Spray paint on a concrete patio or driveway is a nuisance. Regardless of whether it’s the result of some overenthusiastic spraying during a DIY project or kids with too much time on their hands, if it’s there and it shouldn’t be, it’s time to get rid of it. If it’s fresh, you’re in luck – removing fresh paint is a lot easier than removing paint that’s had time to soak in. The problem is, spray paint dries incredibly quickly – unless you’re even quicker, there’s a good chance it’ll soak into the concrete before you get to it. If it has, don’t panic: you’ll need to apply a little more elbow grease than you would otherwise, but there are some simple tricks you can use to get rid of it. Here’s exactly what you need to know about how to get spray paint off concrete.
The Soap and Water Method
Before you start attacking the concrete with chemicals and a sandblaster, take the advice of tipsbulletin.com and try some good old fashioned soap and water first. It’s easy, simple, and won’t expose you (or your patio) to any harsh chemicals. All you’ll need to get started is plenty of hot water, dish soap, 2 buckets, a stiff bristle brush, a scraper, and some paper towels.
Start by filling the two buckets with hot (but not boiling) water. Add a few squirts of soap to one of the buckets.
Use the scraper to remove as much of the spray paint as possible. Once you’re done, sweep the area to remove any paint fragments.
Wet a stiff bristle brush in the bucket containing water and scrub the affected area. Dunk the brush in the bucket containing the soap solution and scrub the painted surface using circular motions.
Blot the area with paper towels. Keep repeating steps 3 + 4 until all the paint is removed.
The Acetone Method
If the soap and water method hasn’t been enough to get rid of every last speck of spray paint, the acetone/ nail polish remover method can help lift the remaining traces. Note that this method is best reserved for small areas of paint; if you’re dealing with an extensive area, skip on to one of the next suggestions. To get started, you’ll need a garden hose, a stiff-bristled brush, nail polish remover, and a paint scraper.
Use a paint scraper to clear away as much of the paint as possible. Soak the affected area in nail varnish remover and leave it to soak in for 5 to 10 minutes.
Use a bristle brush to rub the solution into the surface using circular motions.
Set the garden hose to high pressure and rinse the area thoroughly. If you’re removing the paint from indoors, use a mop and bucket to rinse the area instead. Be sure to remove every last trace of the nail varnish remover – left to sit over time, it could eventually begin to erode the concrete.
The Power Washer Method
if you’re dealing with spray paint on basement floors or other indoor concrete, don’t use this method. It generates a lot of water and could end up causing more problems than spray paint ever could. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to remove spray paint from unsealed concrete in an outdoor area, it can be incredibly effective. All you’ll need is a paint scraper, a power washer, and some plastic sheeting.
Lay plastic sheeting over any furniture or plants in the surrounding area.
Use the paint scraper to remove as much paint as possible.
Following the power washer instructions, stand 10 feet away from the affected area and point the sprayer towards its edge. Turn the sprayer on and use a sideways sweeping motion to blast the paint stain.
The Graffiti Remover Method
As per Prudent Reviews, graffiti removing products can make light work of removing spray paint from concrete. They come in a variety of different forms – sponges, liquids, pastes, aerosols, etc – and are readily available either online or at DIY stores. Along with the graffiti remover, you’ll also need some heavy-duty paper towels, a stiff-bristled scrubbing brush, a gallon bucket of warm water, and either a garden hose if you’re removing the paint from outdoors or a mop and bucket if you’re removing it from indoors. For safety, be sure to wear protective goggles, gloves, and a respirator or face mask.
Sweep the area to remove any debris.
Apply the graffiti remover according to the instructions. Let it sit for the required time.
Use a stiff brush to scour the area in circular motions.
Blot the stain with paper towels then rinse the area thoroughly. Repeat the process until the paint is gone. If you’re removing paint from indoors, mop the area to finish.
The Paint Remover Method
According to Pro Paint Corner, using a paint remover can quickly rid your concrete of any pesky spray paint stains. Before you start, grab some protective gear (safety goggles/ glasses, gloves, and a respirator) to keep yourself safe during the process.
Test the paint remover of your choice on a small patch of concrete. Some paint removers can be too abrasive for certain areas – if it seems to be stripping the concrete just as fast as it is the paint, opt for a milder formula.
Apply a generous amount of the paint remover to the stain. Let it absorb for the length of time stated on the instructions.
If the paint stain is outdoors, use a pressure washer to blast the area. If it’s indoors, rinse it thoroughly with warm water instead.
If you managed to remove all of the paint in the previous steps, skip on to the next step. If not, use a stiff bristle brush and a lot of elbow grease to scrub the remaining paint free from the concrete. For particularly tough stains, you may need to repeat the process several times to ensure complete removal.
Thoroughly rinse the area with soapy water to remove any last traces of paint remover. if any is left to sit, it could eventually start eroding the concrete.