how to do it right.

Concrete painting is trickier than painting most surfaces: It breathes, transports moisture, and sucks up paint.

While you can paint drywall in a day or two, you’ll need a week or more to finish painting concrete . Continue reading below for tips — plus costs — on how to paint concrete surfaces:

1. Clean the Concrete

Cleaning concrete is a vital first step because the porous surface tends to trap dirt, grease, and oil.

1. Remove dirt and grease with trisodium phosphate ($6.30 per quart concentrate), or choose a more Earth-friendly cleaner like Krud Kutter’s pre-paint cleaner ($10 for 32 ounces).

2. Yank off vines and moss growing on the foundation. Use a pressure washer to finish off remaining roots and dirt.

3. Remove efflorescence, a white powder that forms on moist concrete. Try Krud Kutter Concrete Clean & Etch ($8.50 for 32 ounces); if you need more cleaning muscle, try phosphoric acid masonry cleaner ($27 per gallon).

Popular Reads

What to Expect from Virtual House Tours, Staging, and Showings

Virtual steps in home buying can save time, but learn how to get the whole picture.

How to remove paint from concrete

Coronavirus Mortgage Relief: What You Need To Know

It’s a confusing time, but lenders are putting remedies, like forbearance, in place to help homeowners.

How to remove paint from concrete

How to Shop Around for a Mortgage Loan

Home buyers who do mortgage loan shopping can avoid leaving money on the table.

How to remove paint from concrete

2. Strip Old Paint

Strip peeling or blistering paint indoors with a wire brush ($3 to $5), a paint scraper ($10 to $20), and lots of elbow grease.

Outdoors, get rid of old paint with a power washer (rents for $40 to $75 per day).

3. Seal Interior Concrete

Water moves easily through porous concrete, so sealing interior walls is necessary to prevent moisture from seeping in, promoting mold growth and that cold, damp basement feel. Use a masonry sealer, such as ThoroSeal, that also patches cracks ($35 for a 50-pound bag).

Carefully follow directions for mixing, applying, and curing the sealer. ThoroSeal, for example, requires two coats; the manufacturer recommends curing for five to seven days before applying the second coat.

4. Prime the Concrete

Concrete primer, called block primer, fills pores and evens out the surface. For exterior foundations and walls, use exterior-grade block filler, such as Behr’s Concrete and Masonry Bonding Primer, which also is good for interior concrete ($17.98 per gallon). Primer dries in two hours; wait at least eight hours, but no more than 30 days, to paint.

5. Paint the Concrete

Masonry paint (also called elastomeric paint or elastomeric wall coating) is a good choice for concrete painting because it contains binders that contract and expand with the concrete. Exterior house paint can crack and peel on concrete.

Masonry paint ($20 per gallon) can be tinted and is much thicker than exterior paint. Apply it with a masonry brush ($5 to $8), a high-capacity (3/4-inch or higher) roller, or a texture roller ($5.50).

Some masonry paint is thicker than exterior paint and contains fine particles that can clog air sprayers. If you want to spray-paint cement, ask your local paint store for a product that will work well in a sprayer ($300).

No matter how you apply paint, let it dry for a day between coats. You’ll probably need two to three coats, so check the long-range weather forecast before you begin.

Related:

Topic

How to remove paint from concrete

Pat Curry

Pat Curry is a former senior editor at “Builder,” the official magazine of the National Association of Home Builders, and a frequent contributor to real estate and home-building publications.

More in Improve

How to Disinfect Your Home in the Time of Coronavirus

A bleach solution or rubbing alcohol is your best bet for keeping your home sanitized.

How to remove paint from concrete

5 Crucial Cold Weather Tips for Preparing Your House for Winter

Our winterizing your home checklist will help you keep your house cozy and safe from winter’s frigid assault.

How to remove paint from concrete

7 Ways to Make Your Yard & Home a Bug-Free Zone

Be the home on the block that bugs run from.

How to remove paint from concrete

5 Trees That’ll Withstand the Worst Storms and Still Look Gorgeous

More curb appeal, less hassle. That’s what these trees offer.

How to remove paint from concrete

Attic & Basement Storage Ideas to Gain More Space

You’ll get more livable space while getting rid of clutter. It’s a win-win!

How to remove paint from concrete

All-in-one paint and primer solution specifically formulated to beautify and protect concrete surfaces.

Please note, colors are RGB web approximations of the actual shades.

Additional colors obtained with tint. Visit your local DRYLOK® dealer for more information.
Please note, colors are RGB web approximations of the actual shades.

Currently out of stock. Select another size or find your local dealer.

Shipping included. Taxes not included.

Regional shipping restrictions may apply.

Product Overview

DRYLOK ® Latex Concrete Floor Paint is an all-in-one paint and primer that is scientifically formulated to protect and decorate interior and exterior masonry floors.

The attractive, flat, non-slip formula is effective on both new and previously painted surfaces.

Coats: Maximum 2

Clean up: Soap and Water

Coverage: 500 square feet per gallon

Dry Time: 4 hours to touch, 4 hours to recoat

  • Paint and primer all-in-one
  • Tintable
  • Flat, non-slip finish
  • Application brush or roller
  • Ideal for garage floors, patios, walkways, breezeways, laundry rooms, and basement floors.
  • CSI Masterformat® 03 35 00 Concrete Finishing
  • CSI Masterformat® 09 97 23 Concrete & Masonry Coatings
  • Garage floors
  • Basement floors
  • Brick patios
  • Poured concrete and block patios
  • Wood steps

Remove all dirt, wax, dust, mildew, and loose or scaling material with a scraper, wire brush or stiff bristle brush*. Grease, wax, and oil should be removed by scrubbing with a heavy duty detergent in warm water. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Allow the surface to dry. Using a pressure washer? Do not use on a pressure setting above 1750 psi, to avoid damaging the concrete. Remember, concrete acts like a sponge. Pressure washing and general cleaning may trap residual moisture in the concrete.

To check for trapped moisture, tape a 12” x 12” piece of 3 mil plastic or aluminum foil tightly on all four edges to the surface. Remove it after 24 hours. If the floor side of the plastic or foil is damp, allow additional drying and repeat the test. A dehumidifier or fan may help to eliminate residual trapped moisture.

If you see white, powdery, crystal-like deposits on the surface, they are naturally occurring, water-soluble salt compounds in the masonry, pushed out by water intrusion. When the water evaporates, the salt residue remains. This effect is called efflorescence and, because it prevents DRYLOK ® Concrete Floor Paint from properly bonding to the surface, it must be removed. Treat it with DRYLOK ® Etch** (liquid or powder formula) or muriatic acid according to the manufacturer’s directions, rinse and allow to dry.

DRYLOK ® Etch will also properly prepare the concrete’s profile to accept the coating. Properly prepared concrete should look and feel like medium grit sandpaper. If the concrete remains smooth, repeat the etching procedure. You can test the concrete porosity by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the surface in several areas. If the water is readily absorbed, you are ready to apply the coating. If it beads or sits on the surface, additional cleaning and etching is needed. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the surface to dry for 24 hours.

Patch all holes and cracks with a suitable cement-based patching compound. Be sure to smooth the patch evenly. Allow the patched area to dry thoroughly.

How to remove paint from concrete

Protect and enhance the appearance of concrete floors with this dirt resistance showroom-quality interior/​exterior finish.

Please note, colors are RGB web approximations of the actual shades.

Additional colors obtained with tint. Visit your local DRYLOK® dealer for more information.
Please note, colors are RGB web approximations of the actual shades.

Currently out of stock. Select another size or find your local dealer.

Shipping included. Taxes not included.

Regional shipping restrictions may apply.

Product Overview

A semi-gloss high-performance coating for commercial and residential use, DRYLOK ® E1 Latex 1‑Part Epoxy Concrete Floor Paint utilizes an Advanced Epoxy Ester Resin fortified formulation to deliver greater protection and durability. Use it to create a gorgeous, showroom-quality finish that’ll be easy to keep clean even in high-traffic areas.

Coats: Minimum 2

Clean up: Soap and Water

Coverage: 300 – 400 square feet per gallon

Dry Time: 20 minutes to touch, 4 hours to recoat

  • Epoxy ester / acrylic blend
  • Apply by brush or roller
  • Interior, exterior, horizontal masonry surfaces
  • Ideal for garage floors, basement floors, walkways, poured concrete and block patios
  • CSI Masterformat® 09 96 56 Epoxy Coatings
  • CSI Masterformat® 09 97 23 Concrete & Masonry Coatings
  • CSI Masterformat® 09 91 13 Exterior Painting
  • CSI Masterformat® 09 91 23 Interior Painting
  • Garage floors
  • Basement floors
  • Brick patios
  • Poured concrete and block patios

New/​Unpainted Surfaces, Garage Floors and Exterior Concrete Surfaces
New concrete must cure for 30 days before applying the coating. Remove all dirt, wax, dust, mildew, and loose or scaling material with a scraper, wire brush, or stiff bristle brush*. Grease, wax, and oil should be removed by scrubbing with a heavy duty detergent in warm water. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the surface to dry. Using a pressure washer? Do not use on a pressure setting above 1750 psi, to avoid damaging the concrete. Remember, concrete acts like a sponge. Pressure washing and general cleaning may trap residual moisture in the concrete.

To check for trapped moisture, affix a 12” x 12” piece of 3 mil plastic or aluminum foil to the floor, taping it tightly along all four edges. Remove it after 24 hours. If the floor side of the plastic or foil is damp, allow additional drying and repeat the test. A dehumidifier or fan may help to eliminate any residual trapped moisture.

If you see white, powdery, crystal-like deposits on the surface, they are naturally-occurring, water-soluble salt compounds in the masonry, pushed out by water intrusion. When the water evaporates, the salt residue remains. This effect is called efflorescence and, because it prevents DRYLOK ® E1 Latex 1‑Part Epoxy Concrete Floor Paint from properly bonding to the surface, it must be removed. Treat it with DRYLOK ® Etch** (liquid or powder formula) or muriatic acid according to the manufacturer’s directions, rinse, and allow the surface to dry.

DRYLOK ® Etch will also properly prepare the concrete’s profile to accept the coating. Properly prepared concrete should look and feel like medium grit sandpaper. If the concrete remains smooth, repeat the etching procedure. You can test the concrete porosity by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the surface in several areas. If the water is readily absorbed, you are ready to apply the coating. If it beads or sits on the surface, additional cleaning and etching is needed. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the surface to dry for 24 hours.

Patch all holes and cracks with a suitable cement-based patching compound. Be sure to smooth the patch evenly. Allow the patched area to dry thoroughly.

Old, Weathered or Previously Painted Surfaces
Remove peeling paint and clean as above in surface preparation section. Mildew should be removed using a suitable mildew remover. Allow the surface to dry completely. Glossy painted surfaces must be dulled or sanded to improve adhesion. Do not apply to floors that have been previously painted with 2‑component epoxy paints/​coatings. Do not etch painted surfaces.

How to remove paint from concrete

Cleaning your garage floor is one task that rarely makes it on your list of to-dos. However, without regular cleaning and maintenance, serious clutter and grime can build up leaving the garage in poor condition. Removing dirt, chemicals and unwanted stains will keep your garage floor from wearing away and safe for you and your family.

How to remove paint from concrete

How to Remove Oil and Grease Stains from Concrete Garage Floors

Occasional oil or grease stains are inevitable in a garage. Cars, lawn mowers, and other outdoor power equipment may leak fluids. You may also spill a drop or two of oil when working with tools. It’s best to try and clean these spills right away to avoid slipping on fresh oil, tracking it into the house, or leaving a stubborn stain.
To clean a fresh spill, sprinkle cat litter or sawdust on oil or grease to absorb the liquid. Leave the litter or sawdust on the spill for about a day, then sweep it up and dispose of it properly.

How to remove paint from concrete

Once you’re done sweeping, pour dry dish soap or laundry detergent onto the stain. Let it sit for 45 minutes. Next pour water on the area and scrub with a nylon-bristle brush, which will not scratch the surface of the concrete. Allow the soap to sit for 10-15 minutes and scrub again. After scrubbing, rinse with a power jet wand, diluting and directing the soapy water out of the garage.

Older stains are more difficult to remove. You can repeat the cleaning process several times, or buy a de-greasing product at a home- or builder’s-supply store. Even with these products, you may need to apply them and scrub several times to remove stubborn stains.

How to remove paint from concrete

How to Remove Rust Stains from Concrete Garage Floors

Rust stains leave a telltale mark on concrete garage floors. Tools like screwdrivers, hammers or nails, will leave rusty spots if they sit too long on the garage floor, especially if they get wet. Wheel hubs, garden tools or metal buckets can also leave rust stains.

To remove these stubborn marks, squeeze a lemon or pour white vinegar on the stain and allow the liquid to sit for 10 minutes or so. Then scrub with a nylon-bristle brush and rinse the area with water. You may need to repeat the process several times for stubborn rust stains.

Another option is to make a thick paste using laundry detergent that contains baking soda. Mix water and detergent together and leave it on the rust stain for an hour. Be sure to continually keep the paste wet otherwise it will harden and become ineffective. Finally, scrub with a nylon-bristle brush and rinse with a hose.

How to remove paint from concrete

How to Remove Paint from Concrete Garage Floors

Paint stains can be hard to remove. However, with a few simple steps, you should be able to get rid of them. First, use a putty knife to scrape off loose paint, then sweep the area around the stain.

Mix a solution of TSP and water, follow directions on the label and wear glove. Pour the solution on the stain and scrub it into the remaining paint. Rinse with water. Next, scrape any remaining bits of paint off the concrete floor and rinse again.

For tough paint stains, you may need a commercial paint stripper. This solution should stay on the stain for several hours before scraping or scrubbing the concrete. Wear gloves and make sure the garage is well ventilated.

How to remove paint from concrete

Homemade Concrete Cleaning Solution

For regular cleaning, a solution of baking soda and water will loosen dirt and grease and help keep your garage floor clean. Mix a half-cup baking soda in a gallon of warm water and use it as an all-purpose cleaner.

You can also mix baking soda with a few drops of liquid soap, to make a paste, and use it to scrub light stains.

Don’t underestimate the power of warm, soapy water to keep your floors clean and remove minor stains. Mix about one-third cup powdered laundry detergent in a gallon of warm water, and scrub with a nylon-bristle brush. After cleaning your garage floor, always rinse with your power jet wand. The power jet wand is perfect for this job because the powerful stream will make rinsing quick and easy.

A garage is a hard-working room and spills are bound to occur. Put a little muscle into existing stains to clean them up, and take care of new spills without delay. Doing it a bit at a time makes it easy to keep your concrete garage floor clean.

How to remove paint from concrete

Hardwood floors are among the most cherished classy flooring options with undeniable natural and authentic beauty. Anyone would do whatever it takes to maintain the appealing luster on the hardwood floors. At times you may notice some paint drops that you didn’t see during the painting process. Finding the solution on how to remove paint from the hardwood floor may never be a walk in the park. Read through as you learn how to remove old paint from hardwood in a few simple steps and save the cost of hiring a specialist to clean the dried-up paint drops.

Materials That You’ll Need

  • Paper towel
  • Clean rags
  • Dish wash soap
  • Water
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Dull knife
  • Scrub brush
  • Paint thinner
  • Cleansing pads

Preparation of the floor

How to remove paint from concrete

Preparation of the floor surface is the first step before carrying out any maintenance activity on the floor surface. You clean the surface off dust, dirt, and grit to ensure the paint drops are visible. Check if the paint is water-based or oil-based before taking any further action.

You can either dissolve the paint using a solvent or scrap it off using a scraper. Removing oil-based old paint is more challenging compared to acrylic paint as some of the effective solvents used to dissolve the paint may also damage the floor finish. Always try out other methods to remove paint from hardwood without chemicals before resorting to commercial solvents.

Below are some of the most effective methods of removing paint from wood floors.

scrapping of hardened paint

How to remove paint from concrete

The method works best for water-based paint. You can use a plastic putty knife to remove the paint without damaging the surface of the wood floor. You can as well use a hammer to tap the putty knife in the case of hard paint spots.

In the case of dried paint in the joints between two boards, you can use a pull scraper to gently remove the paint from wood grain depression and the sides of the two boards. However, some oil-based paints get tough when dry. Therefore, try warming the spot with a hairdryer by setting full heat and holding it about 3 inches above the ground for 20 seconds.

Never use heat guns because they can damage the finish. It is also essential to know how to remove paint from wood floors without damaging the finish. Do not over scrap the floor to avoid further damage to the finish.

Use of a mild cleaning detergent

How to remove paint from concreteYou can put a drop of dish washing soap to damp paper and wet every part of the stain using a paper towel.

Consider rubbing back and forth for a couple of minutes and wipe out the stain using a dry and an absorbent rag. The paint should be now easy to lift off the floor due to softening by the soapy water. Lastly, use a blunt knife to scratch off the paint layer and sweep off the floor surface.

Use of commercial paint removers

How to remove paint from concreteThis is a quicker way to remove dried paint off the hardwood floors. Visit one of the home improvement stores and buy a paint remover. Directly apply the paint remover on the dried paint using a cotton ball or swabs and leave the product to soak for about 15 minutes to break down the paint. Be keen not to apply the paint remover on areas without the color.

Wipe out the chipped paint and the remover liquid using a paper towel or a rag. If your floor is greasy, you can use soapy water to clean it to avoid a slip-fall hazard.

How to remove old gloss paint from hardwood using denatured alcohol

How to remove paint from concreteUse of alcohol is another alternative that you can try out at home. First, rub the denatured alcohol on the stain using a rag and let it soak into the paint for about 20 to 30 minutes, for the paint to absorb enough alcohol to break it up for easy removal.

Scrub the paint using a scrub brush in a forth-back motion and wipe out the excess paint on the wood floor. Ensure you leave a dry surface once you finish the work.

Use of a cleansing pad

How to remove paint from concreteBuy alcohol-based cleansing pad at a local drug store. Then, scrub the paint stain using one of the paint cleansing pads. When the cleansing pad dries out, use a new one until you remove the paint from the floor.

Remove old paint off hardwood floors using paint thinner

How to remove paint from concreteThe use of thinner should be the last resort in removing paint from the stained wood floor. Take great care as the thinner can easily remove the finish. Ensure proper ventilation in the room you’ll be working inside. Soak a small part of a rag with the thinner and rub it on the paint stain until you remove all the paint thoroughly.

Alternatively, you can use mineral spirit if you are not comfortable with the smell of paint thinner. The method is a super-fast to remove oil-based paint from hardwood. Never use thinner on water-based paint.

1 thought on “6 Ways To Remove Old Paint From Hardwood Floors”

Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared
this site with us so I came to take a look.
I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting
this to my followers! Fantastic blog and amazing design and style.

How to remove paint from concrete

That piece of old wood furniture you bought may be a real gem hidden under layers of faded paint. If you could just remove that paint, you might reveal gorgeous hardwood or honeyed pine, ready to receive a new varnish, hand-rubbed oil, or maybe even a new paint color.

The best way to remove paint from wood furniture is the one that balances your desire for fully stripped furniture with your patience and tolerance for chemicals and scraping. Stripping paint from wood furniture is never easy because it’s usually full of nooks and crannies, not to mention fine details that you don’t want to muddle. But with a smart multi-pronged attack using the correct tools and materials, you will have beautiful wood furniture to be proud of.

Tools and Materials

Ignore gimmicky paint removal systems and stick to the basics. These items have long been proven to do the job right:

  • Heat gun: A heat gun looks like a hair dryer, except it blasts air that’s hot enough to catch paper instantly on fire—or to melt paint.
  • Scrapers and scrubbers: Pick up a small variety of inexpensive metal and plastic scrapers, a 5-in-1 tool, a bag of steel wool, and a metal bristle brush. Alternatively, you can try household items like old credit cards, teaspoons, flat-head screwdrivers, toothbrushes, etc.
  • Paint stripper: You can choose a caustic, solvent, or biochemical stripper. Caustic strippers use lye as the main ingredient and turn the paint into a thick, soapy film. Solvents quite effectively loosen the bond between the paint and the wood, but they are the most dangerous type to breathe. Biochemical strippers include popular citrus-based products. These work the slowest and require more scraping, but they are the safest to use and emit fewer noxious fumes.
  • Lead paint test kit: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes only two widely available DIY lead paint test kits: 3M LeadCheck, and D-Lead. Test old paint for lead, and if you find any, don’t do any dry scraping or sanding.
  • Safety equipment: Use thick rubber gloves rated for chemical use, a breathing respirator, and safety glasses.
  • Sandpaper: Get a variety of coarse and fine sandpapers.

Test Paint for Lead

In 1978, the U.S. federal government banned the sale of lead-based paint on the consumer market. Lead has been traced to a range of health concerns, chiefly among children. By definition, the older your painted wood furniture is, the greater the chance it will have been coated with lead-based paint. Chip off the correct amount of paint required by the kit and test it yourself or send it off to a lab for professional testing.

Remove or Cover Sensitive Areas

Anything that will not get stripped of paint that can be removed (knobs, pulls, hinges, etc.) should be removed. This will make your job much easier. If you have items that cannot be removed (such as upholstery), cover with heavy plastic sheeting and secure it with painter’s tape.

Start With the Heat Gun

Remove as much paint as possible with the heat gun and metal scrapers. You may get lucky and this will remove all of the paint. Most likely, though, it will remove some paint but not all of it.

Heat guns applied to wood can start fires. Be sure to read all of the safety advice in the manual. Start with the gun turned to its lowest wattage and hold far away from the furniture piece. Do not point the gun in one place. Instead, move slowly in a circular motion. The weakest paint will begin to curl up. In more difficult areas, gently scrape with a metal scraper. The paint should soften and become clay-like, which can be scraped up and lifted away.

Proceed to Paint Strippers

After you have removed as much paint as possible with the heat gun, use a paint stripper to take off the rest. If you are at all averse to chemicals, a citrus-based stripper is best. The smell is not offensive, and some users even find it pleasant. It is non-toxic and non-corrosive.

Move the furniture outside or into a well-ventilated area. Put on your gloves and respirator mask. Sand the remaining paint lightly to scuff it up and make it easier for the stripper to work on the paint.

Apply the stripper as directed by the manufacturer, using the recommended type of brush. Wait the requisite amount of time for the stripper to soften the paint.

Scrape the Softened Paint

A familiar adage with paint strippers is: Let the stripper do the work. All strippers need a certain amount of time to do their job. Prior to that time, you are only creating more work for yourself. But if you wait too long, the softened paint will eventually harden. For example, citrus-based strippers should be allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes but no more than 24 hours.

Black tire marks are an unfortunate reality of a car on your concrete driveway or garage floor. Here, we discuss how to remove tire marks from concrete or epoxy surfaces.

How to remove paint from concrete

HOW TO GET TIRE MARKS OFF CONCRETE

The method you use to remove tire marks depends on where the mark is in your garage or driveway.

Removing tire marks from a concrete driveway

If your driveway has a decorative concrete coating, follow the following steps. This information also applies if you’re looking into how to get burnout marks off concrete.

  1. Apply a cleaning product such as SunSpot, a concrete degreaser, Natural Orange (or other citrus cleaner), Simple Green, or automotive brake cleaner to the affected area.
  2. Allow the cleaner to sit on the surface for a few minutes.
  3. Scrub the spot with a brush with stiff bristles.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly with a high-pressure nozzle.
  5. Repeat steps 1–5 as needed.

See SUNDEK’s Maintenance Guide for detailed information on removing black rubber marks and grease or oil stains.

From your local SUNDEK dealer

Removing tire marks from an epoxy garage floor

If your garage floor has an epoxy finish, follow these cleaning steps.

  1. Apply a non-filming detergent such as SunKleen, 409, or Fantastic on the affected area. (You can also use a paint thinner, but only for spot cleaning.)
  2. Allow the solution to soak into the area for a few minutes.
  3. Scrub the area using a brush with soft bristles.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly with a high-pressure nozzle.
  5. Repeat steps 1–5 as needed.

Caution: When searching online for how to clean tire marks off concrete, you might see alternate remedies such as Goof Off. From experience, we have found Goof Off to be too harsh, so we do not recommend it to remove tire marks from concrete or epoxy.

If you have an alternate product you’d like to try, or you want more information about how to get tire marks off concrete, contact us.

CAN TIRE MARKS BE PREVENTED?

Although you can’t prevent tire marks, you can prevent buildup that will make the tire marks harder to clean. We recommend hosing off and cleaning the affected area on a regular basis to prevent a heavy buildup.

Some customers place mats on the floor where their tires will be resting while parked in their garage.

WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?

If you’re curious why tire marks happen, Chris Sullivan provides a summary of the chemical process behind tire marks (from an article on ConcreteNetwork.com):

“This is a phenomenon called “plasticizer migration.” Plasticizer are polymer compounds added to rubber, glue and plastic to make them flexible. The rubber used to make car tires contains plasticizer to improve traction. But when the car is driven, the tires heat up, causing the plasticizer to soften and leach out of the tire. When a hot tire is parked or driven on certain types of sealers, the plasticizer migrate into and discolor the sealer. The better the tire quality, the higher the quantity of plasticizer —and the greater the chance for hot tire marking. Lower-quality tires are harder and contain less plasticizer, so they usually result in less hot tire marking on sealers.”

WHAT TO DO IF THE MARKS WON’T GO AWAY

If your tire marks are especially stubborn, or you can’t get rid of them completely, consider stripping and resealing your concrete or even resurfacing with a concrete coating.

Woodgrain Concrete Overlay

XS Precast Concrete

Interior Concrete Wall Finish

Concrete Repair Systems

TK Products has been developing high-quality concrete surface treatments for commercial and residential applications for more than six decades. This brand specializes in durable surface protection designed to excel in the harshest conditions in North America. That’s why DOT, industrial, and residential customers looking for the best way to cure, protect, restore, or beautify concrete trust TK Products.

Concrete Coatings, Inc. has been proudly leading the industry for over 20 years, manufacturing overlays, stains & dyes and other products for your concrete projects.

Our product lines include clean, prep and repair products, Stamp-Tek™, Spray-Tek™, VIVID™ Acid Stains, Quick Dye™, and options for resinous flooring and sealers. We’re always innovating new products!

WELCOME TO A BRAND NEW APPROACH IN HOME IMPROVEMENT
Do-it-Yourself Concrete Projects – As Easy as 1-2-3.
Hand selected products tailored to the DIY customer. Guaranteed to be the best for easy and fun applications at home, in the garage, shed or at the office!

How to remove paint from concrete

If a painted surface is clean and in good shape, you typically can paint over it without removing the old paint. However, if the old paint is cracked, peeling, blistered, or otherwise loose, you’re asking for trouble if you directly paint over it. While fresh paint will initially hide the imperfections, it won’t be long before the underlying layer bubbles up and compromises your work. So to provide a solid base for your next paint color, you’ll first have to spend some time on paint removal.

Scraping paint is usually done with a wire brush, a paint scraper, or a combination of both tools. This can be a tedious and time-consuming process. If you want, you can limit your efforts to the areas with imperfections and then sand to even out the surface. But for the smoothest finish, it's best to remove all the old paint before proceeding with your new color.

Warning

Paint sold before 1978 often contains lead. And if paint containing lead is loosened during the removal process, the chips and dust can pose a health risk if they’re inhaled or ingested. If you suspect you might be working with old paint, test an area for the presence of lead. (Most hardware stores sell test kits.) If lead is present, follow EPA recommendations for its removal.

Here are three manual tools that are helpful for paint removal.

Wire Brush

You can use a brush with tines made of metal wire to remove raised, peeling, or blistered paint. Wire brushes are inexpensive and quick to put into action, as opposed to a power sander that requires set-up time. In addition, wire brushes are valuable for cleaning paint scrapers and other tools, such as putty knives and wallboard knives.

How to remove paint from concrete

Sweep the Wire Brush Over the Painted Surface

On areas of prominently peeling paint, lightly sweep your wire brush parallel to the edge of the peeling paint to lift it. Where the paint more closely hugs the surface, sweep in the direction of the paint strokes if they are visible. Otherwise follow the direction the paint seems to want to peel off the surface.

Clean the Wire Brush

When finished, clean the wire brush under running water.

Follow With a Paint Scraper if Necessary

A wire brush will usually remove the loosest paint well, but it's rarely enough to completely strip a surface. So you might have to do some follow-up work with a manual paint scraper.

Manual Paint Scraper

The manual paint scraper is an old, reliable way of removing paint. It does take some muscle to remove paint with a manual scraper, but going slowly with plenty of rest breaks will make for a successful job. There are multiple types of paint scrapers to help you get under those stubborn layers of old paint, including:

  • 3-inch flat heavy-duty scraper: With its handle, this scraper gives you a firm grip as you push into the paint. This tool is flat and is shaped like a large putty knife.
  • 2.5-inch two-edge paint scraper: Shaped like a large facial razor, this tool has a thin handle and a wide head. The head sometimes has replaceable scraper blades; shift to a new blade whenever the old one gets dull. This tool is designed to be pulled toward you rather than pushed forward.
  • Multi-use painter's tool: Known as a 5-in-1 tool, 8-in-1 tool, 14-in-1 tool, and several other permutations, this tool has great utility not just for scraping paint but for many forms of home improvement work. You can use this tool for spreading wood filler, chiseling, opening paint cans, cleaning rollers, and more.
  • Putty knife: While a putty knife is designed for using wood filler or joint compound, its blunt end makes it ideal for scraping paint while reducing the chance of gouging the surface.

How to remove paint from concrete

Run a Paint Scraper Over a Whetstone

It helps to have both a sharp scraper and a blunt scraper when removing paint. Run your sharp tool over a whetstone to hone the blade.

Scrape Loose Paint With the Blunt Tool

Begin with the blunt tool. Put the scraper end under any loose paint flakes and gently push. Continue pushing until the paint no longer comes up easily.

Switch to the Sharp Tool if Necessary

If the paint still has a raised edge, switch to the sharp tool. Place the scraper end under the raised edge, and gently press forward until the scraper doesn't easily lift the paint. Take care not to gouge the surface when working with a sharp scraper.

Wash the Scrapers

Wash your scrapers under running water, and dry them to prevent rust.

Heat Gun

An electric heat gun rated for 1,000 watts or more is a valuable tool for removing paint. While heat guns are slow, they are effective. Some heat guns come with scraper attachments, which makes the paint-removal process even easier. But you also can work with a heat gun and a separate manual scraper.

How to remove paint from concrete

Gather Your Scraper and Heat Gun

If you have a scraper head attachment for your heat gun, fit it onto the end of the gun while the tool is unplugged. If not, simply hold your heat gun in one hand and a blunt scraper in the other hand.

Plug in the Heat Gun and Heat the Paint

Begin with the heat gun turned to its low setting. If you have the scraper attachment, hold the tip of the tool close to the painted surface. If not, hold the heat gun about 6 inches away from the surface. Slightly waving the gun over the surface, let the paint heat up for roughly 20 seconds.

Press the Scraper Forward

Aim the heat gun away from your work, or briefly turn off the power, to avoid burning your fingers as you gently press the scraper attachment or manual scraper forward several inches to peel away the heated paint. If the paint has been adequately warmed, it will be slightly soft and easily peel away from the surface. Overheating the paint can make it gummy and harder to remove. Practice will help you determine the right amount of heating for easy removal.