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How To Remove Paint From Concrete: 3 Effective Ways

Last Updated: September 25, 2020

how to remove paint from concrete

You may think that if you accidentally spill or drip paint onto your concrete floor, it will be there forever. You can remove it; it just takes some time and patience. We are going to give you a way to remove the paint, no matter what size the spot.


Small spots:

remove paint from small cement spots

Image: Pixabay

Supplies you will need:

  • Broom or Vacuum
  • Scraper
  • Paint Stripper
  • Wire Brush – optional
  • Power Washer – optional if outside
  • Bucket of Water
  • Rags

1. Clean the cement.

First, clean up the floor around the paint splatter. Use your scraper to get up any areas where you may have a blob that isn’t completely adhered to the floor. Once everything is loose that you can get loose, sweep up as much of the debris as you can. Once the floor is free of debris, get a bucket with warm soapy water and clean the area where the paint is. Rinse it well and then let it dry completely before doing anything else. This may take two to three hours.

2. Get the right paint stripper.

When you purchase your paint stripper, get one made for the type of paint that has spilled. If you don’t know what base paint it is, get one made for oil-based paint. That will clean up either kind of paint, where stripper made for water-based paint will not have chemicals strong enough to clean oil-based paints.

3. Apply the stripper.

Apply the stripper to the floor according to the manufacturer’s directions on the can.

4. Let it sit.

Let the stripper sit on the paint for a little while. This may mean a few minutes if it is just a couple of drops or up to eight hours for larger splatters.

5. Scrub the cement.

After the paint stripper has sat on the spots for a while, either use the scraper that you used previously, or get a wire brush to scrub the floor with. Scrub until the brush isn’t getting any more paint up.

6. Wash with water.

After you have loosened up as much of the paint as you can with the brush, get a bucket with clean, warm water and some rags to wipe up the floor if you are inside. If you are outside, spray the spot off with a hose, to wash away any debris loosened by the brush.

7. Repeat if necessary.

If there is still paint on the concrete, repeat steps one through six as necessary until the spot is gone.


Larger, Tougher Spots:

remove paint from large cement spots

Image: PxHere

Supplies you will need:

  • Broom or Vacuum
  • Scraper
  • Paint Stripper
  • Absorbent Material
  • Wire Brush
  • Scouring Powder
  • Bucket of Water
  • Rags

1. Clean the area.

Prepare the area as you would for a small spot (see Step One above).

2. Create a paint stripper paste.

Create a paste using your absorbent material and the paint stripper. Some strippers are thicker than others, so don’t put in too much powder. You want it to be about the consistency of the paste used for arts and crafts in elementary school. It needs to be thick but also spread easily.

Using a stripper that contains methylene chloride will make the process of cleaning up spills faster. Wear rubber gloves and a respirator to protect yourself from the chemical. Do not use methylene chloride stripper unless you have proper ventilation, even when wearing the respirator.

The best absorbing material to use is ground clay, but you can grind kitty litter into a fine powder in a pinch. The stripper breaks the paint down, while the absorbent material helps draw the color off the concrete.

3. Apply paste and let sit.

Apply a layer of your paste over the entire area of concrete that you are trying to clean. Let it sit for a while. This could take anywhere from about 20 minutes up to several hours. Spot check how well it is coming up before cleaning off the whole area.

Add a little more paint stripper to the top of the paste while it is sitting to keep the working chemicals active.

4. Scrape the paste off.

You will know that the paint stripper has sat long enough when you can easily scrap the bulk of the paint off with a scraper.

5. Scrub with a wire brush.

Once you get the majority of the paint off, get out your wire brush, the scouring powder, and a bucket of clean water. Scrub the remaining paint to remove any excess left behind.

6. Rinse with water.

Rinse the scouring residue off the floor, and continuing scrubbing with just the brush and water until the remainder of the paint is gone.

7. Repeat in spots if necessary.

This process should do the job for you, but if there are still light paint stains left, you may apply the procedure above for small spots, if needed.


“Oops, I dropped the whole can of paint” Spills!

paint can remove splatter

Image: Unsplash

Supplies you will need:

  • Broom or Vacuum
  • Scraper
  • Bucket of Water
  • Soda Blasting Medium
  • Pot Blaster

1. Clean the area.

Prepare the area as you would for smaller spots, but this time you don’t need to let it dry.

2. Rent a pot blaster.

Pot blasters are too expensive for the average person to own. Shop around at your local hardware stores to find one that will rent pot blasters out.

3. Purchase a sodium bicarbonate mixture.

The soda that you can get at the grocery store is too fine to use in a soda blaster. You need a special medium that has sodium bicarbonate, as well as the soda. You can usually get this at the same place you rent your pot blaster from. Check beforehand. If they don’t carry it, you can order it on Amazon.

4. Use the blaster.

The key to blasting off paint is taking your time. Hold the nozzle of the blaster about a foot and a half away from the ground. Move the nozzle over the area to make sure no paint is left behind. Move slowly and let the blaster do the work.

Wear a respirator so that you don’t inhale any of the harmful chemicals.

Note: If the spill is absolutely massive, you may want to consider hiring a professional to blast your floor for you.

Removing paint is a time-consuming job, but it is possible. Hopefully, we have given you enough detail to know how to tackle the paint stain you have. Just remember to take your time and be patient.

SEE ALSO: How to Remove Spray Paint from Concrete (7 Easy Methods)


Image credit: JoelHuegli, Pixabay