You may think that removing paint off concrete is not possible. Well, you may think that way and that’s quite reasonable as well because you have every reason to think that. Concrete is a porous material, which means that it can instantly absorb paint because of its ease of diffusion. So, that’s why removing paint in these situations can be very difficult and time-consuming as well. But contrary to general belief, it is not entirely impossible. When painting outside, paint spots or drips may happen anytime, some of which often end up on the concrete road or pavers. It depends on the size of the damaged area, all you have to do is to adopt the correct method and best available tools, and a little bit of perseverance. There are few steps and methods you can take and remove paint from concrete which are discussed underneath in this blog.
Things or equipment that you may need in this method are:
- A broom/vacuum
- Scrub brush
- Paint stripper
- Soft cloths.
1. Clean the Concrete with a Brush
First of all, you need to remove all the dirt and debris from the surface. It can be done either by making use of a brush or do it by using a vacuum. You can make the process very easy by doing this.
2. Find the Finest Paint Stripper
You can look for the best and professional help if the use of mineral spirits and turpentine did not work for you. Almost all of the paint manufacturers make paint removing products. When nothing else works for you, then you can find the best paint stripper from the manufacturer because he knows what can best work for you in this situation.
You know what? There are different paint types available in the market. It can be either an oil or water-based paint, and you may go for a dedicated paint remover for your problem. Sometimes, you can be unsure regarding the type of paint. In such a case, you may use a remover, which will be best suited for the oil-based paintings. In case you got a problem of having a paint spilt (nearly a full can’s price) and left to dry and toughen, then you should be visiting your nearby paint store to discuss the best available options. It depends on the area (inside or outside) whether the concrete has been recently sealed with a protecting coating or not. The majority of paint stripper will require to be used on the affected parts and must be left for some time. 40-60 minutes are recommended for the product to react. Later on, the paint stripper can then be cleaned by using a pressure washer.
3. Apply In the Affected Area
After acquiring the preferred paint stripper, you need to use it on the affected parts according to the directions provided by the manufacturers.
4. Give time to settle stripper
Paint remover will do the job for you and allow you to let it work by leaving it for 2 to 3 hours to work. It depends on the situation of the affected area as well. Therefore, you must allow it to sit anywhere from five minutes to seven long hours; scrubbing the affected area. After that, you need to pick a wired scrub brush and do some scrubbing on the loosened paint. This may assist you to remove most of the damaged parts. You should be continuing doing this, till more paint comes off.
5. Wash carefully with a pipe
When most of the paint has been removed from the affected area, you can use a pipe to wash down the remaining paint residue. A pressure washer is the best choice for concrete surfaces outside, such as courtyards and driveways
6. Repeat if necessary
Do not get irritated if it does not come off on the very first try. Repeat the process when the concrete is dry, repeat the procedure until the desired outcome is attained.
7. Cleaning of the concrete surface
You can make use of a hose to clean the residual paint stripper, because it performs efficiently on the outer surface of the concrete.
For this method, you should be having a:
- A blasting unit (pot blaster)
- Special sodium bicarbonate and
- A respirator
You have to check for the paint whether it covers a huge area on the surface of concrete or it’s a small area that needs treatment. In the case of the huge area, it’s better to go for a soda blasting option. This could be the best option available for you at this point. It can be a smart choice for you than an ordinary paint stripper solution. When you make use of the sodium bicarbonate on the surface accompanied by the pressured air, it is said to be soda blasting.
This is a non-destructive procedure and is usually utilized for paint stripping as well as the defacement removal amid other kinds of stuff. You can use a high pressured blast generator, or another option is making use of compressed air, that is often prepared of tungsten carbide. You must be getting a blasting unit that is available in the market for such jobs or simply go for renting option at any nearby local hardware store. The stuff is a derived form of sodium bicarbonate, usually famous as baking soda. But let’s be clear that the baking soda we all use at home and that you can find in any super or grocery store is not good for the use here. You must get the correct powder from the same place from where you can get the blasting unit for this job. You can go for another option and that is buying this powder from any online store and get free delivery. Doing so, the soda blasting will break any stuff on the surface without leaving any damage. Also, the best part is, this method is very environmentally friendly as well. Subsequently making the blaster, you need to target it from a fair distance of like one to two foot from the affected area.
Do Not Miss Any Paint Spots
You need to make sure that during the whole process, you must be wearing a respirator. It is very important to take care of such safety measures for yourself. Doing so, try not to let the chemical gets in contact with plants too. You must know that the blasting chemical has a higher amount of soda that is why it can be extremely harmful for plants and herbs when they come in contact with them. You cannot use a sandblaster to repeat the same job for yourself, therefore, for this cause, an appropriate soda blaster will be required to be utilized with sodium bicarbonate. You should be removing the plants from the area as the pH of the soda will harm your plant’s life. Inhaling the loosened material can be very serious too, that’s why, make sure you wear a protective mask while blasting.
Make sure you get the finely ground clay, paint stripper, stiff brush and scouring powder for this method.
You can make your custom absorbent paint remover as well. You have to make sure that the operating area must be having enough air because you will be wearing a respirator and it will be working fine in the air only. This is very crucial for you that the area must be very well-ventilated, as you will require fresh air intake. You can also make use of paint stripper that should be having some methylene chloride. This is how you can make things simpler for you, also it will boost up the overall pace of the entire procedure. You can go for some material helpful to soak up liquid easily as well as finely ground clay that is very helpful for this condition.
Make a Blend of the Stripper and Absorbent Material & Spread the Paste over the Affected Area
You need to mix the paint remover with the ground clay and try to make a thick paste. You will not need a lot of clay if the used stripper will be thick steadiness. The porous stuff would be very helpful in soaking as well as paint lifting from the surface of concrete, which will make the stubborn paint very easy to be scraped off afterwards.
Now, you need to cover the paint stains with the help of even layer of the superabsorbent paint stripper, and let it dry for some time to do its work. It should be taking no more than 25 minutes to a few hours. It depends on the strength of the paint stripper used, there are many types available in the market, if you are using one that has methylene chloride, and then it settles down very fast. You can also be advised adding a layer of paint thinner on the mixture subsequently to every few hours, that’s how your ingredients will remain active.
Stroke off The Mixture
You will notice that adding the paint thinner works wonderfully, and it especially comes very handily in this phase. It is often seen that the paint will be lifting off from the concrete surface. Consequently, most of the paint would effortlessly come off when you will be using a scraper or a wire scrub brush. Also, the paint must come off when you are trying to Stroke off the blend. You should be adding one more layer of the absorbent if some paint spot is still not leaving it off. You need to add one more layer of the absorbent blend and the paint thinner and try to repeat a similar step.
Scrub the Affected Area
Now, you must take some scrubbing powder and apply it on the paint spot. Now, take your hard brush and need to rub tough on the spot to remove the tough stains off. You need to rinse off the scrubbing powder after some time and continue rubbing the area with the brush to take out the residual paint particles. If the above method does not work for you, then repeat the whole process. If you can’t do it yourself then hire and professional blaster will be the best option for you.
Some More Methods
You must protect the concrete surface with a sealer if you want to have longevity. The sealer will help you to prevent the concrete from the moisture as well as the damaging impact from the ever-changing weather. But when you are going to applying the concrete sealer, you must make sure regarding the cleanliness of the surface. There should be no dirt or debris found underneath the sealer. You need to fill all the cracks with the best available concrete filler. If you do not remove the uneven layers from the surface, your sealer will not be working effectively and will not be able to fulfil its purpose.
You can make custom absorbent paint stripper if you find some tougher spots! Depending on how dense your stripper is, you might not require to perform your guess of what quantity of material you will require. You need to make a thick paste with your stripper and the porous material according to your preference. If you find it very thick then you can add some paint thinner in it to make it according to your requirements. The porous material will be absorbed in the paint and would help scrape off. If you want to spread, it all over the affected area you can add more paint thinner to the mixture. Let it be dry for few minutes to few hours.
Removing paint from concrete is sometimes a very frustrating task. It can be very difficult unless you are successful in managing to loosen the paint well, sometimes it is not very easy even you are using a stiff brush. So, it is vital to evaluate the job at your hands and discover the correct method to remove the paint. If you got the right method and right tools available for the job, the task will not be too difficult for you.