How to Remove Paint on a Concrete Floor Before Tiling

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Tiling over a concrete floor can give it some style and substance. If that floor has paint on it, however, you need to remove it first. Although it seems like you could lay the tile over the paint, if the paint is bubbling up or extra thick, the tiles are not going to lay smoothly over it. In addition, if the paint is flaking, it could mix with the tile grout.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap, water and scrub brush Rubbing stone Chemical paint remover of your choice Power washer Sand blaster Paint scraper Scrub brush
  • Use hot water and any floor cleaner or soap to clean the floor. Take a scrub brush to the paint and remove as much dirt as you can. You want to make sure that there is no dirt or grease that may interfere with some of the chemical solvents you might be using.

  • Blast the paint away. First, try a power washer. Power washers usually do not damage concrete, and it might be enough power to get that paint off. If it isn't, you can try sand blasting it; however, this may damage the concrete, so you will want to test it out first.

  • Eat it away. Not literally, of course. Use a chemical-based solvent to eat away at the paint, such as PeelAway#7 (see Resources). If you don't want to use harsh chemicals, you can try an organic cleanser first, but it probably won't work as well. Follow the directions on the bottle carefully, as they will vary depending on the brand. Most solvents require proper ventilation and for the solution to sit on the paint for a certain amount of time, so be sure to keep pets and children away from the area.

  • Rub the paint away. Rubbing stones are used by contractors to smooth away rough spots in concrete (see Resources). You can use one to smooth away the paint as well. Wear gloves to protect your skin, and rub the stone in long, sweeping motions while applying firm pressure to the paint. Rub in one direction only. Do not scrub at the stain with the stone.

  • Scrape the paint away. Use paint thinner to loosen it up, then use a paint scraper to lift it up and away.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try a combination of techniques for large areas. For example, use a power washer, then scrape off any remaining areas.
  • Be sure to dispose of the paint properly, including any scrapings.

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  • Photo Credit http://www.grungetextures.com
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