How to Clean Acrylic Paint from Concrete

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Garry asked: “How do I clean water-based acrylic paint from concrete pavers? I dropped some water-based acrylic paint onto some concrete pavers. I have tried Mineral Turps but no luck.

Acrylic paint is water-based and much easier to remove than oil-based paints. With some effort, it can be removed from almost any surface. Fortunately, concrete can tolerate many cleaning methods, making it a durable surface to work with. The key is to pull the paint out from the porous surface. Here are some methods to remove the paint both while it’s still wet or if it’s already dried.

Removing Wet Paint

Wet paint is much easier to clean up than paint that has been allowed to dry to the surface. Work quickly to remove it as soon as possible after spilling.

You Will Need:

  • Old cloths and/or newspaper
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Soap or detergent

Steps to Remove the Wet Paint:

  1. Begin by wiping up as much paint as possible using the old towels or newspapers.
  2. Mix a good amount of soap or detergent with hot water in the bucket.
  3. Pour some of the soapy water onto the paint-spilled area and scrub with a scrub brush.
  4. It will take some work, but continue scrubbing until all of the paint has been removed from the surface.
  5. When all of the paint has been scrubbed away, rinse the area with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  6. Allow the area to dry completely.

Removing Paint that has Dried

Dried paint will require some extra persistence and methods to release the paint from the surface. Once it is loosened, it can usually be scraped or scrubbed away.

You Will Need:

  • Razor or paint scraper
  • Acetone
  • Paint thinner or gel stripper
  • Old cloths and/or newspaper
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mild soap
  • Vacuum

Steps to Remove the Dried Paint:

  1. Start by scraping as much paint off as possible using the razor or paint scraper.
  2. Vacuum the area to remove any dust or paint pieces from the surface.
  3. Next, pour the acetone on the paint and allow it to set for a few minutes.
  4. Depending on the thickness of the remaining paint layer, either scrub the area with a scrub brush or scrape it with the razor to remove the paint.
  5. If there are still bits of paint that remain, apply a paint stripper or gel stripper, following the manufacturer’s instructions and scrape away to remove.
  6. When all of the paint has been removed, clean the area thoroughly with soap and water to remove all traces of removal products.
  7. Allow the area to dry thoroughly.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • If nothing else will remove the dried paint, consider sandblasting the area.
  • Using a floor grinder mightl help to remove the paint. A floor grinder will get into the pores of the concrete to thoroughly remove the paint.
  • Both of these processes can be completed by a professional, or can often be rented from home improvement stores for an experienced DIYer.

Comments

  1. Garry says:

    Thanks for your reply to my query. I’ll try it first thing tomorrow and let you know the result.

  2. Denhunter says:

    Either buy or rent a pressure washer. Every home should have one anyway. Paint comes off in a snap. ANY paint. No scrubbing, no chemicals, no strain.

    Heck, you can cut concrete, if you leave it on long enough. I know, I have hacked up the wood on my deck plenty of times.

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