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How to Remove Spray Paint From Concrete [9 Different Ways]

Let me guess, your spray-painted concrete floor or wall is getting ugly, and you thought it’s time for a repainting job. Or maybe, your concrete got spray paint vandalism that you want to clean up. Regardless of your reason, I’m sure you are eager to know how to get spray paint off your concrete.

Getting spray paint off the concrete may require chemicals and tools, such as a sandblaster and power wash. You need to apply the solvent and let it sit for a little while until the paint weakens and becomes easy to strip. Home remedies like using vinegar and dish soap can also work.

The paint removal process can be daunting and time-consuming. It requires a lot of patience. Cleaning smooth concrete can be a lot easier than rough concrete surfaces. It is hard to reach the low points with basic methods. Using a power washer can be ideal for this situation.

how to remove spray paint from concrete

Can You Wash Spray Paint Off the Concrete?

Concrete is porous and absorbs spray paint during the application process. Therefore, a simple washing method to remove the paint will not work. Soap, scrubs, and water may not be enough for this task – it may work, but it will take more time and effort.

On the other hand, using a power washer is an ideal way to remove the paint off your concrete. How does it work in removing the paint? The high level of water pressure peels the paint off the surface. Pressurized water is powerful that it can cut even hard-to-break objects like a diamond.

Of course, there are a few things you need to consider when using this method. I have provided more details of this method below.

Remove Spray Paint from Concrete with a Power Washer

Using a 2000-3000 psi power washer is one of the good options to remove spray paint off the concrete. Although this is one of the most effective methods, not everybody may have access to this due to cost issues. Power washers can be a little pricey, but if you think it is worth buying for the job, this method will work for you.

You can check your local area as there might be machines for lease. Power washers are pretty easy to operate, but you might still need some practice. After you prep up everything, you can target the paint on the concrete in a sweeping motion until the paint detaches. Of course, it requires some familiarity at first.

use a power washer to remove spray paint from concrete

The good thing with power washers is that you can use them together with Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) for faster results. However, using ordinary or hot water will be enough. If your pocket can cover the purchase of TSP, it will speed up the cleaning process as it softens the paint.

Below are a few things you need to consider if you decide to go with this method:

  • Ensure that the power user can deliver at least 2000 psi
  • Check the area to see if there aren’t other things you will damage while doing the job – remember that you are dealing with a powerful machine
  • Always take extra precautions and wear protective gear to save your skin
  • Use a 15-degree nozzle for the best result
  • Don’t rush – check the area carefully, and sweep those areas again if necessary to ensure that the concrete is 100% paint-free

What if you don’t have access to a power washer? Do you have other options? Of course, you have other options. There are many chemicals in the market that you can purchase to help you clean your concrete from spray paint. I will talk more about these chemicals in the later sections.

Aside from using chemicals, you can also use a sandblaster or an angle grinder if the paint is extremely difficult to remove. However, these methods can potentially damage your concrete surface. They are also not the safest method to use.

How to Remove Spray Paint from Concrete with Home Remedies

You might be wondering if there are other ways to remove spray paint from the concrete with some home remedies. Of course, there are! These methods include the use of vinegar and dish soap.

Removing Spray Paint off Concrete Using Vinegar


Using vinegar is an effective way to remove spray paint from the concrete. Aside from its effectiveness in cleaning concrete paint, there are a lot of other benefits. For one, it is budget-friendly. You can also use it for other purposes if you can’t use it all for the concrete cleaning job.

Additionally, vinegar does not pose harm to humans or the environment. In other words, it is safer to use than the chemicals you can buy from the market. See the process of removing spray paint off the concrete below.

Materials You Need

  1. Vinegar
  2. Heating pot
  3. Gas stove or microwave oven
  4. Sponge or rag
  5. Scraper
  6. Bucket of water
  7. Water-absorbent cloth (optional)

Step 1: Clean the surface. Cleaning the concrete surface is the initial step. This ensures that it is free from dust and dirt that add more mess. You can either use a vacuum to clean the area or use a wet rag.

Step 2: Heat the vinegar. Heat your vinegar on your gas stove to prepare it for application. Set the stove to medium heat to ensure the vinegar doesn’t boil. The goal is to heat it to awaken its properties. Alternatively, you can use your microwave oven to do the heating.

Step 3: Scrub the vinegar on the paint. After heating your vinegar, it is time to spread it over the spray paint on the concrete. You can do it by using a sponge or paintbrush. Ensure that all areas get a good amount of vinegar.

Step 4: Allow the vinegar to sit. For the process to work, you must let the vinegar sit on the surface for a good 15 minutes. This period allows the vinegar to do its job of loosening the paint from the concrete. You will know it is all done when you see the paint bubbling all over the surface.

Step 5: Scrape the paint off. When you see enough paint bubbles, that is an indication that you can start the scraping job. Carefully remove the bubbling paint using the scraper. If there are leftovers, scrub them with a vinegar-wet rag.

Step 6: Wash the surface with water. To complete the job, take a bucket of water to wash the concrete surface. You can use a water-absorbent cloth to dry it or just let it dry in the air if you are not in a rush.

Removing Spray Paint off Concrete Using Dish Soap

Who would have thought that your dish soap in the kitchen is an option to clean up your concrete from spray paint? It is an affordable method and is effective to some extent. However, if the paint has penetrated deeper into the concrete you might need to consider other ways like using chemicals.

Look at the steps on using your dish soap to clean up your concrete from spray paint below.

Materials You Need:

  1. Dish soap
  2. Heating pot
  3. Gas stove or microwave oven
  4. Scrub
  5. Scraper
  6. Bucket of water
  7. Water-absorbent cloth (optional)

Step 1: Heat some water. Heat a couple of cups of water using your boiling pot.

Step 2: Mix the dish soap. When the hot water is ready, mix your dish soap into it.

Step 3: Start scrubbing. Pick up your scrub and start scrubbing the paint surface to loosen up the paint’s attachment to the concrete.

Step 4: Scrape the paint off.  Start scraping the paint off. Repeat the process if you find out that the paint is still hard to remove.

It is important to note that this method may not work well when removing spray paint from a huge concrete surface. However, you can give it a shot. It is not that expensive, and it might just work.

Removing Spray Paint from Concrete with Solvents and Chemicals


I admit I am one of the many people who heavily rely on chemicals for my cleaning jobs. It is a lot easier, and the result is faster. I would say, using chemicals is a very effective and efficient method. However, there are some downsides to using it. It can hurt your pocket and is not very safe.

I will present the common solvents and chemicals that can help you remove spray paint off your concrete below. Take a look at how to administer them and pick your choice.

Using Paint Strippers Trisodium phosphate (TSP) and methylene chloride paint strippers are popular options to get rid of spray paint from concretes. It works magic to loosen the paint so it will become easy to remove. Take a look at how to do it below.

Materials You Need:

  1. Your protective gears (gloves and mask)
  2. Paint stripper or TSP
  3. Paintbrush
  4. Scrub brush
  5. Putty knife or scraper
  6. Pressure hose

Step 1: Deep clean the concrete. Thoroughly clean the concrete surface to remove dust and stubborn dirt before you apply the paint stripper.

Step 2: Spread the paint stripper. Using your paintbrush, spread the stripper over the paint surface. Ensure that you apply a thick layer for better results.

Step 3: Let the paint stripper sit. TSP paint strippers require at least 4 hours to penetrate. If you are not in a hurry, it is better to let it sit for more hours. Methylene chloride-based products work faster but are more hazardous.

Step 4: Remove the wrinkled paint. Pick up your scraper or scrub brush and start taking the paint off the concrete.

Step 5: Wash off the residue. Although you can use the ordinary bucket washing method, it is still best to remove residues using a pressure hose.

Removing Spray Paint from Concrete Using Acetone

Acetone goes beyond cleaning your wife’s nails from cuticles. It is also another chemical you can use to remove the paint on your concrete. Although this may not be an economical choice, it would be a good addition to your list of options.

Materials You Need:

  1. Protective gears
  2. Acetone
  3. Putty knife or scraper
  4. Metal container
  5. Scrub brush
  6. Soap and water

Step 1: Scrape the paint. Remove as much paint as possible using your scraper with the aid of your soap and water. Let it dry for a bit before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Prepare the acetone. Pour the liquid into your metal container. Ensure that you put on your gloves, mask, and eye protection glasses before you do this.

Step 3: Brush the acetone on the paint. Carefully dip your scrub brush into the acetone and brush it over the concrete surface. Repeat the process until the paint softens and completely peels off the concrete.

Step 4: Wash the surface. Complete your cleaning process by washing the surface with soap and water.

You can check this video of the spray paint removal process using nail polish remover with acetone in it.

Removing Spray Paint from Concrete Using Muriatic Acid


We all know that muriatic acid is powerful. It can burn things. This trait makes it another option to remove paint from your concrete. As long as you ensure that you follow safety precautions, this option may work for you.

Materials You Need:

  1. Gloves, mask, and eye protector
  2. Muriatic solution
  3. Water
  4. Bucket
  5. Hard-bristled brush

Step 1: Create the water-muriatic solution. Mix 1 part of muriatic into 8 parts of water. Ensure that you do not pour water into the muriatic; it should be muriatic to water.

Step 2: Pour the solution into the paint. Pour your mix directly into the concrete surface to soften the paint.

Step 3: Brush the paint off. Brush the paint on the concrete using your hard-bristled brush.

Step 4: Clean up. Clean the concrete and ensure that no residues of muriatic are left. Again, muriatic is a hazardous substance.

Removing Spray Paint from Concrete Using Lacquer Thinner

Lacquer thinner is another ‘go-to’ product when you talk about cleaning. It also works in removing spray paint from your concrete. See how to administer it below.

Materials You Need:

  1. Paint scraper
  2. Paint thinner
  3. Scrub brush
  4. Garden hose

Step 1: Scrape the paint. Remove as much paint as you can using your paint scraper.

Step 2: Spray the lacquer thinner. Spray or wipe the paint thinner over the paint surface and let it sit for a short while.

Step 3: Brush the area. Use a hard-bristled brush and liberally brush the paint on the concrete. Repeat the process as necessary.

Step 4: Wash the surface. Close your job by washing the concrete with your garden hose.

Removing Spray Paint from Concrete Using Graffiti Remover


Graffiti remover could also effectively remove spray paint off your concrete. See how to do it below.

Materials You Need:

  1. A graffiti remover
  2. Stiff-bristled brush
  3. Hot water
  4. Bucket of water

Step 1: Clean the surface. Start off by wiping the painted concrete with a cloth.

Step 2: Apply the graffiti remover. Begin applying the graffiti remover following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3: Scrub the paint. Pick up your brush and scrub the painted areas in a circular motion.

Step 4: Wash the surface with warm water. The final step is to rinse your concrete with warm water.

Removing Spray Paint from Concrete Using WD40

If you deal with light spray paint on your concrete, WD40 might work. However, thick layers require much more effort and may not totally serve their purpose. Still, see the administration steps below.

Step 1: Ensure that the concrete is clean. You can wash the surface with soap and water.

Step 2: Spray the WD40 on the painted area and let it for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3: Grab a hard-bristled brush and brush off the paint. Repeat the process until the surface is pant-free. Conclude the process by washing the concrete.

Things to Know to Not Damage Your Concrete when Cleaning Up

safety precautions to know when cleaning concrete

Aside from being sore to your eyes, paint stains will affect the quality of your future repainting job if you don’t remove them now. But how do you clean the paint stains without damaging the concrete?

To ensure that you do not damage your concrete when cleaning up paint stains, consider the things below:

  • Do not use an angle grinder or sand blaster when possible
  • Use lacquer thinner as it can also effectively remove stains without damaging your concrete
  • Do not use bleach as it brings more stains to your concrete because of its salt deposits
  • You can also consider using other chemicals such as acetone and water mixed with muriatic acid

Personal Safety Tips for Cleaning Spray Paint Stains

Whatever job you do, it is imperative to observe safety measures to ensure you do not harm yourself. I have listed some of the most important things to remember when cleaning spray paint stains.

Wear Protective Suits

Always ensure to wear protection wears, including gloves, goggles, and a mask. The pair of gloves will ensure that any chemicals you deal with will not get into your skin. Your eye protection wear helps prevent irritations due to the chemicals you use or the paint fumes.

Your mask ensures that the hazardous fume does not end up in your lungs. Failure to protect yourself from the chemical properties and the paint fumes will give you a long-term worry of cleaning up your lungs from paint residues.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

Some chemicals are tolerable, but you must take extra care when administering them. Avoid the most hazardous chemicals such as methylene chloride-based products and muriatic acid. Exposing yourself to these chemicals may cause some health issues.

If home remedies work, go for it. Home remedies like the use of vinegar are always safe. However, you still need to ensure that you wear your protection to prevent allergies from the paint fumes.

Learn How to Use the Machine before Getting into the Job

Cleaning spray paint off your wall may involve power machines such as a power washer, sandblaster, and angle grinder. If you do not have experience using these machines, it is best to seek some assistance from experts, or at least those who have tried using them.

Using a power machine that you are not familiar with the operating procedure can be dangerous and cause serious injury. As much as possible, avoid injuries when you do a project by educating yourself on the process.

FAQs: Removing Spray Paint from Concrete

1. Will bleach remove spray paint from concrete?

Bleach may remove the paint from your concrete, but you should not use it. It can potentially leave an incurable stain on the surface due to its salt deposits. Concrete can absorb all these salts causing stains. When this happens, it is another headache you have to deal with.

2. Will acetone remove spray paint from concrete?

Acetone should be part of your list of options to help remove spray paint on your concrete. With proper application, it can completely solve your problem. However, this may not be the best option if you plan to clean a huge surface. On top of this, acetone is also a hazardous chemical.

3. Does vinegar remove paint from concrete?

Vinegar is one of the most effective ways to remove spray paint off your concrete without using chemicals. Heating and spreading it over the painted surface using a sponge or paintbrush will soften the paint, allowing you to scrape it off the concrete.

4. Will WD40 remove paint from concrete?

WD40 helps remove light spray paint on your concrete. However, for multi-layers, this product may not work best. You will need to redo the process multiple times. Therefore, it is not very economical as you will probably need more than one can. Plus, it can take a lot of effort.

Conclusion

There are many ways to remove spray paint from concrete. You can use power machines, chemicals, and home remedies. If you have access to a power washer, I would recommend you use it. You can also pair it with TSP for faster results.

Vinegar is a good home remedy to clean spray paint from your concrete. This material is ideal if you are cleaning a small portion of paint stains. The process of using vinegar as paint remover is very straightforward. Additionally, this method will help you save some bucks for your other projects.

When you start the paint removal job, you must not forget to protect yourself. Wear gloves, goggles, and a mask. The chemicals you use may give you some adverse health effects. You are also exposing yourself to toxic paint fumes when you scrape it off your concrete.

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