Painting sounds like a simple task itself, however, it’s the follow-up cleaning that gives you a headache, especially on concrete floors. Discontented with the taint, you want to know how to remove paint from concrete.

how to remove paint from concrete

Below are the required tools and 7 easy steps to achieve a spotless concrete floor.


These are some tools required for your paint elimination from the concrete surface project.

  • Protective clothing: You should wear a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of gloves, and a respirator when contacting chemical detergent and paint fumes.
  • A vacuum cleaner or a broom: These tools help with the initial cleaning of the affected area.
  • TSP alternative: This solution helps you deep clean the painted concrete.
  • A hard-bristled brush: It facilitates scraping off the paint.
  • Putty knife (optional): This knife helps you scrub off chipped paint.
  • Paint stripper: The chemical product aims to clean the paint on the underlying concrete surface.
  • A power washer or a garden hose: High-pressure water streams allow you to wash away the paint and the cleaning chemicals.

How to remove paint from concrete?

If you drop fresh paint on the concrete floor by mist ake and deal with it right away, it will be an easy job. You just need to cover the tainted area with water, then use a stiff bristle brush and detergent to scrub the paint away.

On the other hand, getting rid of dry paint from concrete is a much tougher job since it already absorbs the paint. However, it’s not an impossible mission. Here is a step-by-step instruction to show you how to remove paint from concrete.

Note: Before getting rid of the paint, wear protective gear like goggles and a respirator to protect your eyes and lungs from toxic substances (paint fumes or lead). You should also consider wearing gloves when in contact with cleaning detergents.

1. Deep clean the concrete surface

First, you need to clear any dirt/debris left on the tainted surface with a broom or a vacuum. This facilitates the subsequent cleaning process.

After covering the tainted concrete area with a solution made of warm water and soap or warm water and trisodium phosphate alternative, scrub the accidentally painted surface with a hard-bristled brush.

Let the solution be from two to three hours to allow it to dry.

2. Apply paint stripper

After deep cleaning, some parts of the concrete surface may have come back to their original state. Rub off as much paint as possible, then apply detergent solution such as turpentine, mineral spirits, or paint stripper specifically aimed at concrete.

3. Leave the paint stripper to work

The amount of time that the paint stripper needs to work depends on how serious the paint has tainted the concrete surface.

The minimum time required is approximately 30 minutes and the maximum amount can be up to 8 hours or more. You should avoid using the paint stripper on windy or intensely hot days as these weather conditions may make it dry too early.

4. Scrub the surface

Once again, utilize the hard-bristled brush to scrub off the chipped paint as much as possible.

If latex paint causes stains on the concrete surface, scrubbing with the help of warm soapy water will do the job. However, if the culprit is oil-based paints, you should advance to the next step.

5. Using a power wash

After scrubbing, wash the surface with a high-pressured power source like a garden hose or a power washer. This action can get rid of any remaining paint residue.

This step works really well on outside areas like concrete walls, driveways, or walkways.

6. Repeat step 2 to 5 if necessary

If there is still some paint left, reapply the paint stripper and repeat from steps 2 to 5.

7. Clean the surface

When you get rid of all the paint on the concrete surface, use a hose to clean off any chemical detergent you have used.

After the area is totally dry, you can apply a coat of sealer or paint to the concrete surface. This cover can both improve its appearance and protection from external elements like harmful UV rays.

See More: Best Paint Remover – 5 Great Options For Home Refurbishment

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of dried latex paint on a concrete surface?

Latex material is quite easy to remove from concrete. Almost all dried latex paint will come off after you scrub a little.

If there is still some remained after scrubbing, you can use a paint remover. Wait a few minutes for it to dry, then scrape off the paint.

How do I get rid of oil-based paint on a concrete surface?

Compared to latex, oil-based paint is much more stubborn to eliminate. If the paint stripper alone cannot do the job, you may need to mix a paint absorbent and the paint stripper, then apply the mixture to the tainted surface.

Wait from 30 minutes to an hour, then scrub the area with a brush.

Is it possible for me to utilize a floor grinder to get rid of paint from concrete?

Yes, it is. Usually, you use this device to level, police, and clean the concrete areas. You should pay attention to the precise pressure to apply because the floor grinder with a stronger setting may create pits on your concrete surface.

Do I have to seal the paint-free concrete?

Concrete is porous, so it’s likely to absorb liquid. Under different weather conditions, especially extremely cold weather, the liquid will turn into ice and may seriously damage the concrete surface.

Therefore, we’d recommend you seal or paint your concrete surface to prevent that from happening.

How long can I start using the sealed concrete surface?

Depending on the chemical formulation, a coat of sealer may take varied periods to withstand some traffic on it. You should check the instructions written on the product.

Nevertheless, you can start using almost all coated concrete surfaces after 24 hours.

Last Words

Removing paint from concrete, even if the stubborn dried paint, is possible. By following our 7 easy steps and being well prepared, you can solve the paint problem easily.