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How to Remove Spray Paint from Concrete

How to Remove Spray Paint from Concrete

Spray paint marks on concrete troubling you and you're wondering how to get rid of them? Read the following article for some great tips and ways of getting that concrete to look as good as new again.
Rujuta Borkar
Whether it was vandalism that made the spray marks appear on the concrete sidewalk, or it was some kid's experimentation with an old bottle of spray paint, or a slip on your side--the point is, those spray marks have been etched there, and they won't go unless you do something to remove them. The things that you will do, and the steps that you can take to remove the spray paint from a concrete surface have been listed below.
With Water and a Brush
✔ Check if the paint is temporary or permanent.

✔ If it is temporary, then it won't be as difficult to get rid of the stain.

✔ Simply spray water from a hose pipe that is set on high pressure and then use a plastic brush to scrub the paint away.

✔ If the paint is permanent, however, you'll need to employ other steps to deal with this problem and clean the area. These steps have been explained in the points below.
Using a Pressure Washer
✔ Borrow or rent a pressure washer. These are available at certain hardware stores (you'll have to inquire, depending on the area that you live in).

✔ Set the power level on at least 4,000 Pounds per square inch (PSI).

✔ Then secure the rotary tube nozzle tightly to the washer and use the high pressure spray (preferable if it's hot water) to get rid of the paint.
With a Sandblaster
✔ Sometimes it is very difficult to remove spray paint on uneven concrete. The spray paint tends to run and may get stuck in all the holes and crevices of the concrete.

✔ In such a case, one could visit a construction rental store and rent a sandblaster.

✔ Use a high-power sandblaster for this purpose. Put dry river sand or silica in one compartment, and water in the other. Then maneuver the sandblaster over the concrete to blast off the spray paint that has embedded itself deep into the concrete. This method gets rid of the fresh, as well as deep, old stains.

✔ Always make sure to wear protective gear like goggles, respirator and clothes that fully cover and protect you, because sandblasting will create a localized breathing hazard. So taking precautions is a must.
Using a Gel Stripper
✔ Many people prefer to use a soy-based gel stripper to remove the paint. This is done by staining or sealing the concrete.

✔ Take the gel and apply it all over the concrete that is stained.

✔ Let it soak for 5-10 minutes or as is given in the instructions, and then scrub off with a brush.

✔ These gels help in peeling the paint as opposed to breaking the paint down. Therefore there are no side effects like there are from the usage of chemical strippers. Chemical strippers might end up adding pits to the concrete or it may develop blotches on the surface from which the spray paint was removed. So if you do not want to harm the concrete and want to adopt a safer method of removing the spray paint, then using a soy-based gel is the better choice.
Using a Chemical Stripper
✔ These cleaning products are available in a wide range across all departmental stores.

✔ Buy a chemical stripper and apply on to a natural bristle brush (not plastic, it'll dissolve). Then scrub the area with that brush.

✔ Alternately, one can also pour the liquid onto the concrete and scrub with the brush to get rid of the marks. The chemical will break down the paint, and it will be easier to scrub it away.

✔ Chemical strippers work best on surfaces that are made of relatively smooth concrete. Though they might end up trapping the spray paint in holes and crevices, if any. In which case, use a wire bristle brush to remove the spray paint by scrubbing it away.
With the help of Paint Thinners
✔ Use any paint thinner and pour over the sprayed area.

✔ Let it soak for 30-40 minutes.

✔ Then scrub off with a hard brush.

✔ One can also dip an old towel and wipe the paint off in this manner.
Other Solutions
✔ Apply an oven cleaner on the sprayed spot, then let it stay for sometime before scrubbing it off.

✔ One can also use one of these chemicals -- Methylene Chloride, Methyl-Ethyl-Ketone, Sodium Hydroxide or Xylene. All of which need to be applied then allowed to stand and then scrubbed off.
These were some of the methods which can be used for successfully removing spray paint from concrete. But if one wants to prevent new stains from staining the concrete, then simply coat the area with a sealer such as Aliphatic Urethane. This will prevent the paint from seeping into the concrete crevices and also prevent discoloration.
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