How to Remove Spray Paint From Concrete? (Easy!)

Spray paint is often difficult to remove completely from concrete because spray paints have strong adhesion. However, there are a few expert methods that can be used to get spray paint off of concrete without defacing the concrete surface.

This post reveals 4 of these methods, how they work, how to use them, and the tools and supplies needed for each method. Along the way, you’ll also learn:

  • How to protect your concrete while removing spray paint
  • Safety tips to follow when removing spray paint from concrete
  • Other household products that can remove spray paint from concrete

Let’s dive in.

How to Protect Your Concrete While Removing Spray Paint?

Here are expert tips to protect your concrete surface while removing spray paint:

  1. Rinse the concrete surface after removing the paint to remove leftover chemicals and solvent that can etch the concrete.
  2. Stay away from acid-based solvents.
  3. Place a large drop sheet on parts of the concrete that aren’t affected by paint so you don’t use paint removers there.
  4. Don’t over-apply solvents to concrete because too much solvent can cause discoloration.
  5. If the paint remover isn’t recommended on concrete, don’t use it.
  6. After removing the spray paint, be sure to let the concrete dry before refinishing or using it.
  7. If the concrete surface is smooth, don’t use a paint scraper to remove the spray paint because scrappers will scar the smooth surface.

How To Remove Spray Paint From Concrete?

Without using the right method or equipment, removing spray paint from concrete will be challenging because spray paints have good adhesion and concrete is porous so it easily absorbs paint. Here are 4 effective methods that are safe to use on concrete and will remove spray paint completely:

  1. Power washing
  2. Wipe the spray paint with TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
  3. Apply paint striper
  4. Power sanding

Let’s check out each of these methods in detail.

1. Power Washing

Power Washing

Power washing is a safe and effective method to remove spray paint from concrete. The idea here is to use a pressure washer to blast the spray paint off of the concrete surface.

Since concrete is porous, blasting it with water at high pressure will remove the spray paint on it. You should only use this method on outdoor concrete because blasting indoor concrete will damage objects and flood the room.

For this method, you’ll need these tools and supplies:

  • Pressure washer
  • Garden hose
  • Gloves
  • A pair of goggles
  • A mop
  • Detergent
  • A 15-degree pressure washer nozzle

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Connect the pressure washer (the high-pressure hose should be fixed in the high-pressure inlet).
  2. Connect the pressure washer to the garden hose.
  3. Attach a 15-degree pressure washer nozzle to the pressure washer.
  4. Stay a few feet (3-4 feet) from the concrete surface and hold the pressure washer firmly.
  5. Prime and test the pressure washer – to see if the water comes out.
  6. Blast off the spray paint till it comes off.
  7. If the paint doesn’t come off on the first try, pick a smaller nozzle tip and spray (the smaller the nozzle, the more effective the spray). You can also stand closer (2 feet) to the concrete to increase the blast pressure.
  8. Mop the concrete and leave it to dry.

Tip: Before blasting the paint off, use safety goggles and don’t stand less than 1 foot from the concrete so the water doesn’t splash back on you.

2. Wiping With TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)

Wiping With TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)

The next method to remove spray paint from concrete is to wipe the spray paint off with TSP. TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) is an alkaline-based cleaning agent that can remove spray paint stains from concrete. TSP comes in powder form and you’ll need to mix it in warm water to use it on concrete.

The idea here is to dissolve the spray paint with TSP and then use a scrubbing brush to scrub the paint off of the concrete. TSP is safe to use on indoor and exterior concrete surfaces.

For this method, you’ll need the following tools and supplies:

  • TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
  • A hard-scrubbing brush
  • Baking soda or detergent (optional)
  • A bucket of warm water
  • A mop

Here is a guide to this method:

  1. Mix a tablespoon of TSP in 2 gallons (or 7.5 liters) of warm water.
  2. Apply the TSP mixture directly to the spray paint and leave it to soak for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Use a hard scrubbing brush to wash the spray paint off of the concrete.
  4. Rinse the concrete with warm water.
  5. Mop the concrete and leave it to dry.

Tip: You can mix baking soda or detergent with the TSP so it is easier to wash the spray paint off.

3. Apply A Paint Stripper

Apply A Paint Stripper

You can also remove spray paint from concrete using a paint stripper. Paint strippers are chemical-based paint removers that you can apply to the spray paint to dissolve it and remove it from concrete. You should use this method only to remove spray paint finishes from concrete.

If you want to remove small spray paint splatters from concrete, use either of the two methods discussed above. Paint strippers only work to remove spray paint finishes.

For this method, you’ll need these tools and supplies:

  • A paint stripper
  • Paintbrushes
  • A Putty knife
  • Rags
  • Mineral spirits
  • A mop

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Wipe down the concrete surface with a rag or mop to remove dirt and dust nibs.
  2. Apply a thick coat of paint stripper on the concrete surface and leave to dry for 10-15 minutes.
  3. When the paint striper is dry, scrape it off of the concrete surface with a putty knife and the spray paint will come off too.
  4. Repeat the steps above for leftover spray paint.
  5. After removing the paint, wipe the concrete with mineral spirits.
  6. Leave the concrete to dry.

Tip: You should always wipe the concrete surface after using a paint stripper – this helps to remove paint stripper residue so it doesn’t deface the concrete.

4. Use Power Sanders To Remove The Spray Paint

Use Power Sanders To Remove The Spray Paint

The final method on our list of methods to remove spray paint from concrete is sanding. Sanding is a very effective method that always works to remove multiple coats of paint from concrete.

If you are working on a large concrete surface like a wall or floor, you should use a power sander to cover the concrete surface faster. Small concrete surfaces like tabletops and countertops can be sanded manually. The idea here is to gradually sand and wear the spray paint till it comes off of the concrete completely.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A power sander (optional)
  • Sandpaper 80-grit – 220-grit
  • A duster or vacuum
  • A pair of gloves
  • A face mask so you don’t inhale dust

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Attach the sandpaper to the power sander – start with 80-grit sandpaper.
  2. Sand the spray paint with 80-grit sandpaper.
  3. Sand again with 150-grit sandpaper.
  4. Vacuum the dust and inspect the concrete to see if the spray paint has been removed completely.
  5. If there is leftover spray paint, continue sanding with 150-grit sandpaper.
  6. Remove dust and finish off with 220-grit sandpaper.
  7. Wipe down the concrete surface and leave to dry.

Tip: If the concrete surface is smooth or polished, you’ll have to refinish it after sanding because the sandpaper will scar the existing finish.

Next, let’s check out how to clean concrete after paint removal.

How to Clean Concrete After Spray Paint Removal?

After removing spray paint from metal, it’s important to clean the concrete. The purpose of this is to wash off chemical residue and leftover solvent on the concrete. If you don’t clean the concrete after, the leftover chemicals can etch and corrode the concrete.

To clean the concrete after paint removal, you’ll need to start by neutralizing the chemical and paint stripper residue with mineral spirits. Mineral spirit is a petroleum-based solvent that will neutralize chemicals on the concrete.

If you don’t have mineral spirits, you can use natural oil or any oil-based solvent. After neutralizing the chemicals, you need to scrub and wash the concrete with detergent and a hard scrubbing brush. Then rinse the concrete with warm water and leave it to dry.

Final Words

In summary, removing spray paint from concrete is only difficult if you don’t know the right steps to follow.

For small spray paint stains, wash the paint off with a pressure washer or TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) and for large spray paint stains and finishes, use a paint stripper or a power sander to remove the spray paint.

Finally, always neutralize and clean the concrete surface after removing spray paint. This prevents damage to the concrete and cleans the concrete surface altogether.

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